Martyrdom is not usually what comes to mind when you think of St. Valentine’s Day. Bit of a shame, really. St. Valentine, legend says, was a priest who was illegally marrying Christians before it was kosher to do so. So, he was beheaded. His act of love was in doing what he thought was right to honor the God who loved us. The cost of that love was his life.
It’s not as if Valentine came up with this on his own. He saw the love of the Saviour and saw what the love of Christ cost. It seems only natural that in view of the love he would do likewise. This is the example every husband is to show to their wife:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:25-28)
This is a high thing, and a mystery, as Paul says. It’s a bit too much to comprehend and a great responsibility placed on husbands. But its the role we’re to play if we are to truly love our wives.
So Happy St. Valentine’s Day! As you hand her roses, or chocolates, or diamonds set into open hearts, are these things that really express your love? Does she really know it?