Now! This Is Valentine

By Ikenga Chronicles February 17, 2020

Now! This Is Valentine

— By Philip Odoemena    

On February 14th annually, people celebrate romantic love, friendship, and admiration. They celebrate this day by sending messages of love, Valentine cards, flowers and gifts. These methods of appreciation for love and affection are all good and dandy. The question though is, what type of love does Valentine day conveys. Tough question to answer, in order to appease, pacify, or placate all concerned, because different people have different answers to the question, depending on one’s intention and motive for celebrating Valentine’s day.     

To help determine or understand whether or not the message of Valentine day reflects the Bible definition of love or the worldly definition of affection, we can take a look at what 1st Corinthians 13 says about the supremacy of love, it’s application, and it’s indispensability.    

While I am not going to quote the entire Chapter 13 of the 1st Corinthians, I will paraphrase a verse or two and suggest that we find time to read the entire chapter. 1 Corinthians 13: 1-4

“….. if I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong…… if I have the gift of prophesy… if I have a faith that can move mountains….. if I give all I possess, but do not have love. I am nothing”.    

Having noted the above paraphrased verses of  Saint Paul’s message to the Corinthians about love, it is up to us then to determine if our love and affection, or our friendliness to others, both to significant others and to relatives and to families are in line with Paul’s message of love, or whether our love and affection are relevant only on February 14th of every year, or all the years of our association with others.    

“Have no love” That is the key. Are dozens of roses, exorbitant gifts on Valentine’s day reflect 1 Corinthians 13 love? Are these accolades truly reflect “have not” or “have love”? Does a romantic evening only on Valentine’s day reflect “have” or “have not” love?    

Moving forward, St. Paul used an ancient Greek word “AGAPE” to translate love in four different ways. As we celebrate Valentine today, it is imperative that we understand the differences

between the four words. Such understanding will help us search our hearts, and may be, convince ourselves as to what kind of love we have for each other, not only on Valentine’s but all t days of our lives.    

EROS: This kind of love describes erotic love, referring to sexual love     or relating to instant instincts connected with physical   contact and attraction or intimacy between individuals.    

STORGE: The kind of love between families, between parent and child and family members.    

PHILIA:  This describes brotherly and friendly affection. In short, it  means friendship or platonic love. 

AGAPE:   

Defines love without changing, self-giving love. Love that gives without demanding or expecting anything in return.                       

Love that is sacrificial, absorbing and kind.    

Further on Agape, this is the kind of love God has for us. Love that has nothing to do with deceitful emotions but everything to do with self- denial for the sake of another. Another question is can we as human being express perfect Agape love? Almost impossible but we can always pursue it, not only on a Valentine’s day but all the years of our lives.    

Should Valentine day be strictly dominated with “Eros”, emotion, romance, affection, and gift, and when the day is over the individuals say to each other, so long buddy, it was nice doing business with you.     

I wish that the “Agape” love will start, dominate, and prevail in our lives regardless of Valentine day celebration. This is a wishful thinking because of our imperfection. Only God has the power to make this possible.  

In any case, mean time, and in between time, Valentine or no Valentine, the 13th Chapter of the 1st Corinthians ended with the following:    

“And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love”    

  

                                                                                                     

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