John Weaver's BUGB Blog entry for Februay:
The staple diet for many popular magazines like OK and Hello are relationships: who is going out with whom or who has broken up with whom. Amongst the latest are Paul McCartney who is allegedly about to marry his girlfriend Nancy Shevell, and Chelsy Davy who has split up with Prince Harry.
Relationships play an important part in all our lives and our interest stems from our fundamental need for love – the desire to find someone with whom we can share our lives at the deepest and most intimate level. This is something that God intended for us, as we read in Genesis 2.
When God provided Adam with a partner, Eve, she is a “helper fit for” Adam, which in Hebrew has the meaning of one who provides what is lacking in the one needing help, one who is a counterpart, a companion, a complement, and matching Adam’s distinctiveness in creation. There is no sense of superiority or inferiority or subordination here. So here in this second story of creation we have the equality of the sexes; and we find that we need each other for our wholeness.
Scripture tells us that relationships are good. They are to be rejoiced in, and they are affirmed by God, and they find their context in commitment, which Genesis 2 presents as marriage.
Sadly today many relationships between men and women and also between communities and nations are marked by abuse, a lack of trust and a thirst for power and control. Loving relationships are sometimes marked more by fear than by fun; sexual fantasies and temptations get out of hand; and sexuality becomes the context for shame, guilt and destructive and abusive lives.
February brings a day that causes as much joy and heartache as any other day in the year – Valentine’s Day. My youngest grandchild is very fortunate as she was born on February 14th. No teenage pain for her, not the ‘tragedy’ of no one loving her – she will be awash with cards on Valentine’s Day.
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. St. Valentine helped Christian martyrs and secretly married couples in defiance of an edict from Emperor Claudius II, who was worried that marriage led to a fall in the number of men joining the army. St. Valentine was condemned to death, beaten with clubs and had his head cut off on 14th February, 269AD. At that time it was the custom in
Gradually, February 14th became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. So a day to celebrate one Christian’s sacrificial love and discipleship has become a day of joy or heartbreak, a day to bask in popularity or to feel rejected. Far from a day of celebration, many dread its approach. In
St. Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and when she was prevented from marrying her true love she devoted herself to God for the rest of her life. She founded a convent, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage. Visitors believed that the sacred fish that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be filled with love and happiness.