Memory Monday: “Will You Read Us the Bible?” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Courtesy Arvind Balaraman

My girls were stalling.

“Read some more.”

“No, it’s bed time.”

“No, it’s not. We still have 10 minutes.”

“We’re at the end of the chapter.”



“Well, can you read the Bible?”

How can a mom say no to that request? I knew my girls were just making up requests to keep from going to bed, but my heart couldn’t say no when they asked for the Bible.

“OK, any requests for a particular story?”

“Noah and the ark,” said my oldest.

“David bringing the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem,” said my 9-year-old. What an odd story for her to choose, I thought.

What started as a stalling tactic, ended as a half hour conversation about God and the Bible. You see, my kids have heard the story of Noah’s ark over and over again, but I’m not sure they’ve ever read the actual version in the Bible. We do a family devotional as many evenings a week as we can manage. We talk about God and the Bible as often as we can fit it into the conversation. We look up verses in the Bible to make a point. But it dawned on me last night as I swiveled my head from child to child to answer their many questions that we rarely just read the Bible to them.

When I asked my younger daughter why she had chosen the story of the return of the ark of the covenant, she said, “We learned about it at church, but they made it sound more exciting than what you read.” I explained that it was exciting, but her class had probably tried to put it into terms the kids would understand. It dawned on me that even in her class at church, she wasn’t that often using her Bible.

My kids went to bed a half an hour late last night, but that half hour was probably the most important one of their day. You see, we can send our kids to all sorts of church classes, we can do family devotionals, we can talk with them about God, but our kids won’t accept that the Bible is the source of wisdom if they never read it or use it.

Make it a point in your home to read the Bible with your kids. Stop and answer their questions. Let them understand the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed   and is useful for teaching,   rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

We want our kids to be “thoroughly equipped.” They can only do that if they have access to and are constantly exposed to God’s word. Take a few minutes today to read the Bible with your kids. It will be the best-spent time of your day.

Looking for ways to use God’s word with your kids, check out our free resource, Using Scripture with Kids, on the Free Stuff page.

Linking up today with Graceful and The Better Mom.

Standing with God (Romans 12:2)

The stuffed animals were tossed carelessly on the floor in a pile — all of them. My 9-year-old lay in her bed alone.

“Why are all the animals on the floor?” I asked.

“I’m not sleeping with them,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Everyone says only babies sleep with stuffed animals,” she replied.

“Do you want to sleep with your animals?”

She nods as tears pool in her eyes. “But the kids at school all say stuffed animals are for babies.”

“Don’t let others make your decisions for you,” I said. “If you don’t want to sleep with your stuffed animals, that’s fine. But don’t make the decision simply because of what someone else thinks.”

My heart tore as she struggled to decide what to do. Eventually, the animals were returned to their rightful place in her bed and all was right with the world again.

But I learned something. I discovered that even the strongest-willed child can be swayed by the opinions of others.

I want my kids to make their own decisions. I want them to stand up for what they believe in. I want them to choose their own path. I don’t want them to simply follow the crowd.

Yet, too often, I’m complicit in showing them how to do just that. How often am I swayed by what others think? I stand in front of the mirror and compare myself to the beauty standards of movie stars and models. I choose clothes based on the fashion whims of designers an ocean away. I decide what movies to see, what books to read and what cars to buy based on the reviews of others.

And sometimes, I choose my friends based on what others think. I make decisions in my marriage based on worldly standards. I define my success as a mother by how my kids behave compared to other kids. I feel successful in my job based on the praise of others.

Even though Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” I conform instead of letting myself be transformed.

How can I expect my children to make decisions based on their own principles when I fail to do that so often? How do I let them know it’s OK to make an unpopular decision because it’s the right thing to do when I sometimes choose not to?

None of us makes the right decision all the time. All of us can be swayed by the opinions of others. When I do stand up for what’s right, I’m rarely standing on my own. I’m standing on God’s strength. I’m looking for His opinion, not the opinion of others.

And that’s what I want to teach my kids. I don’t want to teach them to stand on their own. I want to teach them to stand with God. I want them to rely on His strength and wisdom when making their decisions. I want them to know they’re not standing alone against the world. I want them to know they are standing next to God, and He will never let them down.

