It’s now February and one of the sweetest holidays is coming up in a few days! There are so many who feel that V-day is just a made up holiday founded by greeting card companies in order to make money. If that’s you, just breathe and eat some chocolate. Let’s start with the story of St. Valentine. Admittedly, this is a story you would need to edit for your little ones, because it doesn’t begin with flowers and candy. But he was a bit of a hero, a martyr, and a champion for marriage. Valentine was presumed to have lived around the 14th century and would marry young couples against the edict of Emperor Clauduis II. The emperor did not want any of his soldiers to marry, as he surmised, it made them better soldiers. Basically, if they have no one to come home to, they have nothing to worry about.
Valentine wanted to help and married them against the edict of the emperor. He eventually was caught, tortured and killed for his actions. As time moved on, he became known as the Saint for ‘lovers’-and now you have the present holiday.
So what does this have to do with 1 Corinthians 13? The story of St. Valentine and 1 Corinthians 13 are totally intertwined. 1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter from the New Testament in The Bible that speaks of what Love truly is. Here is the chapter below:
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
St. Valentine was not just championing for young couples to marry- but he was living out this chapter in his own life. He gave of himself and got nothing in return. During a time of polygamy-he was still trying to make sure that God was honored in the sanctity of marriage. He was stoned, beaten then decapitated for his actions-and it was all for Love.
What is The Father calling you to do for ‘love’? I’m not saying you will end up being beaten and killed like Valentine was-but what does living out this chapter look like for you?
How are you honoring others in your life, or are you only looking out for yourself?
Does it mean being patient with your children?
Is it being kind to your co-workers?
Not keeping a record of wrong doing with your spouse?
How can you live out love more in your life?
What is The Father calling you to do for ‘love?
Until next time, and give an extra hug to someone you love today (and maybe eat some chocolate) !