February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
Every February 14, all kinds of gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. According to history, there are at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When the Emperor, Claudius II, decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. This legend reminds me of Deuteronomy 24:5 that says, “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” Both this passage and the above mentioned Valentine’s legend suggest that love is a man’s primary duty. I pray that this year’s Valentine’s Day reminded us all of the primary duty of cultivating our loving relationships with our spouses or significant others. May every day of the rest of the year be happy Valentine’s Days!