I’d like to be that mom, though. I aspire to be her.
But somehow at every major holiday I seem to drop the ball. Before I know it the special day has passed, and I’ve missed the opportunity to pass down truths to my boys in fun, creative ways.
Recently, at an event for moms at my church, one of our pastor’s wives shared how she tries to be really intentional about this during the various holidays throughout the year. She mentioned that she didn’t have a Valentine’s Day idea ready yet, but she wanted to use it to teach her kids about God’s love.
To be honest, until she said that, I hadn’t even thought of Valentine’s Day yet, much less using it to speak intentionally to my kids about God’s love.
She also mentioned how she really doesn’t know how to go about this, so she prays and asks God to give her an idea. Just 1 idea is all we need, she said, and our geniusly creative God is more than capable of giving us just 1 idea that works.
A seed was planted in my heart from her talk.
Our New Valentine’s Tradition
Fast-forward 2 weeks. Jude, my K4 student, was given the assignment of creating his own Valentine’s box for his class’s Valentine’s party. The box is meant to hold the Valentines he’ll receive at the party.
So Jude and I set to work, and STILL the idea of teaching him about God’s love had not even entered my mind.
Finally, we get it wrapped and begin sticking hearts all over it. Just as I was trying to think of something else to jazz up this box, this verse (or really, part of a verse) popped into my head: God is love.
Aha! Yes… I’ll write God is love on one of the hearts. I asked Jude, Did you know that the Bible says God is love? Why don’t we write that on one of the hearts? He thought it was a great idea.
From there, the Lord continued to fill my mind with verses about God’s love, until we had filled almost all of the hearts with phrases or verses about God’s love.
Finally, I asked Jude to come up with some ideas of what he thought love looked like. He thought of a few practical things like:
-Love doesn’t break things.
-Love doesn’t mess up a coffee pot.
(He’s always really tempted to grab the coffee carafe, even if there is still coffee in it)
-Love helps others.
-Love doesn’t hide keys.
I loved it. Here are a few more shots of his box.
Now, y’all, I know this thing is not beautiful in the Pinterest-y sense & it may have 1 misspelled word on it, but I want you to know creating this little box with my boy has opened up a conversation about what love is.
Since we made this, I’ve been able to point out to him various ways throughout the day that he is either emulating love or not.
For example, if he finds a way to help his younger brother, I tell him: Jude, wow, love helps others, and that is exactly what you’re doing with Luke. Awesome!
I’ve also had to correct him with phrases like this, Jude… love doesn’t poke others. Please keep your hands to yourself.
A Little Encouragement
My heart with this post is to encourage you. The little Valentine’s box we made is not fancy, and yours doesn’t have to be either. You don’t even have to make a box. You could create a poster to hang during the month of February. But regardless of how beautiful (or not) our box is, God is still using it.
I also want to encourage you to pray. This one little idea of writing scripture on those hearts just popped in my head. I didn’t come up with that, friends. God brought that idea to mind in His kindness, and I went for it. And it’s already bringing benefits to our family as we are now talking about acting out love during the day. (Remember, I posted about God leading us in 2016, and I love that He’s doing it)!
I’m learning that prayer doesn’t have to only be a time when you get in your prayer closet for an extended amount of time to pray like Jesus talks about, but to offer up 1 sentence prayers throughout the day. Nehemiah in the Old Testament modeled this. Not only does God answer our prayers, but it keeps our hearts and spirits abiding with Him throughout the day.
Verses about Love
Lastly, I thought I’d leave you with the verses we used on Jude’s Valentine’s box in case you want to try this for yourself. All verses are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.
1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13 (NLT)
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance….
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NLT)
And do everything with love.
Romans 12:9 (NIV)
Love must be sincere.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
I hope you find this post helpful as you mother your little ones and point them toward the Lord.
And if you do a project like the one we made, I’d LOVE to see it! Email your pic to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it through a message on Facebook. I’d love to see how God led you in this!
Blessings & Happy Valentine’s Day!
So, I just had to update this post and show you how God is continuing to use this one idea He gave me to speak love into my son’s life. Days after Valentine’s, we are still talking about the holiday and continuing to have conversations about love. Jude has been so excited about it all, that he decided to make Daddy his very own love box. Here is a screenshot from Instagram.
Hope your hearts are full like mine is. Happy Valentine’s Month!
Photo by Rob Gallop