In the next few days leading up to Valentine’s Day, love will be marketed in advertisements and store displays. Love will be equated with chocolate and cards and flowers and romance.
And yes, love can be demonstrated in these ways. But as followers of Christ, we know that love is so much more! Communicating that kind of love to our children in our homes, neighborhoods, and ministries is essential.
Compiled here is a toolbox of scripture references that define love. Use these verses for personal reflection, lesson plans, games, as memory verses, creative gifts for your students, in visual displays, and in cards that you write. God gave us no better definition of love than in His son Jesus. Let’s communicate His perfect love at this time of year – and all the year through!
1. John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2. 1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
3. 1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
4. 1 John 4:7-12
Dear friends: let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
5. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; 13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
6. John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
7. Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
8. Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9. Ephesians 3:18-20
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
10. Ephesians 5:1
Follow God’s example; therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
What are your favorite scripture references that define love? Leave a comment below to share your favorites.