The Bible is full of stories and references about love. The Bible commands us to love God and others. Valentines Day is an appropriate time to talk to children about God's love. Help children learn Bible stories about the topic of love and help them to learn that God loves them unconditionally and always will.
Jesus loves Us
The recurring theme in the Bible is that God is love and that He loves us. Read scriptures to children that focus on God's love for us. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16) sums up the fact God sent His only Son to Earth to die for our sins. Tell children that God loved us enough to give up something very precious to Him for us. Sing the song, "Jesus loves me" with the class. Cut hearts out of red, white and black construction paper. Show the black heart first and tell the children that it represents "sin." Then cover the black heart with the red heart and explain that Jesus' blood covered our black sin. Finally, cover the red heart with the white one and tell the children that because of the blood of Christ that our sins have been forgiven.
The Bible tells us about many loving friendships and romantic love stories. The story of Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29) is a story of true romantic love. Jacob wanted Rachel's hand in marriage with such passion that he agreed to work doing hard manual labor for her father for a total of 14 years just to marry Rachel. Other stories of love from the Bible highlight platonic love. The book of 1 Samuel tells us the story of David and Jonathan were best friends and give us an example of how to love each other unselfishly. The book of Ruth introduces us to a young woman named Ruth. Ruth and Naomi show us another example of devoted love. Ruth's husband had died, but she chose to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Read a summarized version of the human love stories in the Bible and then ask the children to draw a picture of themselves with their best friends. Ask them what they love about their friends and write that on the back of the picture.
Loving Thy Neighbor
Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan who showed love to a wounded man. A man had been beaten and left for dead on the street. Two men walked right by the hurt man without stopping to help, but it was a man who had traveled from far away who came to the man's rescue. Ask children about ways they can show love just like the Good Samaritan did. Some children might say that they can show love by doing chores or by sharing a cookie. Offer other suggestions such as visiting the elderly or being nice to the new child at school. Have the children make a Valentine's Day card to give to someone they love. Include scriptures in the card.
Other Valentine Bible Stories for Children
Read 1 Corinthians 13 to children. This passage is often called, "The Love Chapter" and details the characteristics of love. The verses tell us that love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast and is not proud. It also tells us that love is not self-seeking or easily angered and that love does not keep a record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but is happy when truth wins. Love protects, trusts, hopes, always preserves and never fails. Help children understand this description of love by engaging them in a Valentine's activity. Assign each child a characteristic of love. Tell them to draw a picture to illustrate it and compile a book when all the pictures are done.
Stephanie Kelley has been writing articles and columns online for SGM Radio and SGN Scoops Digital since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts in art history/anthropology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. and writes on a number of topics including art, frugal living, children and travel.