What did you get up to last Valentine’s day? Did you do anything that scored you a kiss or did you ‘crash and burn’?

The origins of Valentine’s day are not known with any certainty, because there were at least three early Christians called Valentine who were martyred for their faith.

However, a lovely legend has arisen around one.

Marcus Aurelius Claudius was the Emperor of Rome from 268 to 270 AD. His problem was that he could not get enough young men to serve in his army to fight the foreign wars he was waging. Rather than blame himself for the unpopular wars, he blamed the institution of marriage because he thought that marriage was keeping his men at home. He therefore banned marriage throughout his empire. The story goes, however, that Valentine, an early Christian bishop, still married people in secret. When a report of this reached Claudius, he had Valentine put to death.

The story could well be true.

Certainly, it makes you think. Valentine’s day may well have had its origin in a man who had the courage to stand up for God’s values even when it cost him his life.

So, by all means, continue to give the flowers and chocolates, but if you are not prepared to seek Godly values for your marriage and your family, it is simply sentimentality. If you really want to be like Valentine, then be prepared to stand for Christian values in your family and in your community.

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