No Greater Love
In Rome AD 269, Emperor Claudius banned marriage because the married men in his kingdom refused to sign up for the army (they didn’t want to leave their wives and families in time of war).
Valentine, a priest, stood against this ban and continued to marry young couples. So Claudius had him arrested and sentenced to death. A prison guard’s daughter, who sympathized with Valentine, visited him often in his cell. On the day of his execution, Valentine sent her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty, signing it, “Love from your Valentine.”
Humble beginnings for the holiday Valentine’s Day has become.
When my children were little, they would spend Valentine’s Day making cards and cookies (loaded with icing), while imagining what future love was in store for them. Because two of them are presently in the military, I’m not sending them the usual card this year. Instead, I’m sending a memory in the form of a care-box filled with tubes of icing and heart-shaped cookies to decorate. Realizing they will most likely skip the cookies and go straight to the icing, it’s my way of bringing them a bit of home.
As you celebrate those you love this Valentine’s Day, remember the priest who stood for marriage, and the soldiers who stand for liberty. Consider sending a soldier you know a card or note, expressing your love, appreciation, and prayers. It will bring him or her a bit of home.
As Jesus Himself taught and demonstrated, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Find out more about the Navigators’ Military Ministry.