So, the next time I’m letting the world sway my opinion, the next time I have a choice to make about where I’m going to stand, I want to choose to stand with God. Because that’s how my kids will learn to stand there, too.

Linking up today with Graceful and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: Saying No (for now) to the Hunger Games (Proverbs 4:2)

I made my 10-year-old really mad last week. She’s been asking to read The Hunger Games. Nearly everyone in her grade has read it, and she feels like she’s missing out.

Until last week, I had not read The Hunger Games. From what I had heard about the books, I didn’t think they were appropriate for a 10-year-old, especially not one who is prone to nightmares. But instead of giving my daughter a flat-out “no” based on what I had read, I told her I had to read them first.

I’ll be honest. I had no desire to read these books. Everything I had heard about them made them sound gruesome and without redeeming value. However, after I read them, I found that they were actually pretty good literature. They’re thought-provoking and raise some great conversation points. But I still felt that they were not appropriate for my 10-year-old.

My concerns were three-fold. First, I felt there were certain scenes in the books that would give my daughter nightmares. We deal with nightmares on a fairly regular basis, so I’m not willing to do anything that’s going to deprive us of even more sleep around here. Second, while I think the books raise some great questions about the role of government, the things people will do in extreme situations and what a world without God looks like, I don’t think my 10-year-old is old enough to grasp those concepts. Last, one of the main story lines is a love triangle, which while very clean, I don’t think my daughter would grasp all the nuances of and would raise more questions than she’s ready to handle.

So, I made my daughter mad and told her she couldn’t read the books right now. I told her other parents might make different decisions, but my decision for her was no, for now. I told her we would revisit the subject when she was older and I felt she would better understand the books, but for now, the answer is no. She thought I was being unfair. She thought I was the meanest mom in the world. And that’s OK because I’m not always supposed to be her best friend. I am supposed to be her filter.

We have a screened-in back porch on our house. I love to leave the back door to my house open to let in the breeze. Yet, we also like to leave the door to the back porch open so the dog can go in and out freely. Leaving that porch door open, though, defeats the purpose of a screened in back porch, so a couple weeks ago, I bought one of those mesh screens that just hangs on the doorframe. It has magnets down the middle so people and animals can go in and out without letting in the bugs. It’s not the perfect solution. Some bugs still get in, but it’s a definite improvement over the open back door.

As parents, we’re a lot like that hanging screen. It’s our job to filter out the things that our kids aren’t ready for. We want to be like the author of Proverbs, who says to his son, “I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching” (Proverbs 4:2). My kids don’t spend every waking hour with me. Just like the screen can’t keep all of the bugs out, I can’t keep every objectionable thing out of my kids’ lives. But I can filter most of it.

Sometimes being the filter means we have to be unpopular with our kids. But it’s important for our kids to know that we’re not filtering things out because we’re being legalistic or following a rigid set of rules. Our kids need to know that we act as a filter on the things they read, see or wear because we love them. If our filtering actions are motivated by love and our kids know that, then when we say “no” to certain things, our kids know that we aren’t doing it just to be mean or to make them a social pariah. It’s much easier to accept a decision motivated by love than one motivated by adherence to an unknown set of rules.

As I explained my decision about The Hunger Games to my daughter, I gently explained that I was telling her “no” because I love her. As the tears rolled down her cheeks, I explained all of my reasons. She went to bed upset with me, but the next day she came home from school and gave me a short list of the other kids in the grade who weren’t allowed to read the books. “Those are the responsible parents,” she said. I had to smile. She had taken our conversation and put it into the context of love.

Acting as a filter is hard. Sometimes it’s way easier to say yes than it is to deal with the fallout from saying no. But acting as a screen for what our kids see, read and wear is a job we shouldn’t take lightly. Protecting our kids hearts and minds and helping them to see the reasons for our decisions lets them know that we make our decisions with their best interests at heart.

Where do you need to act as a filter for your child today?

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two  and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: Focusing on Easter

On the way home from church yesterday, I asked my kids what they talked about during their classroom time. “We talked about hope,” they replied.

