By Jessa Chadwick, Contributing Writer (Twitter poll/The Bison)
Some Say Valentine’s Day is a Day to Celebrate Non-Romantic Love
According to a recent Twitter poll, most people think of Valentine’s Day as a day to eat chocolates and go to dinner with their beau.
“It’s a good day to write poetry and eat Haagen-Dazs,” said Rowena R. Strickland associate professor of new testament & Greek Dr. Alan S. Bandy.
But others believe the holiday can bring people closer to the love of God.
OBU alumn Emma Ann Patton stated a similar idea. It is not about how someone celebrates Valentine’s Day but about how they bring others closer to the love of God, she said.
“Ever since high school, my dad has always taken me out to breakfast on Valentine’s Day and that always meant so much to me,” Patton said.
“Most people don’t know the history behind the holiday, but it’s a day that everyone wants to feel loved and remembered (even the people who hate Valentine’s Day).
“Whether you’re single or married or dating, the holiday is an opportunity to remind people of their worth in Christ. That kind of unconditional love that only comes from the gospel is the very thing that St. Valentine was martyred for.”
Although candle-lit dinners and flowers are the stereotype, this holiday is more than a celebration of romantic love between two partners.
However, this month is may not be the favorite for those without a significant other.
“But what about those people that are single?” Bandy said.
“Valentine’s Day is that perpetual reminder that they don’t have anybody. It becomes quite negative. Just like certain holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very painful if somebody died or something tragic happened on those days.
“For those people, especially in terms of Valentine’s Day, it becomes a time where we recognize that we belong to Christ and that He loves us unconditionally. There’s great fulfillment that comes in that. Even for married couples, finding our ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment in our relationship with Christ is first and foremost.”
The love people are supposed to find in Christ is not simply a one-on-one event but a practice that the whole Christian community should be involved in.
“I think romantic love should be celebrated by the church,” Bandy said. “Because it’s a noble thing. It’s something God had created; it’s a beautiful testimony to the nature of both human love as well as divine love.”
As people go about this month, and specifically this holiday, it is important to remember the people they love. Not only romantic lovers, but family and platonic lovers as well.
“It’s always good to do something special for the people that you care about and that becomes a great way to remember to do that,” Bandy said.
“So Valentine’s Day can be a day in which we’re reminded of the value of relationships. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or just a good
friendship, it’s more than just a day of being reminded of ‘singles awareness’ or ‘married awareness.’ That is where I see the value of it, is relationships.”
“I don’t usually connect [Valentine’s Day with my walk with Christ],” senior creative writing major Ruth Ivers said,
“But I think that God showed us the ultimate form of love when He allowed His son to die for us.
“He has always and will always love me and I think that is amazing. I am a sinner and I mess up every day but when He looks at me, He sees his beautiful creation. I look forward to spending my life showing Him how much I love Him, Valentine’s Day or not.”