We are approaching a month that is filled with the sweetness of love.  Valentine’s Day is a day when people purchase cards, chocolates and flowers for one another.  About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year.  This makes it the second largest seasonal card sending time of the year.  More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.  Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S. alone.  189 million roses will be sold in the U.S.  73 percent of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

Most folks don’t know the story of St. Valentine.  He was a saint who was imprisoned for performing weddings for Roman soldiers.  Why would someone be imprisoned and ultimately executed for doing this?  Because the Roman emperor at the time didn’t want his soldiers married.  He believed marriage would affect their loyalty to him and their willingness to fight.  Rumor has it, that before St. Valentine was executed he penned a note to the jailer’s daughter and signed it "Your Valentine."  You can fact check me on this of course, but it’s interesting that this holiday of giving and sharing with loved ones had its origin in the pursuit of protecting and promoting the framework of the family, a husband and wife.

The family unit has an amazing impact on the path of our society and culture.  As the family goes so goes everything else it seems.  When God created man and then woman, Adam and Eve, He did it with the intent for them to be the community and foundation from which all humanity would have its beginning.  Filled with sin and being pretty dysfunctional from the beginning, marriage still has the potential to emulate holiness filled with love.  I know that this world is imperfect and I know that we are imperfect people, but that doesn’t excuse us from seeing a perfect plan in God’s grace.  The amazing fact about being married to the love of your life is that you are in a place to give and receive grace on a regular basis.  True love doesn’t hold grudges or demand it’s own way.  It’s not rude and it’s never ending.  You know where this is going right?

“Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7  So let’s love one another with genuine love and know that we have received perfect love in Christ Jesus.  Be gracious and generous.  Don’t let evil conquer you but overcome evil by loving, even those who don’t love you back.  That’s what Jesus did and He gives us the same power to accomplish His will!  May your life glorify the One who gives you life!  God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

In Christ’s Love,

Rob

Romans 12