by Dr. Stephen Kim

Earlier this week, my wife and the women of my church were having a discussion on the issue of “Valentine’s Day.”  Whether or not the day ought to be celebrated often becomes a topic of contention in many churches during the month of February.

Very early in our marriage, we decided not to celebrate “Valentine’s Day.”  The women in my church were curious and were asking my wife for our reasons.  Later in that day, my wife requested that I write her an email reminding her of the reasons for our decision. Below is the actual email that I wrote to my wife wherein I reiterated the “why’s” of our position concerning the Feast of Saint Valentinus.

Dear Wife,

Good question.  Here’s my short, but to the point, response.

The reasons we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day are:

  1. Christians are told to actively flee sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18).  Valentine’s Day was a “Chrisitanized” version of a February pagan holiday celebrating eroticism (sexual lust) and fertility. That much, is pretty much a fact and universally accepted. Although I admit the fact that we do not know which “St. Valentine” we are attempting to commemorate, even your Gospel Coalition article concedes that, “It was 469 when ‘Valentine’ was given a feast day, in the hopes of replacing February’s pagan feasts of love and fertility with a theme of Christian love and martyrdom” (emphasis mine).  We are rather certain, therefore, that it was a “holiday” created to replace a day of rampant sexual immorality.
  2. The argument that, “Well, Christmas replaced what was once a pagan holiday” does not hold weight because Christmas does not hold any remnants of the pagan holiday that it supposedly replaced (the modern Valentine’s Day is still a celebration of eroticism–not Christian martyrdom).  Irrespective of when Christ came, we know for sure that He did come.  Hence, in celebrating Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus–not the date nor the time of year.  It may very well have replaced a pagan holiday, but it’s called Christmas for a reason.  Valentine’s Day does not celebrate the person of Christ or any other historic point of redemptive history. Rather than celebrate Christian martyrdom, the present-day celebrations of Valentine’s Day seem to mirror pagan celebrations that the Church hoped to supplant.
  3. As born-again Christians, we do not celebrate any of the “feast days” of Roman Catholic/Early Church “saints.”  If one celebrates the “feast day” of St. Valentinus, then why does one not celebrate the “feast days” of all the other Roman Catholic/Early Church “saints?”  The Roman Catholics are at least consistent.  They celebrate them all.  Why are we just choosing to celebrate the feast day of Saint Valentinus? We should not be celebrating any of Rome’s feast days.
  4. The Roman Catholic Church’s (depending on your dating of the beginning of Roman Catholicism) desire that St. Valentine’s Day replaces a day of “pagan feasts of love and fertility” has not worked.  Justin Taylor rightly noted this fact in the Gospel Coalition article that you sent me.  Taylor wrote, “Judging by today’s customs I’d say the scheme wasn’t altogether successful.”  I would agree with Taylor.  Unfortunately, quite the OPPOSITE has occurred.  What might have eventually passed into oblivion (as all other ancient pagan holidays), is now a recurring celebration of eroticism, pre-marital sex, and fertility–all in the name of “Saint Valentine.”  Sex is commercially lucrative as businesses globally gear-up for the celebration of erotic love (it is not arbitrary that the movie Fifty Shades of Grey is being released on February 14).  In New York City, countless men are drooling at the opportunity to fornicate for a box of chocolates.
  5. I do not understand the notion of this “holiday” serving as a reminder and impetus for Christian love.  Christians do not need a “Day of Saint Valentinus” to demonstrate the command to “love one another.”  2 Peter 1:7 says that we ought strive continually for “godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”  Valentine’s Day does not fulfill this exhortation.  “Christian love” is not a sexual love. Hence, Valentine’s Day (which is usually the celebration of erotic love) does not convey “Christian love.” Christian men do not “celebrate” Valentine’s Day with other Christian men. Additionally, marital love can be properly celebrated (e.g., date nights, anniversary dinners, etc.) without the tethering to a Romish feast day.
  6. Unhealthy secular peer pressure for our youth.  Say what you want about “redeeming” the holiday for our Christian youths, the fact of the matter is that when you’re a Christian kid in a secular high school and all your peers are getting Valentines and “getting laid,” Christianity and the “redemptive” nature of Valentine’s Day tends to take a back seat.  (And I mean way back.)
  7. Don’t forget how much unwarranted pressure unmarried, single Christians feel on “Valentine’s Day.” They probably feel incomplete, incompetent, and intolerable on February 14th.  You can only imagine…

Finally, I deeply love you.  But not in the Saint Valentinus way.  I love you in the Jesus way: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

Christ, not Valentinus, is our standard for Christian love.

