“Love one another,” is the command Jesus gave to us in John 13. He also said that the world would recognize us as his disciples because of this love for one another. Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for presenting kids with this loving command. Teach kids what this kind of love is and how kids should show this love. Valentine’s Day need not be about candy hearts and falling “in love.” What a great opportunity for building important truths in the hearts of your kids!
Introduce the concept of loving God’s family by reading this to kids: “Love has many faces. You love your parents one way. When you become a husband or wife, you will love your spouse too. Then one day, you will love your children and grandchildren. Right now, you probably love your teachers, friends and family. Right?” (Allow kids to respond but stay on track.)
“Did you know that Jesus commands us to love God’s family? He says we must, ‘Love one another.” Arrange framed pictures on a table or tack up a few pictures of smiling people on a bulletin board.
Say to kids, “See this family? It’s a big one!” (Add more pictures to the table or board.) “As this family grows, we don’t take love from one person to give to another. God gives us all the love we need to love everyone in His family. We always make room for one more.” (Add another picture to the group, preferably a picture of someone the kids know.) “This is like God’s family!”
Place a picture of one of the kids with the group. Always get permission from parents before doing this. Say, “When James became a member of God’s family we didn’t take some love away from these people to give James. God gave us more love to love His new family members. So how do we show God’s family love?”
Allow kids to talk about how they can show God’s family members, like James, love. Add suggestions to the conversation like, show him forgiveness, teach the Bible, be friendly, pray with him and remind him that God loves.
Send your kids home with a Valentine’s Day card. Remind them of the object lesson by writing, “Love one another,” inside each one. Don’t forget the best lessons are shown by example. Let kids catch you showing Christian love to other believers!
Read Mimi’s latest children’s ministry book The Prophet’s Code or visit her blog at Encouragement for Christians.