The root is found in 496 A.D., when Pope Gelasius named Feb. 14 as Saint Valentine's Day after a Christian was beheaded on Palantine Hill in Rome in 270 A.D.
Today Valentines are sent expressing affection. Perhaps the nadir of Valentines is this one:
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Your mother was beautiful,
What happened to you?"
Love is a verb, an action word. It is not what you feel emotionally, it is what you do. You don't have to like everyone you love. Like is based on what others do to us. Love is what we do to them. We say we love, but:
It isn't a song till it is sung.
It isn't a bell until it is rung.
It isn't love until it is given away.
In a counseling setting when in New Orleans I mistakenly thought the person knew the meaning of heaping coals of fire on a person's head and asked if she had ever tried heaping coals of fire on her husband's head. She said, "No, but once I did try throwing boiling water on him."
At the time the expression originated, fire was often scarce and the means of starting one difficult. Frequently poor people would ask the wealthy for a coal to start a fire. The response meant to give him so many he would have to carry the heavy container of them on his head. It was an appeal to love so fully as to be generous and gracious.
Karl Menninger, co-founder of the Menninger Clinic, one of the modern era's most outstanding psychologists, observed, "Love is the medicine for the sickness of the world.
Our relationships need more intimacy. Not that kind. This kind. The kind referenced is best understood if interpreted by a sound-alike: "into-me-see."
The word "see" can mean to observe by sight. It can also mean to comprehend, such as in "I see what you mean."
The kind of intimacy in reference means to see in the other person the good that is there. It means to comprehend what is required to fulfill the other person.
Many spouses are screaming for this kind of intimacy. Many youth hunger for it to be given them by their parents. That is, they crave to be understanding of one another and fulfill one another emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually.
Consider those with whom you are most intimate and evaluate each one as to what you can do on an ongoing basis to fulfill them. Fulfilling them will satisfy you. Try it. It soon will become a two-way street.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.
Contact Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.