Is Valentine’s Day a Christian holiday?

The Shepherd Calls

Is Valentine’s Day a Christian holiday? Well, yes and no. No it is not a day on the Christian calendar like Good Friday, Easter or Christmas. In that sense it is not technically a Christian holiday.

On the other hand St. Valentine, for whom the day is named, was an outstanding Christian. His life exemplified the spirit of Christ — love. When we celebrate true love we surely are honoring Christ.

Some might argue Valentine’s Day honors romantic love thus excluding it from being Christian. Let me remind you that God created romance. The Bible tells us God made us male and female and caused us to be attracted to one another. He made Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden naked. That is pretty romantic stuff, don’t you think?

View of love

In America when we think of love, our minds often focus on passion and sex; but that is a very limited view of love. The biblical view of love is to love another not because of what they give you but because of who you are. For example, love is a mother or father loving their children even when they are bad. Love is children loving their parents even when they are old and out of touch. Love is a missionary family giving up the “good life” in America to serve in a remote developing country. Love is a husband or wife continuing to love and be faithful even though their partner is ill or no longer young and attractive. True love seeks the best for the significant other rather than self. The Bible says it this way: “Love seeketh not its own” (1 Cor. 13:5).

Arnold came out of his office and found a street kid admiring his beautiful sports car. “Do you like it?” Arnold asked.

“Yeah, man! How much did it cost?”

“I don’t really know. My brother gave it to me.”

“Gave it to you? You mean for free — for nothing?”

“Yes for free, for nothing.”

“Wow,” the boy exclaimed. “I wish …,” Arnold waited expecting him to say, “I wish I had a brother like that.” But he didn’t. Instead he said, “I wish I could be a brother like that.” You see the boy had a brother at home who like himself had nothing. He wanted to do good things for his brother.

That is love. That is Christian. Now you decide. Is Valentine’s Day a Christian holiday?

EDITOR’S NOTE — This column first appeared in Missouri’s Word & Way state Baptist newspaper.  By Wade Paris