In a matter of days we celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending a card to the love of our life, buying flowers, chocolates or a host of other things to ‘prove’ our love for our one true love. Some people hate the rampant commercialism whilst others among us go along for the ride. I myself think that any custom that provokes us to keep the flame of love alive has got to be a good one.
But how did it all start?
The history of Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. Some say it has its origins in an ancient Roman custom associated with youthful expression of love. Valentine’s Day is derived from the name of St Valentine who was a devout Christian living during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military campaigns.
He believed that the reason was that Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families in order to go to war. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine and Marius, who were the equivalent of modern day priests or Christian ministers, refused to obey this unjust and ridiculous edict.
Valentine, and others with him, continued to aid their fellow Christian martyrs, and secretly married couples who wanted to pledge their troth in marriage. For this act of kindness Valentine was put in prison and ultimately cruelly executed. Tradition tells us that while in prison he prayed for the prison guard’s daughter who was healed of blindness.
Many other young people came to the goal to visit Valentine. Some threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted Valentine to know they were thankful that he would risk his life to marry them and accept their vows of love. On the day that he died, February 14, 268 AD, Valentine left a note of love and encouragement for the jailor’s daughter in her new found faith, signed simply, ‘Your Valentine’.
The rest is history. Now 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged around the world every year with words of love and encouragement. Sometimes the simplest encouragements in life have been paid for by others at great cost and often through the shedding of blood of someone’s precious life.
What’s this got to do with being a good father?
The greatest thing you can do for your children as a father is love your wife, ‘your beloved’. Children need love more than food. If you are a man you have a destiny to be a love leader in your family. You don’t need an excuse to send a love note of appreciation to the wife of your youth, but Valentine’s Day gives you an opportunity to put your love into action.
Unfortunately we also have to discuss the challenges that special days such as Valentine’s Day continually have to face. More importantly we have to have this conversation with our children as well.
Opportunistic commercialism can cloud and destroy the real meaning of Valentine’s Day which is all about selfless love. This year Valentine’s Day will have to suffer the release of a supposedly great love story in the form of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. But this is no love story. It is nothing but a porn movie in disguise and should be renamed Fifty Shades of Darkness.
In 2013 I heard US psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman speak at the World Congress of Families in Sydney. I would describe her as one of the best speakers in the world about the dangers of pornification to both our children and our society. She has this to say about Fifty Shades of Grey:
“Hollywood’s gift to us this Valentine’s Day is Fifty Shades of Grey. With Universal Picture’s mega million dollar publicity campaign, and a soundtrack by Beyonce, your child is about to be bombarded with a dangerous message about romance. Fifty Shades of Grey teaches your daughter that pain and humiliation are erotic, and your son, that girls want a guy who controls, intimidates and threatens. In short, the film portrays emotional and physical abuse as sexually arousing to both parties.
You know these are foul lies, but your kids may not be sure. If the world was a better place, they would never hear such awful things. But this is the world we live in.
The good news is you can turn this to your advantage. Don’t dread all the hype, because it’s a chance to connect with and help your child in a big way. Every billboard, preview, and sound clip is a precious opportunity, a chance to warn your child about being manipulated. It’s a springboard for discussion about disturbed relationships – how to recognize and avoid them.”
Read Dr Grossman’s blogs, warning and equipping parents to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to their children about this movie:
Part 1 – Parent Survival Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey
Part 2 – The Dangers of Fifty Shades of Grey to Your Daughter
Part 3 – MORE Dangers of Fifty Shades of Grey to Your Daughter
Part 4 – The Danger of Fifty Shades of Grey to your Son
Part 5 – How to Speak With Your Child About Sadomasochism
Young women who read sexually violent fiction often display the same behavioural symptoms as those who have actually been victimized, according to a study published last month in Women’s Health. Sexual love between a man and a woman in a committed marital relationship is mystical and magnificent thing. Porn is a cheap and selfish Imitation and can never truly satisfy and is ultimately toxic to a committed marital relationship
A Wikipedia quote puts it this way. “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, had started two petitions to boycott the film’s release. Their website highlights more than 50 reasons the film’s negative impact on the community. They cited, “Hollywood is advertising the Fifty Shades story as an erotic love affair, but it is really about sexual abuse and violence against women. The porn industry has poised men and women to receive the message that sexual violence is enjoyable. Fifty Shades models this porn message and Hollywood cashes the check.”
Do three things this week:
1. Get a card and do something special for your wife in readiness for Valentine’s Day. She deserves it. Raising children and running a household is hard work.
2. At the dinner table tell the story of Valentine’s Day to your children. They need to hear it from you. More importantly they need to see the story of Valentine and his heroic sacrifice of love in you every day of the year.
3. Use the material above to talk through the dangers presented by darkness that masquerades as light. Your children need to know that you love the light and are not interested in cheap imitations.
Yours for more Valentines
PS. This week we sent out an extra and urgent newsletter to tell you about applying for an exciting but limited opportunity – The Stick Kit. My wife and I are going to do the Marriage Kit and we challenge you to do it too!
You have to be quick though because this special offer of $200 from the government ends at midnight tonight.
Use this link, and make sure you allow yourself a good 30 minutes to register with the Department of Social Services and apply for the course.
Let’s do it! What a great Valentine’s Day idea and a great opportunity to improve our love relationships.