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Question: Where do you find Saint Valentine’s Day mentioned in the Bible?
Answer: You won’t find it mentioned in the Bible. This might disturb some people who want every custom they celebrate to be in the Bible. Others may be glad to know that they are not required to buy a Valentine card. Although this may not be the wisest excuse to use for forgetting your sweetheart.
Some religious systems do not require that every belief or practice be mentioned somewhere in the Bible. To them, church tradition is just as binding as a text of Scripture.
There are many activities I am involved in which are done because I want to and not because the Bible tells me I should do them. If I preach anything I do believe it should be based on a teaching in the Bible or it only carries the weight of my very fallible intelligence.
No official link to Feb. 14 connects to either of the two saints named Valentine. During a time of severe persecution of Christianity a Valentine was killed (ca. 269) because he would not recant of his faith. There was also a Bishop of Terni who was taken to Rome and martyred. A thank you note from Valentine to the daughter of the jailer, for her kindness to him by bringing food and delivering notes, was signed “from your Valentine.” Another legend says small holes were poked in flower leaves and thrown from a jail cell with the words “don’t forget your Valentine.”
Some people have the holiday so deeply rooted in their memories that they believe it must be in the Bible somewhere. Often the Scriptures and traditions which we have grown up with all our lives mingle together until it is hard to distinguish between where does the Bible end and the habits of our preferences start.
A belief structure built upon the Bible may not necessarily need to celebrate Valentine’s Day but love is still a key factor taught in the Bible.
God not only has an attribute of love in His personality, He is called love itself (1 John 4:8). Growing out of this truth we are told to love God because He first loved us.
Our attitude of love also should lead us to love others, even our enemies. That’s a command from Jesus which is very hard for most of us to pull off.
The love of God is the motive for the Heavenly Father sending His Son to the earth (John 3:16). Jesus has proved His love toward us in that while we were sinners (His enemies) He died for us (Romans 5:8). You might be receiving hate mail instead of a pretty valentines.
Still you can rest in this great Valentine greeting, “God Really Does Love You.”
That’s one preacher’s view. Now, go get a second opinion from a pastor that you trust.
Address issues for future columns to Dr. Adamson’s Web site at www.shepherdstaffcounseling.com.