The Meaning of True Love

It is important to teach our children about the love of God all year around. Valentine’s Day approaching right around the corner also gives us a great opportunity to teach our children about “true love.” Not the conditional love the world shows, not Eros (romantic love) or even Storge (family love). We can use Valentine’s Day to teach our children about a love that is the self-surrendering, self-sacrificing, and the love that can only be shown by God—Agape love! We can only Agape love someone through the love that God has shown us.

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, strive to help your children especially your teenagers to focus on God’s love. You can start with John 3:16—talk through the Scripture and discuss ways you can show love to others. You talk about the attitudes of love. For instances, love “gives” and then apply to your lives. Of course, don’t stop learning to love when Valentine’s Day is over. As Christians we are commanded to love…. it starts with us teaching our children.

1 Corinthians 13 says:

  • Love is patient. Teach your children to be patient. This is hard for adults, so you know it’s hard for them. Take heed to how you respond in certain situations. The way you respond is the same way your children will respond.
  • Love is kind. Get your children involved in acts of kindness. For example, make a meal for your neighbor who is ill.
  • Love is not boastful. Pride will quickly kill your love for others. Are you always trying to “one up” someone else? Do what the Word says and esteem others more highly than yourself (Philippians 2:3).
  • Love is not rude. This is both in action and tone. Think of the way you respond to others, maybe your spouse—do you use a lot of sarcasm? Children mimic that. Often times, we tell someone something that is truthful but its not said in love and so the end result is rudeness.
  • Love does not insist on its on way. Is it your WAY or the HIGHWAY? We have to show our children what it looks like to compromise.
  • Love is not resentful. We need to model forgiveness in front of our children. Not to allow things go unresolved and hold onto grudges. Don’t allow your children to see you hold a grudge and help them to not become resentful.
  • Love does not rejoice in wrongdoings. Don’t allow your children to rejoice in their classmate getting in trouble. I’ve seen parents do this—the effects are very hurtful.
  • Love bears all things. It is important to teach children that love doesn’t give up—even when it is hard.
  • Love believes all things. Teach your children to see others through the lens of how God sees them.
  • Love hopes all things. Our hope is in God. Help your children focus on their relationship with God and place their hope in Him.
  • Love never ends. Love is from God. God is love and God is eternal. Because of this, we will always have love.

I hope this was helpful to you as you teach your children about the love of God and that it will help the conversation flow in your home about the true meaning of “love.”

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