by Gay Wall/ February 14, 2017
The story about Saint Valentine is that he was martyred in 269 AD for giving assistance to persecuted Christians. The legend has it that Claudius II spoke with Saint Valentine, trying to convert him to Roman paganism, but instead Valentine attempted to convert Claudius to Christianity. According to the story, the Lord healed the jailer’s daughter through Valentine, which resulted in the jailer’s daughter and his 44-member household (family members and servants) coming to believe in Jesus and being baptized.
It is amazing how such a wonderful story of Christian sacrifice has transformed into an international day of cupids, chocolates, roses, and endless attempts at (often bad) poetry.
However, there is a great takeaway for Christian families for Valentine’s Day. The love that we have for our Lord moves us to sacrifice ourselves for others, especially our family, in outward acts that demonstrate we are following the Christ who validates Valentine’s Day!
As ministers, it is often easy to sacrifice time with our families for the sake of our ministry. While being called to go out and do the work of the Lord, we must also remember the importance of nurturing the relationships of our families. Some ways to do that is to schedule time to be with our family. Plan experiences for your family. This doesn’t have to be costly—it could be a day at the park, a trip to a museum, or game night.
Another way to do this is to eat meals together. Try to always eat breakfast or dinner together at a table. One person told me how they made a box for all the cell phones to go in during family time. These meals can be cell-phone-free times where everyone talks together about their days.
While it is incredibly important to take time out of our busy schedules to spend with our family, we must also remember to allow this of our volunteers. Often our volunteers are working 40-plus hours a week and then coming to church to help. I know we all work hard, and likely more than 40 hours a week. But we cannot forget that this is our ministry and our job. Our volunteers are doing something beyond their jobs. We can lean on these volunteers so much that they burn out completely.
Make it a priority to help volunteers, who are sacrificing their time for ministry, to find time to refresh with their families. Make a schedule so they are able to spend a service with family. Have family fun days for fellowship. Help mentor volunteers to take time to renew their spirits so they have more to give.This Valentine’s Day might just be the perfect time to show love with something more than just bad poetry. Model the love for your family and volunteers and their families by doing something to build relationships and refresh your spirits.