Happy Valentine’s Day?

Hi, on this page I will be sharing, reviewing, and recommending resources for children’s, family, and all-age, church-based work. I love to explore and discover new ideas, and creative ways of supporting this fantastic ministry. It’s such a privilege to serve the church and to help make worship meaningful and fun for children and families. I hope you’ll find my ideas and recommendations helpful. 

I am sure that many people will be celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow. The date stands out for me because 51 years ago Ish invited me to a church Valentine’s Party for our first date. It was memorable in that as a young woman, instead of the usual flowers, chocolates, and candle-light that a lady would expect for a typical romantic Valentine’s Day treat – we all played party games like blind man’s buff, musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey in a scruffy church hall. We ate sausage rolls, crisps and drank orange squash. Which I guess was typical of ‘church youth group’ parties! However, I did my best to introduce a little bit of romance by wearing a bright yellow dress with little white hearts printed all over it. A few weeks later Ish proposed to me at Easter. Although the party was not the most romantic event, I am thankful that it brought us together. Nonetheless, it was far removed from the way Valentine’s Day appears to be celebrated today. But are today’s celebrations any better? They are certainly more expensive! Restaurants, shops, and supermarkets appear to be competing with an excess of meal deals, cards, flowers, and champagne and they bombard us with adverts. I wonder – should we buy into this kind of celebration – is it just a bit of fun – what’s it really all about?

On consulting our trusty Anglican Lectionary it would appear many people haven’t quite cottoned onto the origins of Valentine’s Day. History books inform us that there were in fact two Valentines, both of whom were martyrs and eventually both were canonized. Apparently, Valentine of Terni was a bishop in the third century who was taken to Rome and martyred in 273. Valentine of Rome was a priest who was also martyred in the middle of the third century by decree of Emperor Claudius II. The history of the two saints have often become confused over time and merged into one. Although few facts can be obtained about either saint, it may be said both men existed. However, from what I can gather neither had anything to do with hearts, flowers, or cards, they in fact loved God and died for their faith.

Without sounding like a killjoy there are many people I’m sure who just do not want anything to do with Valentine’s Day. I totally understand this because perhaps they don’t agree with buying into the commercialism, or they may have loved and lost someone and don’t want to be reminded of the pain. Or they may never have loved or felt loved and simply wish it would all go away. Whether we choose to ignore it or embrace it, I try to think of others for whom it highlights their hurt.

One of the things we have done in the past is to offer hospitality, organise a bring and share meal or go out with a group of our wider family and friends for a drink or meal. Just simply to show them we love and care for them and we enjoy each other’s company. Scriptures tell us to love one another as God loves us and perhaps we can do that by thinking about – What is the best way I can love somebody and how would they choose to be loved?  


Read I Corinthians 13 as a prayer

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


No Greater Love: Experiencing the Heart of Jesus Through the Gospel of John by A W Tozer

The Four Loves: Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity by C S Lewis

Loved by Jonny Gumbel

A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love by Max Lucado