Knowing the History Behind Valentine’s Day Can Change You.


Cupids, red hearts, and boxes of chocolates are hallmarks of valentine’s day. Inscribed in cards, words like ‘from your valentine’  cross hands on this worldwide celebration on February 14th.  But the history of this romantic holiday is not so lovey-dovey. This celebration of red roses and love was conceived in a vicious, gloomy, and gory past.

On St. Valentine’s day, it’s typical to see friends and loved ones present lavish gifts. Peers swap friendship cards; couples may express their love with romantic dinners, fine wine, and pieces of jewelry. Several others have a blitz on social media with chocolate Tweets and Instagram photos of smiling, happy couples holding hands. Instagram feeds buzz with gorgeous love sights and red hearts on this amorous day. Yet for many without partners, it’s another SAD —Singleness Awareness Day.

However, knowing the history of valentines day is crucial. It helps us identify, clarify and appreciate the purpose behind the celebration. This amplifies our experience as well. 

History of Valentine’s Day Holiday (Video Below)

Though valentines day has been celebrated for many centuries past (for 1527 years), the truth about its history is cloaked in mystery. Some sources say St Valentine’s day is the Catholic church’s attempt to Christianize the pagan fertility festival (Lupercalia).

Another source points to at least two catholic priests by the name of Valentine or Valentino, who were both martyred for their faith. 

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The one Valentine defied  Emperor Claudius II’s decree to stop coordinating marriages ( Claudius’s decision that single men made better soldiers than married men) by continuing to perform marriages for lovers in secret. The other Valentino might have been beheaded in an attempt to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons.

Despite the ambiguity in the origin of saint Valentine’s day, I’d like to believe that Valentine’s day has so evolved with such craze because of the deep desire in humans for love and intimacy. Many laud the purported St Valentinos as the day’s heroes because they acknowledged and forfeited convenience for a weighty cause. A love cause forged in the inferno of compassion, perseverance, and faith even unto death. 

There are those who couldn’t care less whether it’s the saint, a pagan festival or  the idea of love that’s being observed.  There are others, however, whose social reputation and standing will be upheld by the unfolding of this year’s valentines day.  

Not only are young and impressionable teenagers susceptible to being stung by the falling out of Valentine’s day, but countless studies also show that the buzz of Valentine’s day affects both singles and married, the young and the old alike. 

So whether you’re married, single, a teenager, a young adult, or a child, here are 4 things that should shape how you celebrate Valentine’s Day.


Four (4) things worth knowing about Valentine’s Day.

1. The Holiday is another big enterprise for mass marketers.

In the United States alone, in 2017, a 40 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates were sold for Valentine’s Day.

backstory of valentines dayAn astonishing number of people are in debt, and each year, many will add to their debt on valentine’s day. Big brands and marketers hype and commercialize valentines day for their bottomline.  Then why should you squirm and stress to buy what you cannot afford?

As BA Blueprint puts it, the national holiday serves more as a nationwide fundraiser for local businesses around you. Valentine’s day is killing many. So,

Do Don’t
  • Live by principle and be guided by wisdom.
  • spend within your means. 
  • Find cheaper ways to have fun. 
  • Don’t buy because of pressure to impress.
  • Don’t buy because others are buying stuff. 

2. Valentine’s day incites unrealistic expectations and comparisons

Nothing muddies an otherwise happy mood until you see how, where, and what elaborate things others do —that you’re missing out on. Consequently, there’s a tendency to feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and disdainful for our current circumstances. Expectations of valentines day can ruin relationships. So, this valentine’s day,

Do Don’t
  • Find something to be thankful for —your life, friends, spouse, friends, relationships.
  • Be contented with where you are.  Many don’t have the basic necessities of life you have. Godliness with contentment is great gain ( 1 Tim 6:8)
  • Go out of your way to do something for someone without expecting a payback.
  • Find time to do what you like with those you like and where you’re at.
  • Don’t place yourself in places that incite envy if you’re inclined to self-pity.

Read here, the unusual way the pandemic provoked Hef-zibah to appreciate her marriage.

3. Valentine’s day will come and go, but your values will outlast you

However you spend the day remember that your values on this day will leave prints after you. Your expectations from your spouse will affect other aspects of your relationships someday.

Singles or young people, don’t let the pressure to be partnered up or to date a girl/ boy make you devalue your morals. Your friends who tease you today will not leave with the regrets of your tomorrow.  Don’t be desperate! To the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. So,  

Do remember that


  • You are worth more than your peers perceive of you
  • What you think of yourself is more important than what others think of you
  • Your choices will show up in the vicinity of your tomorrow —regret, soiled conscience, horrible break up, bad eating habits, low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, mental stress…
  • Focus on knowing and adding value to yourself. When you really know yourself no one will make you feel otherwise.



  • Be hungry for a relationship, boy/girl friend, party, box of chocolate, so as to fit in
  • Steal, cheat, stress, or compromise your values for the fleeting happiness of one day.
  • Don’t be afraid to be alone. All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone—Blaise Pascal
  • Don’t enter a relationship to fulfil a crush. Most of the things you see and trip about today, will be nothing to you tomorrow

4. Romance is only a tiny fraction of  love and intimacy

Romance is only a tiny fraction of love and intimacy. Nevertheless, connecting with others and meeting their needs is a richer source of satisfaction and happiness.

That’s why Valentine and even the purest of all men who ever lived —Jesus—modeled selfless love even when it hurt. Off course it’s way easier for us to hold onto what’s most alluring (romance) while discarding the more demanding elements of love like commitment, selflessness, and discomfort. 

No wonder a day we embellish romantic love is also a day that triggers countless breakups. Let this valentine’s be a reminder to live simply and selflessly. Hence,

Do… Don’t …
  • Introspect and check if you know the source of true love
  • Reflect and compare your love against the model of love set out in 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Identify what aspects of love you struggle with and how you’ll change 
  • Focus on building friendships instead of one-on- one romantic settings.
  • Celebrate valentine everyday. Love daily.
  • Focus on romance but be interested in wholistically loving people
  • Limit valentine’s day to the opposite sex relationships. Be inclusive of the people you appreciate on valentines day and always

Less Expensive Ways to Appreciate Your Spouse (Valentine or not).


1. Schedule date nights  in calendar 

The grind of work, taking care of kids, and the home does take its toll on marriages. Hence scheduling date nights ahead makes it more likely to set out time for yourselves.

2. Set a budget for your (valentine’s) spending

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun. Sometimes it just needs some preplanning, and google searching.  Check out if these last minute valentines day gift below are within your budget.

3. Try out new routines and events to enliven your relationship


  • Enjoy dinner and a movie at home
  • Go on a date in the morning rather than in the evening. Breakfasts are usually cheaper than dinners
  • Take dance or sporting classes together
  • Cook dinner together
  • Go on a hike. It’s refreshing, and you’ll spend quality time together. And your heart will thank you for it.
  • Go for fruit picking
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood or a nature trail

Check out how my friendship blasted off just by doing this.


Final thoughts on celebrating valentine’s day.

Whether single or married, let valentine’s be a reminder to give more than we request for ourselves. It should be a time to appreciate ourselves and the people around us.

It’s not just the loud bangs of romance that holds up a relationship. Its also the consistent support, affirmation and encouragement we give to others, especially our significant others, that truly holds up our relationships. Let the love of Jesus be shared abroad in your hearts today and always!

Happy valentine’s day!


How the true history of valentine’s day can shape your life.