What the Bible says about
“Love” and Valentine’s Day
Unquestionably, one of the most well known verse in the Bible is John 3:16.. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
But the Bible doesn’t stop there when discussing “love.” I did a little research and I was amazed at what I found.
As Christians, we associate Jesus Christ with his love and his instructions that we should love each other. But I also found some 23 verses in the Old Testament which cover the subject. I found 79 references to “love” in the New Testament.
The two most frequent uses of the word “love” involve God’s love for us…and that we should “love” our neighbor as ourself.
Where did Valentine's Day come from?
Is it wrong for a Christian to celebrate it?
Here is where I found some conflicting information about Valentine’s day, it’s origin and whether Christians should celebrate the holiday.
What would God think about Valentine's Day?
The World Book Encyclopedia tells us regarding Valentine’s Day: “The customs connected with the day . . . probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature” (1973, vol. 20, p. 204).
For the people of ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercalia was an annual ritual believed to ward off evil spirits and increase fertility. Lupercalia (also known as Februatio, from which comes the month name February) was popular among many of the new converts to the fast-rising Catholic Church.
As the book Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays notes, “Everywhere that [mainstream] Christians came into power they immediately adapted the holidays and customs of the people to their own creed” (Robert Myers and Hallmark Cards editors, 1972, pp. 50-51).
Such was their course of action with this festival of Lupercalia at the end of the fifth century. While Pope Gelasius officially condemned the pagan Roman festival and banned its observance, many of its accompanying practices quickly appeared in a newly established holiday added by him to the official church list of feast days in A.D. 496—St. Valentine’s Day.
Soon, people were no longer looking to obtain fertility by being beaten with strips of animal skin called februa . Instead, they turned their focus to St. Valentine, the patron saint of “engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry” ( Celebrations, pp. 48-49), whose actual identity is even murkier than what connection he bore to romance.
What amounted to a renamed, refurbished Lupercalia then picked up steam, gradually adapting itself into the Valentine’s Day we know today, which included the added elements of Valentine cards and Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love.
Friendship and sending cards are wonderful things, and God is not opposed to romance at the right time in the right way. But does the pagan religious history of Valentine’s Day taint the modern practices? What does God have to say about observing pagan traditions, renamed or not?
“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess … do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).
Though the practices of Lupercalia have been repackaged and dressed up in the form of Valentine’s Day, these verses indicate they remain just as detestable as they have always been in our Creator’s eyes.
Instead of pagan days and practices, our focus should be on the festivals God has given us in the Bible, which point us toward His amazing and incomparable plan for all of humanity.
Another way to look at it.
Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentines's Day, originated as a church holiday on February 14th to honor martyrs of the faith - saints whose names were Valentine or Valentinus. It is believed that the first heart valentine note was sent by a Valentine who was in prison for a girl he loved. Valentines notes have been recorded for as far back as the Middle ages. While the meaning and celebrations of Valentine's Day has changed, it has remained as a special day to shower with love those we hold close.
Valentine's day can create a variety of emotions for different people. For some it creates great satisfaction celebrating the love you have between you, your spouse, and your friends & family. For others it can cause feelings of loneliness. Whether you are single or in a relationship, let these Bible verses encourage you to celebrate, for God has unconditional and indescribable love for us. No matter your age or stage in life, Valentine's Day can be celebrated because of God's great love.
1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
Song of Songs 1:2
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.
If this isn’t enough information to confuse you, then go to the internet and do a “google search” for Valentine’s day….