Teaching a small child to love and know that they are loved is a special honor. Though it may seem like a huge (even overwhelming!) responsibility, the good news is that we need only to look as far as Jesus. For he is a wonderful example of how we can nurture love in our children. He paints the perfect picture of what love looks like when applied in a practical way.
By looking at the accounts of Jesus’ time on earth, we can gather simple ways to pass his love on to our children. Over the next three blog posts, we’ll provide some examples and ways that you can use as tools to teach your preschool Sunday school, church nursery, or toddlers about love, as demonstrated in the Bible.
Here are two great ways to start practicing Jesus's love with your children.
Bible Story: Jesus Feeds 5,000 (Matthew 14:13-21)
In this story, Jesus shows love for his disciples and followers by giving them nourishment. It’s a good reminder for us that caring for small children involves giving them a bunch of everyday practical gifts- the kind that aren’t normally wrapped in a box and tied with a bow. Caring our kids by giving them a clean diaper, a warm meal, or a soft blanket demonstrates that they are loved and cared for. Creating opportunities for toddlers and preschoolers to give to others teaches them how to love in a practical way as well.
Make a practice of narrating your actions throughout the day
Whether with your infant, toddler, or preschooler, narration offers a great way to make them aware of what’s happening and build a strong vocabulary.
Think of yourself as a kind of sportscaster: “Oh look what I have! I have a new diaper for Ethan! I love you so much, I want you to feel nice and clean!” and “Oh! You’re sharing your cracker with Daddy! That is a nice way to show him you love him!” Pointing out the loving gestures that happen in your home will help them see and appreciate the little clues that they are loved and can be loving too.
This opens a door for us to point out the greatest gift of all- Jesus himself. Once children understand about love and giving, it’s easier to understand the words in John 3:16
So God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...
Join us next week as we share two more Bible stories to share with preschoolers, toddlers, or even babies to teach them about love.