With Valentine's Day fast approaching - hint hint gentlemen - we thought it'd be appropriate to discuss the word "heart" today. But before we get into that let's dive a little deeper into what is this one day of expressing love for one another? Valentine's Day is time spent expressing our admiration for our loved ones. One day - twenty-four hours to say/show how you love someone.
Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
*To find out more about the history of Valentine's Day head over to History.com
Despite all the history of Valentine's Day the root of the day is centered around "love". Love comes from the heart. You feel love for someone from your heart. So where did this expression come from?
Let's take a look at the biblical history of the word "heart".
In Biblical times the heart was an organ that sustained life. Ancient Israelites wrote of the heart in many different ways. These ways may seem strange to you, but to them, this is what they knew:
The heart is the organ that sustained life.
As for the brain, they had no concept or word for it.
So, the heart was imagined by ancient Israelites as the source of all human's intellectual activity.
In other words, the heart was more than an organ. It was a what helped make decisions, where you felt emotions, pain, experience fear, or depression.
To break it down. In biblical Hebrew, the heart is where you make choices motivated by your desires.
Ding, Ding, Ding! Here's our answer. The expression of love coming from the heart revolves around biblical Hebrew times. The heart is where all choices were motivated by desires.
Why are we bringing this up the word heart and how does this apply to our walk with the Lord?
For us to fully grasp the message, God is conveying to us via His word we have to 1. understand what it
So, you mean I can't just read the Bible and understand all of God's wisdom?
Not exactly. But wait! Don't give up yet.
You see God's word was written a long time ago and in a different language. Since then, the Bible has and still is being translated into many languages. Sometimes language translation doesn't crossover correctly. For example "heart" the biblical Hebrews thought of it as the source of all intellectual activity. In modern day times, we now know the heart is an organ that sustains life, but the brain is where we feel emotions and make decisions.
So for us to fully grasp passages in the Bible, we must do some digging and find out why they speak of the "heart" so much.
Instead of looking the Bible as something we must read we have to look at the Bible as something we must study. Yes, it's in a narrative form, but for us to fully grasp His understanding, we must dive a little deeper. Find out the why and who and how this applies to you.
Back to where I began. Valentine's Day means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and it started out differently then what it is today.
God's word can impact you differently and in different seasons of life. But one thing must remain the same. While His word will affect us differently, it will never change. It's a story of how He redeems His people (you and I). Words given to us so that we can live according to His way of life and share it with those we meet along our journey. God's word has never changed and will never change. Don't let it get lost in translation. Fight to study His word as he intended it to be understood.
Many people will argue different points, theologies, and even throw in their interpretation. Don't get lost in this. Not to say that a good debate isn't healthy, but remember that God's word reigns supreme. If something isn't making sense seek out counsel from your pastors, elders, men's ministry directors, women's ministry directors, youth pastors, and adult discipleship pastors. They all exist to serve you and to lead you towards a life best lived to honor Him!
We're also available. We have a well trained and seasoned missionary with years of experience in training up church leaders abroad and the schooling/degrees to back up all his work. We'd love to schedule a time with you to sit and chat with our team!
An excellent biblical foundation is an essential start to understanding God's word. Start with that and as you explore you'll better understand the narrative, the call on your life, and grace/love God wants for you.
Information cited from The Bible Project - Shema Series. Find out more about their work and how they attempt to bring the Bible to life through illustration.
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!