Ok, not a bad thing to talk about the Sunday before Easter. “What was the Bible story about?” I asked. I got blank looks. “Did you talk about Jesus entering Jerusalem?”

Now, that might seem like an odd question to ask. A lot of kids probably came home from church yesterday with palms. Of course, they talked about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. But our church sometimes does things a little bit differently. We stopped giving out palms years ago. While I miss the tradition, I also appreciate that buying palm leaves for hundreds of children is expensive and may not be the best way to steward our resources.

My kids did talk about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his crucifixion in their classroom time yesterday, but they did it in the context of hope. It was a new way of thinking about a very familiar biblical account for most of those kids. A lot of our kids have been in church, hearing the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection for years, some for their whole lives. Every Easter, they hear the same thing. It’s as familiar to them as their favorite bedtime story.

The challenge for us as parents is to make the Easter account new and inspiring for our kids. Think about it. The God of the universe came to earth as a man, died on a cross, then three days later rose again — all so that we could have a relationship with Him. That’s pretty amazing stuff, better than any superhero story.

The wonder of Easter is summed up in Luke 24:6-7 “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'” Jesus is the only person who has ever beaten death, the only one who rose again. That is the hope of Easter.

This week, we’re going to focus on simple ways you can bring the awe of Easter to your kids’ attention. Jesus’ death and resurrection isn’t a story, it really happened. Our kids need to know that and understand the hope that Easter brings us. Start your week off with these simple conversations:

  1. Ask your kids to tell you what they know about Easter. Talk with them about how the account of Easter is real. If you have older kids, check out the book Resurrection iWitness. We’re reading through this together as our family devotional at dinner each night. It’s a book that talks about the accepted scholarly facts around Jesus’ death and resurrection, then uses those facts to show that the biblical account of the resurrection is the only possible explanation that meets all the facts. You can learn more about it here.
  2. Talk about Jesus’ death on the cross. Ask your kids if they understand why Jesus died. For smaller kids, keep it simple. Talk about how we all do things that are wrong and that separates us from God. Jesus died and rose again so we could be close to God. Create a bridge out of blocks and explain that we’re on one side and God is on the other. If Jesus hadn’t died, then we would be forever separated from God. Jesus acts as a bridge. With older kids, talk about sin and how the Bible tells us that the consequences of sin is death. Without Jesus’ death, there would be no way for us to have a relationship with God.
  3. Talk about the resurrection. Often, we focus so much on the crucifixion that our kids don’t understand the significance of the resurrection. Without the resurrection, Jesus is just another guy who claimed to be God. In defeating death, He proved He is who He said He was. Don’t let your kids miss the wonder of the empty tomb. Ask your kids if they know of anyone else who was dead for three days, who then came back to life. Explain the Jesus is the only one who ever did that.

Talking with your kids about Easter is a great way to start off this holy week. Make time to have conversations with your kids about Easter. Check out this month’s dinner discussions, too. All month you’ll be talking about spring and Easter. Keep the conversation going because our amazement at the events of Easter shouldn’t stop on Sunday.

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two , Working Kansas Homemaker and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: The Praise of Children (Psalm 8:1-2)

I sit with my cup of tea, my Bible open in my lap. My to-do list sits forgotten at my side. I read words I’ve read dozens of times before, and I am struck speechless by what I read. It’s as if the words are new, as if I’ve never read them before.

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

(Psalm 8:1-2)

The praise of children silences Your enemies and Satan. How did I miss this? Why have I never seen this before?

You don’t need swords. You don’t need armies. You only need a child whispering Philippians 4:13 before a test, a toddler singing “Jesus Loves Me,” or a teenager pouring out his soul to You to defeat Satan.

And I, I, am charged with raising up members of this precious army. You have given me two beautiful souls to direct to you. And I am overwhelmed. Who am I to be trusted with such a precious gift and such a weighty responsibility?

And then you remind me. I am not alone. You are walking beside me, giving me everything I need to raise these precious warriors for you. You remind me that every word of praise that slips through their lips is a victory for you. And I am humbled that You care. I am humbled that You love me. I am humbled that You trust me with two of your most prized gifts.

So, together, we will praise You. Together we will beat back Satan with words of praise.

