Dear Saint Valentine,
Did you know what you were doing when you continued to marry young christian couples, even after Claudius I strictly forbade it? What continued to drive you to do this even though death was probable? What made you think that it was a good idea?
I am certain though, that you would have never foreseen that your act of service and love to these precious couples would create a holiday that has become a nightmare! Do you know that nearly every retail store caters to this holiday and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing it? That the expectations, from spouses, for a really amazing gift has cause many a marriage to crumble? or that this holiday has put some people's budgets in jeopardy just so they can keep up with the Jones?
I think that people have lost sight of your original intention. Actually I don't think you ever had any intentions of your life becoming a national holiday. You acted because you saw a need and their freedom were being ripped away. You continued to marry them because you knew that love motivates a person, not makes them less of a soldier.
What if we started celebrating Valentine's Day in a manner that was more consistent with what you were doing? Instead of spending money on stuffed gorillas or limp flowers, that we run in and buy at the last minute because we forgot and don't want our spouse to be mad, we could donate that money to help with human trafficking. What if we did some real acts of service for our family?
You were willing to give up your life to help these young couples. You knew that the Lord had designed love to be an integral part of who we are. It motivates us, gives us a reason to keep going, and completes us. Moreover you were willing to die for people you probably barely knew because you had love for them.
It makes me ask myself if I am willing to do the same for the people I say that I love. Would my husband rather have a card writen by someone else or would he rather have a heart-felt letter, that is handwritten, telling him what I love about him. Would he rather have acts of service and love than a stuffed animal?
Thank you Saint Valentine for recognizing that marriage is a gift from God and we need to fight for it!
The assistant zookeeper