Deuteronomy 18:9 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Disclaimer: Truth is powerful and it sets free, but with truth, also comes responsibility. Once we know the truth about something, we are held in greater account to that truth then when our eyes were darkened. As was said, truth is freeing, but it is also cutting. The Word of God pierces through to the marrow of our bones and the marrow of intent, The process of deliverance does not always feel good right away, but at its end is true freedom. We have to be willing to press through the discomfort of conviction, and face truth with a humble heart, which greatly desires to love the Father above all else.
"Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,..."
Before we get into the truth about the history of where our modern day valentines celebration comes from, let us examine scriptural love. We see various types of love presented in the Word, and when pursued biblically, all these forms of love are from Elohim. We have the romantic love between a man and his wife of being echad "one" with each other, in a set apart covenant established by the Father. This love, was established and ordained at Creation for the man and his wife to reflect the oneness of Elohim and to do His perfect will on the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
The scripture also represents love among the brethren or brotherly love, that some translations reference as "charity". One of the greatest commandments of the Torah is to love our neighbor as ourself. "Ahav" is an active form of love that is based on the action of love and not merely a feeling. "Chesed" seems the highest form of love. It is the type of love that Yah loves with and can not be confined by sentimentalities. It is covenential, steadfast, unfailing, strong, loyal, filled with unmerited kindness and compassions, and is hard to sum up with human words.
In scripture, we see many examples and forms of love ranging from chastisement and judgement, to the highest form of mercy, grace, and compassion.
As children of Yah, our love is shown to the Father through our obedience to His Word, our firmness of faith, our acts of set apart living, our sincere love for our neighbor and for the poor, widow, and orphan, our submission, and our willing and teachable hands and spirit. As women, we are called to love our "head" or "covering" whether that be a father figure or our husband, by engaging in biblical submission and obedience, reverence and respect, and assisting him in whatever vision and goals the Most High has put in that mans life. As children, we are to give weight to the righteous things our parents teach us and to show them honor and respect in accordance with righteousness. Love in the kingdom is truly filled with a depth that worldly sentiments could never even touch.
Often times, in our pursuit to draw near to the Father and to learn to love Him in the way He desires, we have to put aside things of this world that at one point we thought we "loved". There seems to be a principality associated with certain traditions and the sentimentality they bring. People will often manifest great anger and distain at even the mention of letting go of these elemental things even though they may be grieving and displeasing to the Most High.
The History of "Valentines Day"
All roads lead to Rome, or so it seems. The road to mapping out our modern day holidays seems to go even further back than Rome or Greece. Yes, Rome loved its festivals, but where did this false deity worship gain its speed? I suppose, it can be argued that this goes as far back as the garden, when Eve took the word of the serpent over the Word of God, thus putting another face on the Most High and diverting her worship to the lust of the eyes and the lust of her flesh and the pride of her heart. We know that in the days before the flood that false gods were worshipped and that evil was over the face of the whole earth. However, we see this rise of organized effort come about when Nimrod enters the scene. Nimrod, who goes by different names in different cultures and Semiramis, who also has gone by many names in different cultures and time periods, such as Ishtar or the "queen of heaven". In Babylonian history and myth, and in Egyptian history and myth, we see a myriad of customs, "gods", sacrifices, and festivals, all to appease their deities for reasons for wealth, power, growth, harvest, and fertility. These customs inevitably found their way to Greece and to Rome where they were given names and where a few extra lewd customs were added to the mix.
To get to our modern day holiday of valentines celebrated here in the west, we must first rewind back to Rome and the festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was celebrated every year during the time that is our current day mid-February. The time of the winter solstice had passed, and the earth was soon to begin it's time of waking. The days getting longer, and being that pagans revolve much of their worship around the sun, Lupercalia was about the waking fertility of the sun and the 'gods' associated with it. The 'god' being worshipped was Lupercus, otherwise known as Faunus, Cupid, or Tammuz/Nimrod(Baal), or Pan "the winged 'god'" or the hunter 'god'. Lupercus was said to protect the fertility of the harvest, increased fertility in women, and packs of wild animals. In other cultures, he was known to cause spells to come over people to create an obsessive "love" to another person. During this Lupercalia festival, an animal was sacrificed and the men would take the hides of this animal and whip the women (the original 50 shades of gray perhaps?), as it was said to increase the fertility in the women in the year ahead. Thanks but no thanks. In order to appease the god and goddess of this festival, the people would engage in orgies and lascivious sexual acts. It was a time of sorcery, sacrifice, and sexual immortality, all to appease their false deities and the desires of their wicked flesh.
So, how did a festival such as this make its way into our lives? As with many of our traditional holidays, the church of Rome, otherwise known as the Catholic church, in their efforts to dominate regions, "christianized" many pagan festivals and un-holy days as to take more peoples and regions for the "church". The day was altered and tweaked over time, and the festival name replaced with the name of a "saint" and a story behind that "saint".
Fast forward to the modern western world. Big business is the west prettied up this day even more and began to market it as a way to make money, and money they made. Today, Americas spend roughly between 18 and 20 billon dollars on valentines day alone. I don't know about you, but I could think of a few better ways to steward that money in the world we live in today.
We have deemed this the day of love and men everywhere are cornered into spending their money on overpriced flowers and candy.
Suicide hotlines in the US receive twice as many calls on Valentine's Day, with people struggling with their relationship status. The day puts a tremendous amount of undo pressure on both men and women a like and there seems to be a correlation with the timing of valentines day and the yearly rise of suicide rates. This is also a time when much witchcraft is practiced, and 'love' spells are sent forth to unsuspecting people.
The holiday we celebrate today may be a spin off of the original festival of lupercalia, but no doubt that the principality behind it is still very much in play. It is easy to say that our intentions are good or that we do not see valentines this way, and so it is innocent to us. However, must ask ourselves, why do I need this? Why can I not let this go? Why am I getting defensive in the face of truth? Yahweh has commanded us not to associate ourselves in anyway with customs that originate with the way pagans worshipped their false deities. And so the real question remains, what or who do I love most? We do not get to decide what is holy and what is profane, only God can do that. We can attempt to justify the motive of our hearts, but God is a God who sees into the inner spaces of the heart and knows its secret motives. There are over 300 days a year when you can honor, love, and show affection to your spouse. You can create your own traditions within your marriage where you carve out special time to show your love for one another or to give something special to your beloved that have nothing to do with pagan festivals or the worship of false deities.
Every single day we have to make a choice, and I pray that we will all aim to proclaim... As for me and my house, we will serve YHWH!"
You can not spray perfume on a corpse to make death any easier, and you can't pretty up or "christianize" pagan worship and call it good. God makes the rules and He alone is worthy of our worship, affection, and praise.
We will spend so much effort holding onto the worthless elements of this world and yet strain in rejecting the feasts and festivals of the Creator. Let's just take a moment to rest on that and meditate today on true love as defined by our Creator.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Members of Philia and affiliated ministries