By Nasa Afigbo
There has always been a particular topic or word that dominates the month of February, the “Valentine’s Day”. And also a tendency that the aforementioned word is being mentioned or talked about often in discussions that occur between the young and old during this month. The religious bodies aren’t left out as most of the churches and Christian institutions take it upon themselves to host seminars, lectures, and workshops on this day. This is because people have chosen to misunderstand the initial idea that goes with Valentine’s Day.
What is the concept and idea of Valentine’s Day?
According to Rev. Fr. Dr. George WC Nwachukwu, Director of Media/Communications Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, “St. Valentine was a Catholic priest who lived and worked in Rome during the age of persecutions. The emperor, Claudius II ordered that soldiers should not marry to enable them to concentrate on war without a double mind. For that reason, the soldiers began living promiscuous life and Valentine said no. He ordered soldiers to marry and he was wedding them secretly. For that reason, he was caught imprisoned and executed on the 14th of February, AD 270. That day was established as St. Valentine’s Day. It is not sex day, it is not an immoral day, it is not a promiscuous day but a day people celebrate true love. A life that is willing to lay down life for others as Jesus did and as Valentine did. Others are embellishments.”
Having understood the concept and idea of this day let’s look at the types of love.
There are four types of love which are also acknowledged in the Bible:
1. Eros love: when translated, mean romantic love. The Greek word erotas means intimate love. You can see where we derive the modern-day term ‘erotic. In modern society, this is the intimate passion you feel for a lover
2. Philia love: is a friendly or brotherly love. The love felt between close friends, mentors, teams, and close communities.
The important difference between eros and philia is that philia is a dispassionate, virtuous love; dispassionate in that there is not a romantic side to this relationship.
3. Storge love: is familial love, the affectionate love you have for your family, whether that be your son, daughter, mother, father, or immediate/extended family. Storge is considered to be the most natural or common manifestation of love that we know.
4. Agape is considered the greatest of the four loves in the Bible, as it is not contextual; changing circumstance. It defines God’s immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It also translates beautifully to the ‘Golden Rule’ that is expressed by the world’s’ various religious scriptures — “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” -By Eric Brown.
This brings us down to the question, where’s the love on Valentine’s Day? A day for all forms of love to be shown but how many of these are shown on this day. The most dominating form of love on this day is Eros love, which involves a boy and girl who are intimate. And yet it is not being expressed genuinely between both parties because there are different contradicting scenarios that occur on this day. A lady gets annoyed because her man didn’t get her Val’s gift when other days he frequently buys her gifts and perhaps the phone she’s currently using or bracelet she’s wearing was gotten by that same man some months back. Can you please tell us why you’re angry with your partner over an absence of Val’s gift when you are supposed to love your partner at all times and on this very Valentine’s Day, but no you choose to ruin it? My friend Choco said, “most people don’t understand the meaning of love, because when you love someone truly the greatest gift is their presence.”
A certain amount of statistics shows that most singles are happy and okay on Valentine’s Day but not all hooked are because singles know that there’s no significant other present to make Valentine’s Day extravagantly special, so there are no expectations from them. This is where self-love and agape love sets in. They just have their alone-fun time either at the movies, home, office or with friends and family if they want to; but the hooked is filled with high expectations and lots of prediction for their partners and when things take the wrong turn sadness, pain, suspicion, and disappointment becomes their company throughout Valentine’s Day and after.
Then for the singles who get jealous and depressed because they need to be loved when they see couples celebrate love. Where’s the love? The Agape love given to us by Christ, the Philia love from our friends, Storge love from our family and self-love that can only be generated from our personal choice for happiness; chose wisely.
Some people admire the outside appearance of love over the real procedures of being in love, people may just spend lots of money buying gifts, flowers and so on, but they are doing so out of duty, not devotion. Just because a man/woman doesn’t buy flowers for their partner on Valentine’s Day, doesn’t justify that this partner, whom he/she has married to for ten years, suddenly doesn’t love. On the other hand, what hinders one from buying and spending expensively for the one you say you love? Some Couples might buy a gift because they know that the other person would.
When it comes to the matter of love, humans are only interested in the idea of being in a relationship. The image that clouds our mind on Valentine’s Day is only that of a man and woman. We choose to annihilate the ruling inducement of 14th February that Valentine was persecuted for his genuine love towards mankind. Should it be just for the exchange of gifts between couples? What about family and friends and extending to the motherless babies and less privileged?
What’s your view about Valentine’s Day?
Do you think Valentine’s Day is still actually what it used to be in this present time?
Do you think Valentine’s Day is overrated or underrated?