What Love Got To Do With It
I Love You
What is true love
The history of Valentine's Day
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day when lovers all over the world celebrate their love for each other. In recent years, the giving of cards, candy, chocolate and flowers has led to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. According to legend, Valentine’s Day is named after Valentine, a Roman Catholic priest, who defied the Roman Emperor Claudius II who had banned young men from being married, as he wanted them to become soldiers. Valentine continued to marry the young men secretly, and when he was discovered, he was thrown in prison and condemned to die. Legend also has it that Valentine himself fell in love with a young woman, believed to be his jailor’s daughter, and while in prison sent her a love note which he signed “From your Valentine.” This gave rise to the exchange of love notes among lovers, eventually leading to the giving of cards. Valentine’s Day is now the second largest card-sending holiday, with over a billion cards being sent.
Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated on February 14? Again, there are several theories. One being that it may have been the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial; another, that it could have been an attempt by the Catholic to ‘Christianize’ the pagan celebrations of Lupercalia, a feast dedicated to fertility. Still another legend held that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season. Is that where the expression ‘lovebirds’ came from?
The meaning of love
But whether Valentine’s Day or not, it is a nice feeling to love and be loved. But how many of us really understand what it means to love someone? According to Webster dictionary the word ‘love’ has several meanings: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; the maternal love for a child; attraction based on sexual desire; affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests. All of these meanings probably mirror what goes for love in Western culture. Handsome boy meets pretty girl, is attracted to her beautiful hair, slender waistline and stylish clothes. Boy asks girl for a date, and they fall in love. Two months later boy or girl meets another attractive someone, falls out of love with the first one and is now in love with someone new.
In some Eastern cultures, such as in India, arrangements are made between the parents of a boy and girl while they are still children. They do not become aware of it until they have reached puberty. In this case, the young couple is bound by the arrangements made by the parents and may only see each other two or three times before the wedding. Sometimes these marriages are successful; sometimes they are not. If they encounter problems during the marriage, and which couple doesn’t, the parents may step in and help them iron out these difficulties.
Webster gives another definition of love: unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another; the fatherly love of God for humankind; brotherly concern for others; a person’s adoration of God.
Love in marriage
Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern is the type of love that married couples should strive for. And if they truly love each other, they will not have to strive, for it will come naturally. A loving husband will not wait for his wife to prepare dinner if she has been cleaning house, doing the laundry, picking the children up from school, rushing them to their football practice, and doing a myriad other tasks. A loving wife will not demand that her husband take her to the movies on Saturday night if he has been working late all week.
Most of us have a mythical concept of love. It is either the heart-stopping, starry-eyed, soap opera kind of emotion, or it is nothing at all. But most times that is not true love. It may be an illusion, a fantasy, something that cannot stand the test of time. I am not saying that love should be boring. Far from it. But if you are expecting that when you fall in love and get married everyday is going to be fireworks, you may be in for a disappointment. It is easy to be exciting for a couple hours on Saturday night, but when you have to wake up each day to hair in rollers or a stubbly beard, you may wonder what happened to the excitement.
So if you are evaluating your love relationship this Valentine’s Day, let me leave you with something else to consider: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
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- IN HIS NAME
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