Words of Hope: Sincere Devotion

It is Valentine’s Day, a day most people focus on romantic love. However, the namesake for this day was deeply devoted to so much more than romantic love. There are many legends about Saint Valentine, many around him restoring sight and having the gift of healing. There are stories of Saint Valentine giving hearts to encourage Christians being persecuted by Rome. He was also famous for marrying couples secretly to allow the husbands to escape induction into the pagan army in defiance against the edict of Emperor Claudius. He was caught aiding Christians, which was considered a crime and executed on February 14th. Saint Valentine’s martyrdom on this day has morphed into a time for the celebration of romance and devotion.  

Dad was not necessarily a great romantic like my husband Shann. Dad didn’t often give roses, chocolates, and he sometimes forgot the day entirely. But Dad was incredibly devoted.  

One of my favorite passages is Romans 12.  

In the middle of the chapter, it says love must be sincere. Sincerity was one of my dad’s biggest strengths. He was one of the sincerest people I have ever met. He believed what he said. When he said he loved someone, they believed it. I never doubted my dad’s sincere love for me and my family.  

Sincerity means wholehearted, genuine in feeling, without pretense, earnest devotion without reservation. Dad valued sincerity. He expected it as a coach. He believed it to be the cornerstone of a heart for God. Dad felt broken hearted when he learned about the insincerity of love.  

He devoted his entire life to the mission of loving God and loving people. Dad lived without compartmentalization of his heart. He lived without guile or duplicity. He loved deeply, devotedly, and with the greatest sincerity I have ever seen.  

Happy Sincere Devotion Day in honor of the martyr St. Valentine to all of you at Words of Hope. 

Romans 12:9 – Love must be sincere.