"Haven't you read," (Jesus) replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one."
Matthew 19:4-6It seems a little odd.
The day meant to celebrate romantic love. The day we give candy and roses and hearts. Pink and red, Cupid and kisses.
Because this day of romance is named after a martyr.
Doesn't really jive with the hearts and roses theme.
History actually records that there may have been two or three saints who bore the moniker 'Valentine'. In ancient Latin, valens, the origin of the name, meant worthy and those who gave up their lives for their beliefs were honored with this designation.
There are actually three 'Valentine's Days' observed throughout the year, the one we celebrate on February 14th and two others that are observed by the Orthodox church in July.
While there is some controversy, most historians point to Geoffrey Chaucer, the poetic writer of the Middle Ages and celebrator of courtly romance and love, as the influence behind the metamorphosis of the feast of Saint Valentine from commemoration of a martyr to a celebration of love.
Martyr to amour. Saint to sweetheart.
But perhaps it is more apt than seen at first blush.
We forget sometimes in our infatuated era that love does require sacrifice. There may be roses, there may be ardor. Hopefully there is, when it comes to our romances. It is right for there to be fulfillment, trust, attraction.
But sometimes love requires for a season that we go from sweetheart to sacrifice.
Just like the one for whom this holiday of romance is named for.
And you usually don't see that on the Valentine commercials.
While every kiss may begin with 'Kay', every true binding of two hearts is forged in the struggle of putting the other person before yourself. Not so that you can be abused, used, refused. But so that as you adjust your step in the interest of your partner, he can be adjusting his.
And the dance across the floor begins.
An ebb. A flow. An adjustment here. A slight hiccup there. A beautiful move. A step in time. Each partner sensing the movement of the other and making room and compensation for it as the other does the same.
And the two become one.
By setting aside self.
In the spirit of Saint Valentine.
In the spirit of real romance.
May the dance begin.