And every time one of my children thanks You, every time one of them recognizes your glory, every time one of them asks you for help, I will be reminded that their words are defeating Satan — and that only you could use the precious praise of children to accomplish that.

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two , Working Kansas Homemaker and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: When You Don’t Feel Thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

It’s 5 a.m. I woke up at 2 a.m. with a migraine. At 3 a.m., my youngest daughter woke me up to tell me her stomach hurt. At 4 a.m., I woke to the sounds of a puking child. Welcome to the first day of spring break.

I’ll be honest. I’m not feeling very thankful right now. I want my head to stop pounding. I want my daughter to feel better. I don’t want to worry all week about whether anyone else is going to get sick. We have plans for this week. We have playdates and a short family vacation coming up. I don’t want to spend the week with sick kids. I want to have fun with them. I want all my plans to work the way I planned them.

Yet, this morning, as I held back my daughter’s hair from her face as she puked and as I cleaned the floor in her room, all I could think about was 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

“Really, Lord?” I asked. “Because I’m not finding much to feel thankful for at the moment. I’d much rather be asleep in my own bed.”

“Really,” He said.

I think 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is one of the toughest verses in the Bible. It doesn’t tell us to be thankful for our circumstances; it tells us to be thankful in our circumstances. It’s a small difference, but an important one. I don’t have to be thankful my daughter puked or that my head is pounding. But I do have to find things to be thankful for despite my circustances.

So, here are the things I’m thankful for this morning with my pounding head and puking child.

I’m thankful:

  • my daughter didn’t get sick this weekend and miss her AWANA event.
  • my husband got up to help me clean up the mess.
  • my older daughter didn’t wake up.
  • it was almost time to get up when all this happened.
  • my daughter’s not sicker.
  • my circumstances gave me something to write about this morning.
  • my daughter didn’t get sick last week in the middle of her state assessment testing.
  • that my daughter went back to bed.
  • that we went to the library yesterday so we have plenty of books for a stay-home day.
  • that God’s got it all under control even if my plans for the day just went up in smoke.

It’s not easy to be thankful in all circumstances. Sometimes it requires us to think hard. Sometimes it requires us to simply focus on God, on who He is and what He’s done for us.

Our attitude in difficult circumstances teaches our kids how to deal with difficult circumstances. If we learn to give thanks no matter what the exterior pressures are, our kids will learn to do the same.

What can you find to be thankful for in your circumstances today?

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two  and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: Seeking Wisdom (James 1:5)

The fingerprints on my back door keep getting higher. It means my girls are getting older and my role as a mom is shifting from protector to guide.

I find I have to let my girls make some of their own decisions, and I find that letting them do so is not always easy. In the midst of this shift, I’ve learned that being wise in my role is difficult. That’s why I’m so thankful that God is the source of true wisdom, and He’s ready to hand it out whenever I ask.

James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God is just waiting for us to ask for His wisdom.

On Friday, I introduced you to the girls over at Sisters in Bloom. Today, I’m privileged to be guest posting over there. Learn more about the fingerprints on my back door and how God uses them to remind me to seek His wisdom by joining me at Sisters in Bloom today.

Memory Monday: Love Requires Action (1 John 3:18)

Whenever our girls do something that hurts someone else, we tell them to apologize. Sometimes, those apologies come through gritted teeth. Even though my daughters might be saying the words, you can tell in their hearts that they don’t really mean it. Their true heart comes through in their actions.

It’s really easy to say words we don’t mean. Sometimes we say things because it’s simply easier to agree or apologize than it is to create conflict. Sometimes, we think we mean the words, but we never get around to following through with our actions. Sometimes we say what we don’t mean out of anger or frustration.

My oldest daughter had the word hypocritical as a spelling word last week. Before she could master it on her test, she had to know what it meant. We talked about how being hypocritical means that you say one thing and do another. God doesn’t want us to be hypocritical. He wants our actions to reflect Him. 1 John 3:18 says “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

It’s easy to let words come out of our mouths. It’s much harder to follow those words with actions. Yet, our actions usually show the state of our hearts much better than our words. God calls us to love each other with actions. It’s easy to say that we love our family and our friends, but if we walk away from those relationships at the first sign of trouble, then our actions say more about love than our words. It’s easy to say that we love the poor and the orphaned, but if we’re not doing anything to help those people, then our actions show how we really feel.

