See this poster one of my kiddos made? Do the words on each heart look familiar to you at all? I may be hanging this up in my house for quite awhile, because it has a lot to teach me. Here’s the back story–we attended a Valentine’s party at our church on Saturday. A wonderful woman from our congregation (who is also a phenomenal teacher) put on a party for the preschool to elementary aged kids. One of the first activities she had them do was a “heart hunt.” You may want to do this with your gang as well! She had these colored hearts scattered around a certain area of the room our party was in. The kids were instructed to pick up one heart of each color, 7 in total. As they finished and each child had 7, they had a little learning time where they discussed what was on the hearts. I was completely impressed with some of those kids’ answers.
If you’re familiar with 1 Corinthians 13, also known as “the love chapter” in the Bible, you can see that each heart has an attribute of real love on it. I have to admit, there was a time when I heard this chapter of the Bible read aloud so many times, especially at weddings. To be honest with you, I was kind of sick of hearing it! However, there is a reason it’s read so much–it’s honest to goodness good stuff. Really. It didn’t strike me until someone else suggested putting the name Jesus in every spot where it says love. Yes, Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind…. Or, if you really want to challenge yourself to be more loving, try putting your own name in those spots where the word love is. I tried that and man, it was awfully convicting!! I asked myself, can I honestly say “Rachel is patient. Rachel is kind. Rachel does not envy, does not boast”and so on. No way am I all those things all the time!! I may be ok at some of them some of the time, but definitely not ALL of them. There’s some days where I would give myself a big fat F in all of those attributes. I fail myself, fail others, and am sure I fail God on a daily basis. I’m human. But you know what the beautiful part is? God IS love and He loves me no matter what! He is also very willing to forgive us for all of those times we mess up, all we have to do is ask Him. Another beautiful thing is that I can ask Him to help me be more loving and to show His love to others. He wants us to ask Him for help, and He will help lift us up in those areas where we can be weak. He can help us be more loving–to our spouses, our kids, our neighbors, even to someone you may find quite unlovable.
God’s love is real! He loves you beyond what you can ever imagine. Accept that love today, bask in it, and ask God to help you display that true love to everyone around you. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.