It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Hey, isn’t that a Christmas song? Well, it is, but it fits this occasion as well. Anyone who teaches children knows how extra precious and loving children can be this time of year. I remember sitting at my desk when I was an elementary teacher watching the children go from desk to desk giving their little notes of love, friendship, and treats to their classmates. It was like Christmas but with everyone sharing LOTS of LOVE! And then when everyone was done sharing their thoughtful notes and treats, the children opened their little treasures one at a time. It would warm my heart every time. It was the one day a year that there were no arguments on the playground, in the restroom, or in the lunch room. Ahhhh, Valentine’s Day!
How do we keep this kindhearted, thoughtful attitude going? Whether we homeschool, teach in a traditional school, or work in a children’s ministry, we all need some tips to help these precious kids. We can’t teach them to love each other without teaching what love is.
1 Corinthians tells us that without love, we are and have nothing.
- is patient and kind
- does not envy or boast;
- is not arrogant or rude
- does not insist on its own way
- is not irritable or resentful
- does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth
- bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
- never ends
In John 13:34, Jesus tells us to love each other as He has loved us, and that others will know we are His disciples by our love for each other. Let’s park there for a minute. We are to love others as He has loved us. What a costly, unpayable debt of love and grace we owe to God every minute of every day and for eternity if we have trusted in the work of Christ! But we hold grudges and a silent list of accounts against one another with an expectation to be paid back, don’t we? We “forgive” but we don’t forget. Our kids pick up on that and do the same. Our children will know we love God by the way we love each other. This is tough, but He gives grace to help us model forgiveness and mercy.
Proverbs tells us that a friend loves at all times. How does that happen? We are only human aren’t we? Yes, indeed, and that is why we need a Savior! 1 Peter 4 reminds us that love covers a multitude of sins. Aren’t we thankful for that? Isn’t it a relief when we have done wrong that someone unconditionally forgives us and loves us anyway? What a motivation to love!
When your children squabble and fuss, teaching “love lessons” head-on are so important. Unfortunately- these are the “off the lesson plans” activities that frustrate us. But what is the point of educating our children without educating them in the eternal truth of God’s Word? Furthermore, they will never really be happy and know real love, if we don’t make the most of those moments. Pray for your children to know God and to love as He wants us to.
So, this Valentine’s Day, enjoy the heart shaped cookies, pancakes, and whatever fun things you have planned. But perhaps you might take a moment to unwrap a few chocolates and sit with your children nearby, and tell them that God is love, the Giver of love, and Who motivates you to love. Here are a few verses to share with them.
Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 – …but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.
Sharon Fisher holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Elementary Education. She has 14 years of full time teaching experience in the elementary classroom, served as Curriculum Coordinator for Bob Jones Academy, and served as an elementary author for BJU Press. She has contributed to a variety of elementary educational materials and has presented workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of elementary-level subjects and teaching methods. She currently writes a blog and is Social Media Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist for HomeWorks by Precept, a provider of excellent education products, including BJU Press. She is the mother of four grown sons, a grandmother to Ben, and has a passion for encouraging Christian educators and homeschool parents to teach children with excellence and with a biblical worldview.