We want our kids to know that love is about more than hearts and words. Love requires action. Love means we set aside some of our own wants and needs to see to the wants and needs of others. Love requires sacrifice. It means putting other people in front of yourself. This is a tough concept for kids, who are by their nature generally selfish. Kids think the universe revolves around them. Putting others first doesn’t come naturally to anyone, but it’s especially difficult for kids. It’s the rare child who automatically thinks about other people more than he thinks about himself.

We can start teaching our kids that love requires action from a young age. What we teach our toddlers and preschoolers is the action of love. We teach them to share and be kind to others — not because they understand the motive behind it but because we want to form the habit. As they get older, we can teach them about the heart attitude that makes them want to put others first.

Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers, help them learn that love requires action:

  • If you have toddlers and preschoolers, start teaching them that we share because we love others. If your child is having another child over, help her choose a few toys that she wants to share with the other child. As you’re choosing the toys, tell your child that sharing is one way we show we love our friends. Talk about how God wants us to love other people.
  • If you have grade-schoolers, help your kids begin to find ways to show love to others on their own. Help them look for opportunities to put others first. At dinner one night, make a list of actions they can take to show others they are loved. Post your list somewhere that everyone can see it as an easy reminder that God wants our actions to show love.
  • If you have teenagers, encourage them to look for ways to use their actions to show love to others. Talk with them about whether the choices they are making and the way they are acting are evidence of God’s love. Ask them to think of three ways they can show love to their friends and make their actions match up with their words. Ask them to identify ways in which their words and their actions aren’t matching up. Encourage them to take steps to change those things.

Many times words are easy. It’s not hard to say, “I love you.” Following through on those words with actions can be tough. Helping our kids understand that love requires action makes them better examples of God’s love to others.

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two , State of the Heart and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: Tough Decisions

It snowed here last night. It’s the first measurable snowfall of the year for us, which is really unusual. My kids went to bed last night, hoping today would be a snow day. As I write this, their school district has yet to call off school. I’m a bit surprised by this. The roads are snow-covered and  the weather forecasters are predicting more snow followed by sleet and rain. However, it’s also one of the last weeks before the kids start taking their state assessments. And the kids were out of school on Thursday and Friday for conferences.

It’s a tough call whether to close school on days like today. The roads will probably get better in a hurry once the snow stops falling. There’s really not that much snow — maybe an inch. On the other hand, sleet and rain on top of slick snow could make even the residential roads a mess by pick-up time.  No matter what they do, they will make some portion of their constituency unhappy. Working parents will be upset if schools are closed, and it clears up soon. Some parents will be upset about endangering their kids on slick roads. It’s a tough decision for those in charge.

There are days when parenting is a lot like trying to decide whether to close schools on days when the roads are bad. Days when you know that no matter what decision you make, someone is going to be upset. We had a moment like that this weekend. My husband and I, after sitting down and looking at our budget and our calendar, decided the best thing for our family was for my youngest daughter not to play travel hockey in the fall. As adults we know that reducing the financial strain and the strain of constantly splitting up our family every weekend is the best choice for us right now. But we knew it would upset our daughter — and it did.

Parenting choices are rarely easy. From the time a tiny baby joins the household, every decision seems to hold major import. I agonized over feeding choices when my girls were young. As they get older, we have to make decisions about the activities they participate in and the friends they keep. Then we have to begin deciding how much of the decision-making to let our kids have on their own. It’s tough, and it can leave us feeling like we aren’t smart enough or strong enough to make the tough decisions.

The great thing about knowing God, though, is that we don’t have to be smart enough or strong enough … because God is both of those things. We just need to tap into the source of wisdom and strength and let Him help us make the tough decisions.  And we need to teach our kids how to do the same, so when they start making the tough decisions for themselves, they know where to turn. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Can you imagine how great his wisdom and strength are if His weakness is greater than our strength and His foolishness is wiser than our wisdom?

