And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Fabius and Lucilla had a problem. Both were Christians, and they had met and fallen in love. That shouldn’t be a problem, but in 3rd century Rome, it was. Emperor Claudius had issued an edict preventing young men from marrying (after all, an unmarried soldier is a better fighter). But Fabius and Lucilla desperately wanted to get married.
So in the dead of night, they had both sought out a priest named Valentine. They had heard rumors that he would marry young people in violation of the edict. A shadowy figure approached them. “Fabius?” The young man nodded. “Both of you, come with me.”
The figure led them to a nearby door, entered and beckoned them to do the same. Once inside, he lit a candle, and removed the hood from his head. “I am Valentine,” he said. “I understand you are both in love.”
Such is the legend of St. Valentine – the Roman priest who defied the edict of his emperor, and eventually paid for it with his life.
Today, most of us remember Valentine by giving cards, flowers, candy and gifts to the special people in our life. But the greater homage that we can pay to this saint is to show the kind of true love that he was willing to die for. Valentine’s Day is so often an “ooey, gooey” holiday. But the love of St. Valentine – which was the love that originated in Christ himself – is a love rooted in sacrifice. The love that gives you butterflies is nice, but it pales in comparison to love that leads you to lay down your life for someone else.
Today, I hope that you enjoy the day, and that there is someone who can enjoy it with you. But before you venture out for an evening of fun and romance, be sure to include the Lord in the center of your love. Pray that He will honor your time together, and that He will lead you both into a deeper relationship with each other, and with Him.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.