Valentine's Day is a great time to teach your children Bible lessons on all the ways God loves us and how we are to return that love both to Him and to others. Consider some of these great verses and hands-on activities that you can use to teach your children some awesome Biblical truths that will change their lives and the lives of others that come into contact with them.
1. The proof that we love God comes when we keep His commandments and they are not at all troublesome. 1 John 5:3 (Message)
Have your children make a list of all the commandments that they think are easy to follow. (You can have your younger children say these out loud and then write their list for them.) When they are done, have everyone share their lists and discuss them as a family. To end the discussion, have everyone give one or two commandments they think are difficult to obey and have everyone in the family pray for each other that the commandments each person finds hard to follow will become easier.
2. The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both. 1 John 4:21 (Message)
Give each child a wire hanger, five pieces of yarn, a pen, and five hearts cut out of paper. On each heart, have them write somebody's name that they love. Let them attach the hearts to the string and then tie the string on the hanger to make a mobile. Talk with them about why they love each person listed on their mobiles. When everyone is done, have each person say one person that they think is hard to love. (Try to keep this from turning negative and gossipy. Do not let them dwell on why they do not like other people.) Let the children take turns praying for the people that are hard to love and that God would allow them to start seeing that person the way God does.
3. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
This is a great verse to use if your children have been going through a stage in life where they are arguing quite frequently. Tell the children that as a family, there are times when we will all do things that bother each other, but the Bible tells us that the love we have for others should help us love someone even when they do things that we do not like. Let the children talk through the things that are bothering them and then apologize to each other for the way they have been treating their family members. This is a great way to model the way we as grown adults should act when the people we associate with are bothering us.
4. The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13
Divide the verses in this chapter up amongst the children in your family and then let them write a short story about the ways they can demonstrate their assigned verses. For example, if a child gets 1 Corinthians 13: 4, "Love is patient. Love is kind," his story could possibly be about letting his younger sister play with a toy that is his favorite. Read all the finished stories together and learn from each other. If your children are not old enough to write, take several days to cover one verse at a time and let them illustrate the verse instead of writing about it. This is also a great way for us to learn from our children as we listen for all the sweet ways they can think of to love others.
5. A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)
Talk about one way to show love is to reach out to others when they are hurting. Find a family in your neighborhood, co-op, or church that is going through a rough time. As a family, do something for them like mow their lawn, clean their house, or cook them a meal. This will allow both families to experience the love of God in a unique way: one through giving it and one through receiving it!
These are just a few ideas to get you going. There are enough love verses in the Bible that you could fill everyday in February with a verse and a related activity! Your life will definitely never be the same.
Andrea Chevalier is a worship pastor's wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. A former public school teacher, she's now focusing her gifts on educating her children and helping others to do the same. She is also a freelance author and website manager for www.educationappreciation.com.