The month of February, and especially Valentine’s Day, is the perfect time to share with our kids what the Bible says about love. The ultimate expression of God’s love came in the form of His Son Jesus who, through His death and resurrection, redeemed us.
When we truly understand the depths of God’s love for us its easier to love others.
It’s not just in Jesus that we see God’s unconditional love for us. It’s sprinkled throughout the Bible, including the Old Testament.
Years ago, Target ran a commercial advertising its wedding registry. A catchy tune played as images of wedded bliss, including stylish kitchen and bath items, danced across the screen. The melody got stuck in my head and it became the song I sang to my oldest daughter as I changed her diaper and got her ready for bed.
“I love to be with you
I love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, I do
I love to be with you
You know I love you, I do”
As she got older, she still wanted me to sing that song. On long days, I reluctantly gave in and answered her requests. An amazing thing happened. The weariness of the day drained and delight filled my heart. As I loved on her, I couldn’t help but be filled with love myself.
As I read Zephaniah 3:17, I recall those tender moments with my daughter.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
God, a mighty warrior, is with me. The one who watches over me, who saves me, also takes delight in me and sings over me. This image of a God who is just yet merciful, strong yet tender, melts my heart. As I sing over my daughter, I imagine Him singing over me.
There are so many different ways to express and receive love. And it’s not just the Bible that reminds of us that. There are two books that I will be giving the little ones in my life for Valentine’s Day that are great reminders of how to give and receive love..
The first is Lots of Love, written by Kim Washburn and illustrated by Jacqueline East. It’s an adorable board book that takes you through the day of a little girl. She experiences love through the morning sun and kisses from her dog. She exchanges snuggles with her family. She is kind to others on the playground and does her part in class with an attitude of gratefulness. As she goes to bed, she recognizes God’s blessings and love in her life.
The second is The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses. It is an activity book for ages 4-8, full of dot to dots, mazes, word searches, and reusable stickers. Each page emphasizes God’s love for us as well as the many ways we can love our family and neighbors.
My daughter is a teenager now and too big for me to rock her in my arms. Even though my love for her hasn’t changed, the way I show her that love has. There are an endless number of ways we express and receive love, and if we keep our eyes open to it we will see it both in the Bible and in the world around us.
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What does it mean to you to know that God loves to be with you? How do you show your children that you love them? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!