By Lavern Nissley
So, how’s that for a blog post title 2 days before the day of love? Yet, it truly reflects my heart on the emphasis of singling out one day a year for an inferior type of love that has a truly bizarre origin.
You know the drill if you’re interested in hearing more.
If you’ve ever explored the historical roots of Valentines Day, you’re aware of some bizarre customs in Ancient Rome February 13-15 during the feast of Lupercalia. Men hit on women. Literally.
Drunk and naked men would sacrifice a goat and dog, then whip women with the hides of the animals just slain.
Apparently women lined up for this, believing it would enhance their fertility. A matchmaking lottery followed complete with coupling up for the remainder of the feast.
The name Valentine’s Day likely came from a Roman Emperor’s execution of 2 men named Valentine on February 14 in different years of the 3rd century AD. The Catholic Church honored their martyrdom with a special day.
(From The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day, NPR, February 13, 2011, Arnie Seipel)
Ugh! And ugly.
Such a far cry from true and authentic love that doesn’t degrade either men or women, but rather, transcends the base rituals that every generation comes to see as normal and OK.
And rather than a single day of erotic love, I am inspired by an every day sacrificial love that puts the other person first. That seems to work better for Ronda and me, even though we don’t always hit the target.
Here’s a transcendent and beautiful definition of unselfish love:
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Happy day of LOVE! However, make it your aim to live it out DAILY.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.