North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Is Valentine’s Day a Christian holiday? Allow me to share a couple of stories, then you decide. One Wednesday evening, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, I was walking through the church fellowship hall where I was pastor. The Royal Ambassadors (RAs) and their leaders were in a circle holding hands. They were praying, each taking turns saying their own prayer. I paused to listen. One of the young boys, 10 years-old, was praying and I heard him say, “Dear God, thank you for my church that I call home. And God, thank you for my Christian brothers here tonight; I love them all. And thank you for my pastor and the inspiration he gives me.”    Most pastors, if not all, would agree with me when I say that it does a pastor good to know his church sincerely prays for him, especially young Christians like this one. There was a heartfelt love in his prayer and everyone in the sound of his voice could feel it.

    Valentine’s Day is not on the Christian calendar like Good Friday, Easter, or Christmas. But on the other hand, St. Valentine, for whom the day is named, was an outstanding Christian. His life exemplified the Spirit of Christ—Love. Surely, we honor Christ, when we celebrate true love. Some people might argue Valentine’s Day honors romantic love, excluding it from being Christian. We probably should be reminded 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 placed them in the Garden of Eden naked. That sounds romantic to me!

    When we think of love, many thoughts can race through our mind. In our culture today, when we think of love, our minds often focus on passion and sex. If that’s the only way we define love, then it’s a very limited view of what love is. The Biblical view of love is to love one another not because of what they give you, but because of who they are. For example, love is a mother or father loving their children, even when they are disobedient or making a fuss. Love is children loving their parents even when they are getting older and out of touch. Love is giving up a life of comfort and serving as a missionary in a remote area. Love is a husband or wife continuing to love and be faithful even though their partner is no longer young and attractive. True love seeks the best for the significant other, rather than the significant self. The Bible says, “Love does not demand its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Your return will be far greater internally, externally, and eternally.

    A man came out of his office and found a kid from the streets admiring his bright red sports car. “Do you like it?” the man asked.

    “Yeah, man! I bet it cost a lot. How much?”

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

    “Gave it to you? You mean for free—for nothing,” the boy asked.

    “Yes, for free—for nothing.”

    “Wow,” the boy exclaimed, “I wish…”

    The man 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?

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him by email:

Posted by on Feb 16 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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