With love,


About Dr. Stephen Kim

Dr. Stephen Kim is the senior pastor of Mustard Seed Church in New York City. He has also served as Associate Director of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, NYC Extension Center. Pastor Stephen is the happy husband of one beautiful woman and the joyous father of four beautiful children. As a pastor and writer, he is passionate about accurately feeding Christians the Word of God: “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?" (Matthew 24:45).
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  1. Amelia tafolla says:

    Why get married


  2. Emmanuel c says:

    Thank you sir i love what you said about valentine it is christ we should celebrate not valentine


  3. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t think it is right to celebrate valentine day by Christians.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Michael Olufunke says:

    well, i just felt , we need to organize a programme for our youth/tenagers so as to educate them more on this especially on that particular date . So as not to allow them to have their way outside there. Bringing them together on that very day to educate them will really do them good because so many destiny are ruin on February 14. The understanding of what Valentine day is does not depict Xst love for those that believe in Valentine> So churches all over should make use of this day to redeem lives.



  5. Onoars Sam says:

    When you have the spirit of God, you do not need someone to tell you that these celebration are deceptive. Valentine is not of God and it has no root in your heart. True christian are not to be part of this celebration. many reasons why many people do not feel God presence in thwir life.is because their heart is corrupt. their are some many people that have died because of the love the have for God and the are not been celebrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would really agree that Valentine’s Day should not be celebrated by Christians. However, the same reasoning can also be applied on Christmas Day. Christmas has it pagan origin and it is not really the birth of Christ that is being celebrated, but the birth of a pagan god, Mithras. All pagan holidays are abomination to God, be it Christmas or Valentines.


    • chinedu Eze says:

      Both the valentine and the Christmas day may replace a day of pagan feast…. Christmas day(though no actual day) celebrate the birth and person of Christ. What about the valentine day? It does Not celebrate the person of Christ or any Other historical point of redemptive history.


      • Did the bible command Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birth? From Genesis to Revelation, you will not find any command. If God really wants us to celebrate it then why not give us the specific mandate and date?


  7. johanna says:

    I would have a lot more respect for this if I understood why you celebrate ChristMAS and have an issue with Valentines Day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Miriam says:

      That is a fair point. This is double standards. Just because the name CHRISTMAS has a word Christ and that makes Christian.
      Let us heed the warning in Matthew 24:5. Many will come saying in Jesus name and deceive many people. Just because something has Christ in it does not make it Christian. Please give us a more valid argument and a Biblical one people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lebo says:

        Christmas is the birth if Christ. Valentines is not about Christ. Its that simple. What other explanation do you want? Christmas doesn’t have to be in the bible. But the bible talks about the birth of Christ. There’s no easter celebration in the bible bt we celebrate it. So let us make unnecessary arguments.


        • I would celebrate Christmas if you can provide me a verse that says December 25 is Jesus’ birth. Even easter is rooted in Paganism. The only holy days God commanded His people to celebrate are mentioned in Levitcus 23.


        • Steve says:

          Great article, but Christmas is just a carbon copy of the former pagan Roman Holiday with Jesus name slapped on top of it. Just about all the former pagan symbols and still being used during Xmas now. The birth of Christ is during the Feast of Taberncales.


  8. Emilie says:

    As a single woman who loves the Lord, I don’t view Valentines Day as a day to “feel incomplete, incompetent, and intolerable”. The fact that you say that makes me wonder if the women around you are reminded of (and encouraged in) their true identity in Christ. If I truly understand my worth in the Lord, no day can shake that – especially not a fabricated holiday. I may notice my lack, but that should turn me to Christ. I think the bigger issue here isn’t whether or not we celebrate Valentines Day, but how we’re living EVERY day. You posted a lot of negative things here, but as in John Pipers case, he’s taken a “pagan holiday” and redeemed it by posting a sweet poem to his wife. No one thinks he’s glorifying Valentines Day or the pagan roots behind it. They instead see a man modeling a Christ-like love for his wife in a very public way. I use Valentines Day to speak up about seeking contentment in every season of your life (as in this post on my “singles love story”: http://bit.ly/1vUWQkp). We have a chance to show the world what true love is: sacrificial, patient, kind, just, humble (all attributes of Christ and His love). Why not use the platform of Valentines day to show what that love is, and then continue it into every day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miriam says:

      When people think of Valentine, honestly, they do not think of Christian love. I have never heard of such a thing. When people think of Valentine it is a day of being lover dovey with you girl friend or spouse. Let us be frank, we Christian we loved this pagan idea and we thought how can we make it ours. How can we celebrate it without feeling ashamed and being the same as world? AHA! Christian Love.
      The day was never ours and why steal it. The day never heard that purpose


    • imsetfree82 says:

      Thanks for sharing. You are absolutely right on the identity in Christ bit. We are HIS beloved bride whatever our marital status on earth. God bless you sister


  9. Wale. says:

    Its a celebration of immorality pure & simple! We should have no part in such!


  10. anonymousMe says:

    It also seems like this ‘holiday’ lures women into the trap of discontent and pride, as more often than not they are comparing with their friends over who received the best gifts. Rather than focus on the love their husbands show them all year long by continuing to provide and care for them, they fuss and whine over their friends getting expensive jewelry and worthless trinkets, ignoring the other 100+ times over the last year their own husbands took them out or treated them to something nice. Then the men try to one up each other by showing off what they purchased, as if it makes them better men. We should be content with what God has blessed us with, whether it be a little or a lot. Instead of love, this day tends to breed discontent and frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

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