Today is Valentine’s Day. I woke this morning to social media posts filled with people hurting because they aren’t currently in a romantic relationship. Our world is starved for godly love. You can have fun, reflect God’s love to others and teach your kids about the different types of love while doing this great service project. And you don’t even have to do it on Valentine’s Day!
Have your kids create a list of people who might need a reminder they are loved. Talk about the different types of people who may feel unloved for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are single and not dating anyone. Perhaps their spouse has died. Maybe they are someone whose family lives far away. Perhaps it’s someone who is going through a divorce. Maybe it is a child who doesn’t quite “fit in” at school. Perhaps it is a student or military person living far from family and lifelong friends. Maybe it’s someone living in a nursing home or rehab center. You get the idea.
Now help your kids brainstorm ways to help the person feel loved. To let them know your family loves them. To remind them God always loves them. Maybe your kids want to create art or write a note. Perhaps they want to make them cookies or give them candy. Maybe they want to spend a little time with the person or give them a hug. Encourage your kids to be creative. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Use things you have around the house. Shop those day after Valentine’s sales when everything – even candy – is marked down.
Then follow through on your plans. As you go from place to place, teach your kids about the different kinds of love. Focus on Agape love – the type of love that is unconditional, serving – the love described in great detail in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. With older tweens and teens, you may also want to cover the difference between lust and love or crushes and committed love.
After you complete one of your love “missions”, talk about the response you got from the person. What did it mean to them to feel your love and to be reminded of God’s love? What did they say or do to make your kids believe they were impacted by what you did? Did anyone reject your attempts to show them love? Why might someone feel uncomfortable when offered love? What clues might other people subtly give them that they needed to be reminded they are loved by your kids and that God loves them? Why does the Bible have so many commands about love?
Encourage your kids to be intentional about loving others every day. Talk about all of the little ways your kids can constantly show love to others and point them to God. It can change your kids, your family and the world.