Valentine’s Day Message

tommy lawbooks2by Tommy Davis

We have come to symbolically associate the heart with the center of our emotions.  In both the ancient Hebrew and Greek cultures the word “heart” came to mean “that which is central.” This small pumping machine, about the size of one’s fist, beats about 70 times a minute, and 4200 times an hour. That’s 36,792,000 times a year. The heart’s operation can be seriously hampered, or even stopped, if we allow certain habits or circumstances to inhibit its ability to pump its 650,000 gallons of blood per year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. But there is another form of “heart disease” we seldom mention; one in which a man named Valentine sought to fight before the Roman god Cupid came along and pierced his reputation with an arrow.  This one causes thousands of marriages and relationships to die annually.

Romance keeps a marriage interesting, but commitment keeps romance from deteriorating. The choice to commit yourself to your spouse alone is more than just something that takes place at the marriage altar. It must be preserved on a daily basis.

Saint Valentine’s Day was named in honor of Bishop Valentine, who opposed the Roman emperor’s edict forbidding marriage. Valentine encouraged those men under his influence to send letters of intent to those they wished to marry. He would pay the ultimate price by being executed in AD 270, but not without leaving a legacy upholding the institution of marriage.valentine message banner

The Holy Bible uses “heart” to describe the inner man (Ps. 44:21; Prov. 25:3), the mental center (Deut. 29:4; Prov. 22:17), the moral center (Ps. 17:3; Jer. 12:3), and the emotional center (Ps. 27:14; Prov. 12:25). The Bible presents the heart as the seat of emotions and affections, in which we often misdirect at our own peril. The heart is the only vital organ that must function from the beginning stage of its growth (the hearts starts beating at five weeks).

In an effort to combat this form of  “heart disease”, we often make referrals to the Great Physician—Jesus Christ, who will perform the right kind of surgery. God promised: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26). This Valentine’s Day should challenge us to renew our commitment to the zenith of relationships—-the marriage covenant.

Rev. John A. James, an English clergyman and writer of the early 19th century, wrote, “A very great portion of the misery and of the crime with which society is depraved and afflicted is the result of ill-informed marriages.”

Like Bishop Valentine, your chaplains continue to encourage those under our influence to become better fathers and mothers by honoring the principles of a godly marriage because solid families make strong societies. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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