Valentine’s Day is about agape, not eros

There are many stories about the legend of St. Valentine—and they conflict greatly. The one thing we’re most certain of is that God healed an official’s daughter when Valentinus placed his hands over her eyes.

Not particularly romantic, is it?

Today, Valentine’s Day has become all about romantic love. Greeting card companies, candy makers, florists, and jewelers (just to name a few) are delighted. But let’s face it, romantic relationships already have things like anniversaries to celebrate annually.

The Greeks have three words for love, and all three appear in the Bible. Eros is the word for romantic love, phileo is the word for brotherly love, and agape is the word for a surpassing, sacrificial love. Now that’s something we need to celebrate!

Valentine’s Day is a difficult day for some people in our society; people who are not experiencing romantic love. Our warped view of Valentine’s Day makes it something that actually causes pain to some people—people who are frequently among the most loving people in the world!

How unfair!

Our world doesn’t need more people who are in love, our world needs more people who love. There are single people in my life who are incredible people, and share love without limit. Valentine’s Day should be a day of celebration of their love, because my life would be immeasurably poorer if they weren’t in it.

I can’t afford to buy flowers for all of you, but I want you to know that on this Valentine’s Day I’m thinking of you, I’m celebrating you, and I’m thanking God for you. Today is not a day for you to think you’re missing something. Today is a day for you to be reminded that I love you, and I would be missing something without you.