Valentine's Day is right around the corner and "love" is in the air! Whether you get excited by Valentine's Day or think it is an over-commercialized-pain-in-the-rear, you can't avoid it. So, why not take an opportunity to focus on the greatest love of all -- God's love. Here are some ideas for incorporating God into your Valentine's Day celebrations:
Read about God's love.
The word love is mentioned many, many, many times in the Bible. I'm sure there's someone who has counted the times, but what do all these verses tell us about God's love for us? Take some time with your family (or even by yourself) and consider how the verses referenced at the bottom of this page speak to you. Talk about the verses, or choose one and write it on multiple sticky notes and stick them all over your house (mirrors, refrigerator, doors, etc.).
If you have preschoolers or early elementary students, you know that working on a craft together can be good bonding time. It can also be good teaching time. I spent too much time on Pinterest, but I found two very cute (and easy) ideas for you to do with your young child.
For older kids (and adults), take time out to de-stress with an adult coloring page. You might even find time to pray while you color.
Give a God-focused Valentine's Gift.
If you usually give your child a gift for Valentine's Day, consider assembling a Valentine's basket with ordinary things that will remind them of God's love. This one is REALLY cool!
Show God Your Love.
We'd probably all agree that we need to make time for those we love. How do you make time for God? Here are some suggestions:
- Pray differently. How many of you say the same blessing each night for dinner? Do you (or your children) really think about the words you are saying? Mix it up. Our family has been using a prayer cube. You roll the cube and the prayer on top is the one you use for that night. If you don't want to buy a prayer cube, you could print copies of well-known prayers and have them choose one to read before the meal. Click here for a free printable book. Or, here are some really good prayers to teach your young kids.
- Listen differently. It takes effort to hear from God. Remind yourself EACH DAY to look for and listen to God. Take time to read the Bible - even one verse can make a difference!
- Show love to others. 1 John 4:19-21 says it bluntly: "We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." We love God by loving others. Pick up the phone and call someone who needs love (or someone you need to forgive, or someone you have neglected). Volunteer to serve together as a family. There are many opportunities at West Market Street UMC.
- Thank God for His love. Make a list of the ways God has shown his love for you. You might run out of paper!
Happy Valentine's Day!