Love is in the air but not Pagan love

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

By Karen Y. Stevens

Valentines Day is a combination of several things:

1) A Roman priest named Valentine that was martyred,

2) An ancient pagan ritual known as Lupercalia Day, and

3) Todays version of an onset of flowers, candy, cards, and long lines for restaurants.

The pagan ritual is quite interesting. From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then young women would line up, so the naked, drunk Romans would whip the women with the hides of the animals they had just slain, says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. They believed this would make the women fertile. (How stupid were these people?)

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

Later, Pope Gelasius, muddled things in the 5th century, by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. Real romantic, huh? Makes you want to run out and buy candy, and cards for your loved ones. (Defiantly not be whipped!)

There are 442 scriptures with the word “love” in it.

In Matthew 22:36-40 it states; “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”

A well- known saying, that is not in the Bible but good wisdom, is “Love covers a multitude of sins.”

You can look at that statement several ways, but the version I like best, is the love you receive will help you over come the guilt of your own sins, toward that person.

When we feel love, we feel validated. We feel worthy or important, and we have more confidence in our abilities. Psychologist say always give encouraging words to your children, to show love, and build their confidence. This is not just for kids. We should be doing this for everyone we meet to help them love more deeply, but we must be genuine.

I know several women that just say the same encouraging words to everyone they meet. You don’t receive their encouraging words, because you know it’s a habit for them.

I stated last week that people are usually the demise of my moods, so this is extremely challenging for me. I must search hard for something nice to say to someone, when they are altering my mood, if you get my drift. I know God has been speaking to me about this, so I’m setting my sights on the goal to love the unlovable, or at least the ones that are mood altering.

It states in John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus tells us that love should be our top priority to our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Let’s honor God, and use the month of “love”, to encourage one another with love. Let’s keep love in the air, and not as the Romans and Pagans did!

Karen Y. Stevens is founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild