As we celebrate the month of love this February, we are highlighting simple ways to pass that love on to our children by using the Bible as an example. Miss our first blog post? Check it out here.
Bible Story: Jesus Talks to The Woman at the Well (John 4: 1-30)
When Jesus meets up with a troubled woman at a well, He demonstrates His love by talking kindly with her. His loving words helped her to see the need for God’s love and inspired an entire life change.
Reading this story helps us to understand that the very best way to help our children when they are struggling is to show they are loved and valued. Gentle words, especially with young children, are far more effective than yelling and have much more potential to affect change.
We can follow Jesus’ example when our children are troubled.
Talking at a lower tone, staying at the child’s eye level, and using gentle language can be a wonderful way to communicate your love. Sometimes, that will mean waiting until a calmer time to talk about what’s in need of change, perhaps with a nice cool cup of water: “Mommy loves you so much, Katy, I can’t let you run away from me in the store. I want you to be safe because you are special to me. What do you think about next time? Should you sit in the cart, or can you be a big girl and stay close?”. This not only will help your child think through their actions but will set an example of how they talk to others in distress as well.
God’s word tells us that His loving kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). As we model kind words and compassion for our children, we are setting the stage for God’s word to reach their hearts.
Bible Story: Jesus Welcomes the Children (Matthew 19:13-15)
While parents started to bring their children to Jesus, His disciples started to worry that Jesus just didn’t have time to sit down with kids – He probably had more important things to do.
However, when Jesus heard this, he showed love to the children by inviting them to come in closer and spent time with them. It can be assumed that the disciples were not completely wrong. I can imagine that Jesus’ itinerary was packed! Nonetheless, Jesus didn’t find children to be in interruption- setting a perfect example for the rest of us.
Take just 15 minutes
Having young children in our lives makes us, by definition, busy. There is so much to do just to make sure that our children are healthy and fed and safe. Often, the demands of our responsibilities can make us feel so rushed that we forget how important letting children come to us is. Spending time with our children is one of the ways we say to our children “you have value.” When we set aside even 15 minutes a day to read and pray with our little ones, free of distractions, we show our kids that they are important. Teaching them to stop what they are doing to greet siblings or a parent when they come home is another great way to teach them to practice love.
Additionally, we are helping them to understand the concept of a loving God who welcomes them with open arms whenever they come to Him.
In closing, love. Practicing and showing love is the best way to teach to people across all ages. It is both beneficial to you and the children in your life. So take that time, speak kind words, leave notes, forgive, encourage and thank Jesus for his excellent example!
Check back next week to read the final two stories that help little ones understand love and ideas for showing it in everyday life, using it as a lesson during preschool Sunday school, and sharing it with caregivers.