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7 Great Big Love Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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Looking for a way to help your families grow together with Bible-based ideas this Valentine’s Day? Use any or all of these activities with kids or families to help them experience God’s heart and take that overflowing love out into their neighborhood!

The Heartbeat of God

You’ll Need: a Bible, several heart cut-outs, and masking tape

Get Ready: Hang the heart cut-outs on the wall. Create a large outline of a heart on the floor with masking tape. Point to one of the hearts hanging on the wall. Say: When we see a heart, we usually think about love. Let’s read what the Bible says about love.

Read aloud 1 John 4:8.

Ask: What do you think it means that God is love? When you think of God’s love, what words come to mind?

Have everyone stand on the outline of the heart you taped on the floor and hold hands.

Say: I’m going to squeeze the hand of the person to my right. When that person feels my squeeze, that person will squeeze the next person’s hand. As soon as you feel a squeeze, pass it on to the next person and let’s see if we can keep it going! Let the game continue around the circle several times, until you can clearly see the squeezes being passed and there’s a good rhythm around the circle.

When there’s good momentum, say: Keep it going! We can think of this as God’s heartbeat. When we receive his love, we can give it away and his love keeps on going forever!

Afterward, ask: What are some loving things people have done for you? What are some ways you’ve passed on God’s love to other people?

Say: When we experience God’s love, we get to pass it on to other people, just as we passed our heartbeat around the circle. Let’s remember to pass on God’s love!

Heart Tag

You’ll Need: a Bible, heart stickers (one sheet per person), and a large, open activity area

Get Ready: Set up chairs around the perimeter of the room.

Say: Have you ever noticed that when you give something away, you usually don’t have it anymore? If you spend all your money, you don’t have any left. If you pour milk into cups and everyone drinks it, you don’t have any left. Let’s try a game to see just how this works. I’m going to give everyone a sheet of stickers, and you all need to run around the room “tagging” each other with stickers. Be gentle with each other, but keep going until you’re all out of stickers. When you run out, sit in a chair next to your family or friends.

Have adults or older children help you distribute the sticker sheets. Allow time for everyone to play. When all the sheets are empty, have everyone sit down.

Say: Show me your sheets of stickers. Hold them up high! Pause. It looks like all your stickers are gone.

Ask: Even though you gave away all your heart stickers, how many do you have? Allow time for people to count the stickers attached to them.

Say: Tell about a time you gave away love and felt loved in return.

Say: In God’s kingdom, we give away love but we keep getting more and more of it. God keeps on showing us his love, so we’ll never run out.

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Read aloud Romans 8:38-39.

Nothing can make God stop loving us. Nothing will ever make God’s love run out.

 

Servant Love

You’ll Need: a Bible, a large bowl of warm water, and one clean washcloth per person

Have everyone sit in a chair. Instruct people to take off their socks and shoes, leaving them around the edges of the room. When people are ready, place the bowl of water in the middle of the room. Then have everyone sit on the floor in a circle. Distribute washcloths.

Say: God’s love never runs out. But how exactly do we give away God’s love? Jesus showed us by example how to do just that. In John 13, Jesus chose the dirtiest, grossest job he could-washing his friends’ feet. Back in those days, people walked everywhere on dusty roads wearing just sandals. Their feet got filthy, and they had to wash them often. God’s love flowed through Jesus so he could serve others by doing a yucky job. We can show God’s love, too, by serving each other.

Begin with the person to your left. Dip part of your washcloth into the water bowl, and gently wash the person’s feet. Dry them with the dry portion of the cloth. Then continue to move the water bowl along while each person washes the feet of the person to his or her left. (To save time in a very large group, have people sit in smaller circles of up to eight with a water bowl and cloths for each group).

Once everyone’s feet are clean, say: Return with your family or friends to your shoes. Rather than just putting on your own socks and shoes, help each other put on socks and shoes. Tell each other, “God loves you” as you serve each other.

Ask: Why do you think Jesus chose this act as a way to show love? How has Jesus shown love to you? How can you share God’s love by serving your family throughout the week?

Say: When Jesus showed love by washing his friends’ feet, he told us to follow that example. He wants us to love others by being servants. That’s how we overflow his love to other people.

Down in My Heart

You’ll Need: a Bible Have everyone stand in the center of the room but instruct them to split up, males on one side and females standing on the other side. Read aloud 1 Thessalonians 3:12.

Say: When God’s love fills your heart, sometimes it spills over! We’re going to see which group can show the most enthusiasm-when you hear the words “down in my heart,” I’ll point to either the girls or the boys. If I point to your group, shout out “Where?” as loudly as you can.

Sing or have a volunteer sing “I’ve Got the Joy,” alternating which group you point to after each line. (Don’t know the tune? Look it up on youtube.)

SING: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!

I’ve got the love of Jesus,
love of Jesus
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!

After singing, ask: What are signs that someone has God’s joy, love, and peace in their heart? How does God put his joy, love, and peace in your heart? How have you seen God’s love overflow from your heart?

Say: When God’s love and joy are down in our hearts, they spill out and other people get to see that love and joy, too.

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Children's Ministry Magazine

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2 Comments

  1. Melanie Swauger on

    I was looking for the Year of Jesus calendar mentioned in your January/February 2015 issue of Children’s Ministry p. 40 and was unable to find it. Is it still available for downloading?

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