“Several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies, including a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome [martyred 269 AD] which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).” [Source: Wikipedia]
Whatever the story is, the prototype martyr, Jesus Christ, shows us what love actually looks like:
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV *)
Contrary to popular romantic fiction, love is self-emptying and other-centered. Love looks like Calvary. And this other-attitude tells us how we’re to love one another:
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil.2:5-8 NASB *)
Love so loved you and me that He gave what was most precious to Him—His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus demonstrated this love by emptying Himself for us, even unto death on the cross.
This is God’s valentine overture to you. His death, but more importantly, His endless life.
So the Lover Of Your Soul is asking…will you be MY valentine?