A man like St. Valentine had to have known his beloved identity in Jesus as he emulated Christ through his selflessness and commitment to covenant love. At the time in Rome the Christian Church was facing persecution from an emperor named Claudias who had released an edict prohibiting marriage. St. Valentine being a priest secretly married the Christians, and helped persecuted believers. It is said that while imprisoned he prayed for one of his judges, Asterius’ daughter who was blind. The daughter was healed which led to Asterius’ salvation as well. In 269 AD St. Valentine was sentenced to death, and was beaten, stoned, and beheaded for marrying Christians, he was martyred for love and marriage, as was Christ. I love this account of St. Valentine, though how much more powerful that Jesus made the way through His shed blood for us to be worthy to receive Him as the greatest lover of our soul, our Bridegroom King.
The way of the future is the road to marriage. Here is an excerpt from Jesus Christ: The True Bridegroom by Basilea Schlink
“Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. That is why He calls Himself Bridegroom in the Scriptures. His great love desires a bride, a bridal soul. He longs fervently for her love. He looks for her to see whether she is about to come to Him, to see whether she longs and yearns for Him, to see whether she really wants Him alone.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom; this is His very nature. He wants to give us His love; but He is also waiting for us to return His love.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom. His love is a jealous love. He wants you, your soul, completely. He is jealous when you give your love to other people and to other things. He is jealous when pay more attention to them, when you give them more time, more of yourself, than you give Him. Then He stands beside you, grieved. Then He is hurt and wounded, because He loves you so much.
Jesus is a true Bridegroom. He does not force you to love Him. He asks: “Will you give Me your love?”, and He gets what He wants when you do this. Only one thing will satisfy Him – your love. All else is too small for Him: that you believe in Him, that you obey Him, that you come to Him for forgiveness. He is not only your Physician who heals you. He is not only your Redeemer who delivers you from your bonds. He wants to be your Bridegroom, and as Bridegroom He gives you His great, His tender, His most intimate love. Now He is waiting for you to give Him your love. He who loves wants to be loved in return.”
Will you be Mine, says the Lord?
May we cherish this Heart that loves us so, may we offer our love in true companionship to the most Beloved King, the fairest among ten thousand…
“And I will betroth you (Israel) to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and loyalty, and in compassion. I will betroth you to Me in stability and in faithfulness. Then you will know (recognize, appreciate) the Lord [and respond with loving faithfulness].” Hosea 2:19-20 AMP