Happy Valentine’s Day

This post is an exciting one for me, because it’s a sneak peek for you at some changes coming up here at Home-steeped Hope. Starting in March, Cyndy Salzmann–wife, mom, multi-published author and national speaker, is going to become a regular contributor. I hope you’ll check out her site, www.cyndysalzmann.com. In the meantime, here is an especially encouraging Valentine’s Day thought for you straight from Cyndy:

It’s Valentine’s Day! And I thought you might like to know the sweet story behind the holiday. Although there are several accounts about who was the true inspiration for St. Valentine’s Day, my favorite is about a Christian in the early church, named Valentine who was arrested because he refused to pray to the Roman gods. While in prison, he formed a close friendship with a prison guard and his blind daughter.

After many years, Valentine was called before the Roman emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel. Claudius offered him freedom if he would renounce his faith. Valentine refused – and went so far as to share the good news of the Gospel with the emperor in an effort to convert him to Christianity.

Claudius the Cruel flew into a rage and ordered Valentine beheaded. Legend has it that before he was taken to the guillotine, Valentine asked his friend, the prison guard, to give a note to his daughter. As the girl opened the letter, her sight was miraculously restored and she was able to read the note – which was signed “From your Valentine.” Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard?

The story of strong faith and friendship that’s the inspiration for Valentine’s Day brings new meaning to a holiday which often isolates those who may not be involved in a romantic relationship. This holiday is a celebration of the love of a man willing to give up his very life rather than betray God.

His story also brings to mind the great love Jesus demonstrated for us by giving up His life so that we have access to eternal life (John 3:16).

Valentine’s Day also gives us an opportunity to reach out to those around us with the love of Christ. Who in your circle of influence could use a word or touch to show that they are loved? Perhaps it’s a widow in your neighborhood or a single mother who is struggling to care for her children? Maybe it’s a coworker or a veteran living in a nursing home? Who can you encourage this Valentine’s Day?

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

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