“Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Sometimes, it is easy to become so caught up in each day’s tasks that we often find ourselves needing biblical reminders of how to obey God’s command to love one another well within our daily lives as we accomplish what He has given us to do (Eph. 2:10). Marsha Hays highlights the opportunity that Valentine’s Day is as a way for families to emphasize the love we have been given by God and show to one another. Hays’ family devotional may be just the tool for your family to use during this holiday! In these devotionals, Hays provides an opening activity, scripture study, prayer prompt, and worship songs for your family as you love God and love one another. To access, click here!
Love Languages for Children
Learning Your Child’s Love Language
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to shower your children with love. But what if each of your children receive love from you in different ways? What if some children are content with hugs and others want you to play with them? In Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages of Children, he outlines five main modes of communicating love: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time. In his study guide, which can be found here, he says, “Learn to speak each of the love languages with your children so you can better fill their love tanks.” These resources can provide insigt into how to do just that.
Love in the Bible
Ministry-to-Children’s resource, Valentine’s Day Bible Verses for Children, offers 10 Bible Verses for children from the Kindergarten age to the 5th grade, to consider on Valentine’s Day. This resource can be a guide as you
teach your children that God’s love is the greatest love ever given (Jn. 15:13) and that if they believe in Jesus, confessing with their mouths that He is Lord, they also can imitate God as His beloved children (Eph. 5:1-2)! In addition, this resource provides object lessons for you to do with your children that include lessons, crafts, worksheets, and games. All of which may help your children to visualize what they are learning about God’s love! To access, click here.
Love in Action
Jesus teaches His followers to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mk. 12:31). We truly have no greater example of love than Jesus Himself! Jessica Wolstenholm has written a devotional for families; “When we read the Bible, we’re not just learning about Jesus, but learning to be more like Jesus.” This family devotional can engage your family in discussion and thought as you seek ways to love others as Jesus has loved us! To read, click here.
Love Language Quiz for Families
If you want to involve your whole family in learning these “love languages” and how to display them, a printable quiz is provided that can be accessed here, This quiz could be used to teach and show each person in your family their own love language and the love languages of
their parents and siblings.
Family traditions strengthen the family bond and provide a sense of belonging. They bring families closer together and help them grow in love and unity. When family traditions are Christ-centered and rooted in the Bible, children will learn about God’s love and know their true identity that is in Christ. In her book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Noël Piper presents the importance of passing along Christ-centered traditions. To view the book on Amazon, click here.
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to start building your own family traditions to celebrate both the love of God and the family’s love for each other. In her article, Arahah Joy shares how her family counted down from February 1 through the 14th and did one activity a day to teach her children what love really is. To read,click here. ChildrensMinistry.com also provides seven great Bible activities you can do with your family on this special day. To assess, click here.
Discipleship Through Celebration
The history and mission of Valentine’s Day provides a basis for teachable lessons regarding Christian virtue. Phylicia Masonheimer, the writer of the blog, “Every Woman a Theologian,” has complied a PDF of information on Valentine’s Day. It includes background on the holiday, resources for spiritual enrichment, and ideas for service during the holiday season. To read, click here. The book, Disciple-Making Parent, is a practical guide for discipleship in parenting. Discipleship lessons in holiday celebration is one way the book can be creatively utilized.To view the book on Amazon, click here.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, children can learn the importance of loving others by practicing it. For example, children can learn how to love their community by making heart-shaped cookies for their neighbors. To love their church family, they can make a Valentine’s Day card for a single mother at the church. Jill Rigby and Sheila Seifert write how, no matter what age, your child can learn what it means to respect and love others. The article’s ideas can be incorporated into the holiday season, but also extend to ideas on teaching respect for others in daily life. To read a resource that can build upon the foundation of Valentine’s Day lessons for continued learning and practice, click here.