Whenever we’re faced with tough decisions, we need to model for our kids the best way to make good decisions. Talk with your kids about your decision-making process, so they know you’re tapping into the source of wisdom and strength to make good decisions.

  • Pray. Always start with prayer. God expects us to pray about everything, especially those things that are causing us worry or anxiety. He wants to take that anxiety and replace it with peace, even in the midst of making a tough decision.
  • Search for biblical principles to apply to the situation. Do a topic search in an online Bible Study tool like Bible Gateway. See what the Bible has to say about your particular situation. You’d be surprised by how much is in there. If you can’t find something on your specific problem, look for more general applications. For example, there’s nothing in the Bible about how busy you should be, but there are lots of verses about taking care of your family and loving your spouse. Clearly these things are a priority over any other activity.
  • Ask godly friends for their opinion. God uses our other Christ-followers to speak to us, but it’s important that we’ve gone to God first before asking a friend for advice. God will use another Christ-follower to confirm what He’s told us, but we need to seek Him out ourselves first.
  • Make a decision and give it to God. I have a tendency to do these things, make the decision, then worry about the result. Worry is a sin. It’s telling God He’s not big enough to handle the problem. Make the decision, then let it rest with God. Ask Him to give you peace. Don’t try to control everything. God’s got it under control.

Leaning on God when making tough decisions is a habit. We have to do it over and over again before it becomes second nature. But if we start bringing our tough decisions to the source of wisdom and strength, we’re going to do a much better job of making decisions than if we decide to go it alone.

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two , State of the Heart and The Better Mom.

Memory Monday: Creating Valentine’s Moments (Psalm 86:15)

We throw around the word “love” a lot. We love pizza. We love our sports teams. We love our families. We love God. I’m pretty sure most of us love our families and God more than we love pizza, yet the English language makes no distinction between the two. We use the same word for both. Because of that, I think we sometimes miss the boat on how much God loves us. We hear the words, “God loves you,” and we think, “That’s nice,” and go on with our day.

It’s not just “nice” that God loves us. It’s amazing. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s unbelievable. It’s humbling. The God who created the universe loves us simply because we exist. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die in our place. The Bible tells us that the punishment for sin (disobeying God) is death (being separated from God forever). God loves us and wants us to be near Him so much that He was willing to sacrifice His Son to make that happen.

There’s no word in our language that can describe that kind of love. It’s nearly too big for us to wrap our little human brains around. Yet, too many times, we turn our backs on that love or we fail to appreciate it. God asks us to draw near to Him because He loves us, yet many times we choose to walk alone. He asks us to follow His commands because He loves us, but we often turn away to follow our own path. He asks us to join Him in His work, yet we get too caught up in our own work.

God’s love is a lot of things that human love is not. It is unfailing, never-ending, unconditional and all-encompassing. It fills us up and comforts us. It allows Him to rejoice with us and wrap us in His loving arms when things go wrong. Psalm 86:15 says, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” God is abounding in this love. That means He has more than enough to go around — enough for all of us.

We’re going to hear a  lot about love in the next week. Valentine’s Day is coming, and we will become persuaded that true love is expressed with candy and flowers. We’ll measure love by what we get and how it is expressed by others. Take advantage of these “Valentine’s moments” and help your kids understand the difference between God’s love and human love.

  • Ask your kids to give you a list of ways that we show love to each other. Read John 3:16 with your kids. Ask them how God showed His love for us. Compare that to how we show love to each other. Ask your kids which type of love they think is greater.
  • Make a list with your kids of things that they “love.” Talk about how the word “love” sometimes means “really like.” Explain that we don’t want to confuse our love for pizza with how God loves us. Talk about how God’s love is so much more than any words can describe. Use 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide for what God’s love looks like.
  • Place some candy hearts in a dish on the table. Have each child grab a handful. For each heart, your child chose, have him list one way he knows that God loves him.

It’s easy to forget that God’s love is so much bigger, so much stronger and so much better than any other kind of love. Use the next week to remind your family that God’s love is everything we’ll ever need.

Join us all week as we talk about God’s love, and how you can create “Valentine’s moments” with your kids that help them understand God’s love.

Linking up today with These Five of Mine Plus Two and The Better Mom.