By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Valentine's Day comes every year on February 14. It is a day known to be full of love and spending time with the person we love. Since much of Valentine's Day is focused on romance or other aspects of being a couple, it can be hard to know if Christians can enjoy Valentine's Day.
While there is nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine's Day, it can be difficult if you are single, if you feel it has pagan roots, or if you feel it might lead you into temptation.
Celebrating Valentine's Day
From my own personal experience, I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I think it goes back to when I was a child, and I was normally the only kid who had a birthday in February, which always directly connected me to Valentine's Day.
As a child, this was embarrassing. As I got older, I've never had a reason to celebrate Valentine's Day outside of handing Valentine's out to classmates in elementary school. Maybe you have felt the same, or maybe there is another reason you're not particularly fond of Valentine's Day.
Maybe it makes you feel alone, causes you to feel guilty because of pagan roots, or maybe it's because you're afraid it could lead you and your partner into temptation if you're not married.
Each of these reasons is valid, and if you have another reason for debating whether or not to celebrate Valentine's Day, your reason is completely valid too.
1. Its Pagan Roots
Valentine's Day does trace back to pagan roots. Many holidays have pagan roots, yet over the course of centuries, many church leaders blended them into Christianity. If you are concerned about the pagan roots of Valentine's Day, you do not have to celebrate this holiday.
If it is causing a great deal of guilt on your conscience, you do not have to celebrate it. However, it is important to note that in the modern way of celebrating Valentine's Day, there is nothing pagan about it.
Those who celebrate Valentine's Day are not worshiping false deities, nor are they offering sacrifices. Rather, Valentine's Day is celebrated by giving out Valentine's cards, taking your love out for a special date, or hosting your own Galentine’s Day (Girls only Valentine’s Day).
Simply because a holiday has pagan roots does not mean you are worshiping paganism when you choose to celebrate or enjoy the holiday.
Ultimately, however, the decision comes down between you and God. If you feel as though the pagan origins are too much to handle, you do not have to celebrate them. It can be hard to enjoy something if you feel guilty about it.
On the other hand, if you do want to celebrate it, you talk about it with God in prayer, and you can celebrate Valentine's in good conscience, then that is also good.
The important part that we need to remember is that we should not condemn a person if they have a different view than ourselves when it comes to Valentine's or any other holiday.
A similar holiday is Halloween. Due to the pagan roots and the deep horror associated with the holiday, many people feel guilty about celebrating this holiday, even though most holiday celebrations for Halloween are mainly themed for children. It's always best to come before the Lord when you make this decision and ask Him for His guidance.
A second problem that can leave Christians wondering if they can enjoy Valentine's Day is if they are single. More often than not, we don't think too much of Valentine's when we are single since the emphasis of Valentine's is on your husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend.
For singles, there's no real point as to why this holiday should be celebrated. For single Christians, you can still celebrate this holiday and enjoy it if you want to.
Instead of having a traditional Valentine's Day, you can have a Galentine’s where you have a Valentine's party with your friends. Usually, during a Galentine’s party, you can play games, dance, listen to music, watch movies, or give each other gifts.
Galentine’s is a great way to enjoy Valentine's even if you don't have a boyfriend or a husband. In the same way, guys can have their own party if they are single for Valentine's. For some individuals, they might not want to celebrate Valentine's in any way.
It could be they went through a bad breakup or something else traumatic has happened in their life. If any of our friends don't want to celebrate Valentine's Day, we don't need to push them, especially if they have recently been through a breakup. It's unreasonable to expect them to just bounce back after a breakup or a traumatic event.
If you would rather be alone on Valentine's, you can buy yourself flowers, chocolates, or something else you have wanted. You could spend the evening watching your favorite movie, listening to music, or catching up on the book you started a while ago.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to strictly be a day you spend with others. It can be a day to just spend alone and enjoy your own company.
A third reason why Christians may doubt if they can enjoy Valentine's Day is the matter of temptation. For unmarried couples, Valentine's Day can pose a great temptation to their sexual purity.
Since a major part of Valentine's has to do with romance, it can often leave unmarried couples feeling insecure or uncertain about celebrating or enjoying this holiday.
The good news is that even though there are parts of Valentine's that can be tempting for unmarried couples, there are many things you can do.
If being alone causes feelings of temptation, try to go on a double date with another Christian couple. Another idea would be not to stay out too late and to avoid staying at your girlfriend's or boyfriend's apartment or house after dark.
Being in a public setting can help you fight against temptation. By choosing Valentine's Day activities such as dinner or going for a stroll in the park, you will be less likely to be tempted.
Another good step would be to talk with your boyfriend or girlfriend ahead of time about the temptation you are feeling. Your boyfriend or girlfriend should care about and respect your opinions.
By being open about your own temptations, it could help your boyfriend or girlfriend do the same. This will also ensure that you are both on the same page and that if temptation happens, you know what to do to stop it.
Celebrating and Enjoying Valentine's Day
While there are mixed feelings surrounding Valentine's Day, it is ultimately between you and God if you decide to celebrate it. There is nothing inherently wrong with Valentine's as it has, over time, just become a tradition.
With that being said, there is no reason Christians cannot enjoy Valentine’s Day. However, if you feel as though this holiday would cause you to sin against God, you don't have to celebrate it. In the same way, if you feel as though it would be too much of a temptation, you can skip this holiday.
At the same time, if you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day, there is nothing wrong, nor is there anything wrong with enjoying it. We don't need to judge those who choose to celebrate it, and we don't need to judge those who choose not to celebrate it.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Nodar Chernishev
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.