Many people associate St Valentine’s Day with the disposable trimmings of love – the ubiquitous roses, chocolates and hearts. But Saint Valentine died for marriage. Tradition states he was imprisoned for performing weddings for the young Roman soldiers banned from marrying by Emperor Claudius II. So today is about enduring love.
Although marriage rates in the UK are declining, there is no such decline in aspiration to marriage. Nearly 90 per cent of teenagers want to get married, according to the Opinion Research Business. Other polling shows that a ‘lasting marriage’ is the leading aspiration among every single age group. People want to make the commitment and wake up to the same Valentine for the next fifty-odd years of their life.
If we are marking today, let us do it properly and remember this majority hope and desire of young people for a happy, stable marriage. The Government should ensure that it supports this valued institution and that its policies do not discourage them from doing so.