I love knowing things. When I was a little girl I was always asking questions. Somewhere between the self-centered teen years and the sleep deprived years of motherhood, the joy of asking questions got lost. Now that I have a variety of children in my home, all different ages and stages of life, I have found that magical exciting art of asking and answering questions resides happily once more in my home. The wonderful thing is that often it is I asking the questions, and different ones of my children answering my questions recalling information they glean during their studies. With this thought in mind, I decided to learn about the history of Valentines Day.
I was surprised to find out that there are three known “St. Valentines” in history, and the actual facts behind the holiday is not exactly known. The most likely version of the origins of St.Valentines Day is probably the one about a priest named Valentine that lived during the reign of Claudius II. Apparently, Claudius felt that married men were a liability to his army. If you are married, you would be less likely to take risks, be brutal and content with living in foreign lands indefinitely. Due to this sentiment Claudius made it against the law to marry soldiers. This was a shock to the roman people because previously marriage and family were highly prized in their society.
Valentine, a Christian priest did not agree with this decree and secretly would marry soldiers on request. The emperor heard of this and immediately confined Valentine to jail. Claudius is said to have like Valentine and offer him his freedom if he renounced this practice. Valentine refused and was sentenced to death on February 14th. On the day of his death, he reportedly wrote a love letter to his own sweetheart and signed it “I will always be your Valentine”. The first martyr for marriage (that I know of 🙂
This lead me to thinking about my own efforts to stand up for truth no matter what the consequences are. Thus far, my efforts to stand up for truth have not been very dramatic or uncomfortable. I suspect that this will change as time goes on. I think we are going to be finding more and more people who are trying to destroy marriage and family as we know it. Just like the Proclamation to the family states-marriage between a husband and wife is vitally important to us and society. Without strong marriages, our society would crumble, and is crumbling as marriages are deteriorating. A great mormon message“Saving Your Marriage” talks about how important it is to protect our marriage.
Recently my kids and I put together some Valentine packages for some cousins. Three packages were “Date Kits” for our three newly wed cousins and one was a “Date/Valentines” box for our single new college cousin who is in Hawaii.
It was so delightful working with my kids on this project. They all chatted about their cousins, talked about how when they were just married or going to college how they wanted a package as well. Lots of giggles too as they tried to imagine the ‘date’ that would evolve with the random Valentine items we found (we are hoping they send us a picture of their date, or at least receiving the package). It was a great activity to remind us that because of my own parents marriage, we have a delightfully large extended family that we belong to.
In the talk “Protect The Children” by Dallin H Oaks. In it he states :
Of utmost importance to the well-being of children is whether their parents were married, the nature and duration of the marriage, and, more broadly, the culture and expectations of marriage and child care where they live. Two scholars of the family explain: “Throughout history, marriage has first and foremost been an institution for procreation and raising children. It has provided the cultural tie that seeks to connect the father to his children by
binding him to the mother of his children. Yet in recent times, children have increasingly been pushed from center stage.”12
A Harvard law professor describes the current law and attitude toward marriage and divorce: “The [current] American story about marriage, as told in the law and in much popular literature, goes something like this: marriage is a relationship that exists primarily for the fulfillment of the individual spouses. If it ceases to perform this function, no one is to blame and either spouse may terminate it at will. … Children hardly appear in the story; at most they are rather shadowy characters in the background.”13.
. . . Summarizing decades of social science research, a careful scholar concluded that “the family structure that produces the best outcomes for children, on average, are two biological parents who remain married.”18 ANew York Times writer noted “the striking fact that even as traditional marriage has declined in the United States … the evidence has mounted for the institution’s importance to the well-being of children.”19
He goes on to quote statistics and studies that support the fact the importance of marriage. Being a ‘stat’ kind of girl, I appreciate science that backs up my beliefs. I was especially interested in reading a book called “A Case For Marriage-Why Married People Are Healthier, Happier, and Better off Financially“. In this book, the authors, makes an incredible ‘case for marriage’. They talks all about the health of the people involved, men, women and children. They talks about peoples satisfaction levels, backing each section up with research and statistics. One of the cool points they makes is that just having a piece of paper saying you are married tends to make both man and woman live longer. This is true, even if the marriage is described as ‘unhappy’. If the marriage is a happy one, the effects are even greater. I was glad to read this, because I find being a wife and mother so enjoyable that I am thrilled to know I can expect to do it for many more years to come 🙂