Love is an important character trait to teach no matter what the time of year. But what better time to do it than February when America is full of hearts and candy and roses? :-) Let's teach our children what love is REALLY all about.

There are so many verses on love that it is going to be hard to decide which ones to use. Here are my favorites that I picked out as most appropriate for children's memory verses. Note that I'm focusing this study on showing love to each other, not on God's love for us - although that would be a great study too!

Memory/Study Verses:

 1 Corinthians 13

1 John 4:7-12 and 20&21

Romans 13:8-10

John 15:12&13

1 Peter 4:8

Colossians 3:14

Mark 12:30 & 31

Matthew 5:43 & 44

John 13:35

Galatians 5:14

 

Bible stories that teach LOVE:

The Good Samaritan

Ruth & Naomi

David & Jonathon

Joseph & Reuben (Reuben's love for his father, Genesis 44:31-33)

Jacob & Rachel

Jesus' death on the cross

 

Songs: there are so many hymns that talk about God's love and there are also several Scripture songs that have put some of the verses above to music. Here is a little ditty that I think is great for young children -

 

If You Want to Show Your Love
(to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It")

If you want to show your love, share a smile.
If you want to show your love, share a smile.
If you want to show your love, if you want to show your love,
If you want to show your love, share a smile.

If you want to show your love, lend a hand.
If you want to show your love, lend a hand.
If you want to show your love, if you want to show your love,
If you want to show your love, lend a hand.

If you want to show your love, use kind words.
If you want to show your love, use kind words.
If you want to show your love, if you want to show your love,
If you want to show your love, use kind words.

 

Ways to Show Love

If you've read Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages (if you haven't read it, I really recommend it! It could completely change your marriage and parenting!), you can introduce some of those concepts at a child's level. Obviously the idea of "discovering" each other's love language is a little advanced, but you can talk about the five ways that we show love to each other. Maybe have a different day (or a couple days) assigned to practicing each way of showing love.

  1. Helping & serving each other
  2. Speaking kind words and encouraging each other
  3. Giving gifts to each other (doesn't have to be expensive or fancy - let them make simple gifts)
  4. Showing affection through physical touch (this one will have to be done carefully and appropriately but is important!)
  5. Spending quality time together

You can turn this into a game with the idea from this website:

"Play “Loving Actions.”  - Take turns coming up with creative ways to show love (such as greeting someone, opening the door for someone, kissing boo boos, or offering a drink) which you can do as a game of silent charades.  Basically this means you should act out your “Loving Action” without words so that the other people can guess what you are doing.  You may like to use photographs to inspire ideas for showing love to different people such as grandparents, friends, teachers, and strangers. Sometimes we show love to different people in different ways and it is important to know the appropriate way for each person."

 

 

And finally, here are a couple of simple craft/activity ideas that go along with love . . .

1 Corinthians 13 clothesline - A "bulletin board" wall decor idea: Hang a piece of rope or twine on the wall. Make paper hearts and use clothespins to pin them on the twine. Above the rope write "LOVE IS:" or "CHARITY" if you prefer, and then on each heart, write one characteristic from 1 Cor 13, e.g. "long-suffering", "kind".  I got the idea from this coloring page.

 

Discover the Bible Verse: An activity for children who can read. 

1. Cut out hearts from construction paper, one for each word of your memory verse (plus the reference!)

2. Write one word of the verse and the verse reference on the hearts.

3. Encourage them to help each other put the hearts in the right order to make the memory verse.

4. If they can't figure out the verse, let them look it up in their Bibles.

You can make a very simple heart paper chain by starting with strips like a regular paper chain. Instead of taping or gluing into a circle, staple the ends face-together to make a heart shape. Check out this photo if those instructions don't make sense. :-) There's also a more complicated and beautiful paper chain idea here.

 

Most importantly, make sure YOU leave your children without a doubt of your love this month! :-)

 

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