Are we to celebrate Valentine?
Who was Valentine? Saint or Sinner?
What does the day represent? Sacrificial love or sensual lust?
It is very easy for a Christian to be caught up in debates, trying to make sense out of an event that is popularly and widely celebrated like Valentine’s day . Our posture to any day or event should be scriptural and spiritual. Paul instructed us “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2). We are intimated with what is acceptable to God through the renewing of our minds with the Word of God or else we will find ourselves conforming to the world. It’s funny today to realize that anywhere the world goes, the church seems to go.
Since the beginning of the month of February this year, I have observed with utter disdain a lot of programmes organised by some churches to commemorate February 14th. Such programmes are tagged “Love, sex and lasting relationships ” “Couples love uncut” “Valentine love for victorious believers” “Valentine for Singles” and the most ridiculous of them all is “Achieving sexual orgasm in Christian marriage” It is rather shameful and unfortunate.
Can you imagine Apostle Peter or Paul or Pastor Timothy organizing a programme with any of these Hollywood titles?
Not possible, right?.
The excuses pastors give today are “Well, we don’t want our people to use the day or period for anything evil or immoral, if we don’t engage them, they will go and hang out with their unbelieving friends in debauchery and reckless lifestyle, if we don’t teach them, Hollywood or Nollywood will teach them wrong stuffs” Such excuses are flimsy and unnecessary.
Society or culture should not tell us what is acceptable, what is seemingly acceptable culturally may not be acceptable scripturally. Society is not a guiding compass for believers. Our approach to any issue should always be “What does the Scripture say?”
Having said that, It is note worthy that the name “Valentine” cannot be found in the bible, like you cannot find “Adedayo” there. His historical account whether through Google or The Catholic Church does not have a scriptural significance to the point where we give it a spiritual reference.
I don’t need Valentine’s so called “sacrificial works” to inspire me to do good works ( that is if what we read about him were true), I draw my inspiration from the instructions in the scriptures. You see, inspiration drawn from men or their works can only last for the day they are being remembered while the one drawn from the scriptures lasts forever.
The scriptures show me that it is my nature to give sacrificially. I can only find my true identity in the scriptures, Valentine is not my mentor in giving, Jesus is!
When you flip the coin, Valentine represents sensual or sexual love to many people in the world today. “Who is your Val?” some ask. You hear couples wish themselves “Happy Valentine’s day” Some believers are caught in this web. Let me frankly tell you that if you have to wait till February 14th to express your love to your spouse, then you are on a dangerous path. You know, colour “red” represents danger too (laughs).
Christian couples ought to see love expression or demonstration as a lifestyle and not an occasional display of emotions. Love in a Christian marriage goes beyond what is said or felt to what is done, it includes forbearance and forgiveness, selflessness and togetherness. The bible says “God is love” and not “Valentine is love” Bible love is not a “gush” nor a “rush” of adrenaline, it is a Person, God is!
Therefore what is the business of believers with Valentine’s celebration? None! Don’t even say my “Val” is Jesus because I have heard a single Christian sister say that before. However we must seize every day, every event, every occasion to preach Christ. He is the love of God revealed to us! (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 8:32). His death remains the greatest sacrifice in human history! No love story like redemption, no special gift like eternal life! Preach this Christ at work, in your neighbourhood, anywhere you find yourself today and everyday!
The new creation does not treat a day better than the other, he is free from the opinion of men but bound by the royal law of love (Jam 2:8). Let’s put on charity everyday as the Scriptures command and not a mere cloth with a touch of red occasionally (Col. 3:14).
You are Loved and Precious!