Editor’s note: Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year—what a great ministry opportunity! If you’re looking for gifts and resources to help your church celebrate, check out our website and Resource and Idea Center. Rush shipping is available!

Most kids celebrate Valentine’s Day by trading cards and candy with family and friends. It’s a fun thing to do, but this year why not shift the focus a bit? Here are two new ways to give Valentine’s Day more meaning for your students and others.

God says, “BE MINE   Focus your classroom on the true and unconditional love of God. Use Bible verses that declare God’s love for us to help your students better understand how much they mean to him. Look up verses like Isaiah 43:1, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:31, 1 John 3:16, and 1 John 4:8-10.

  • Write out the verses and have students insert their own names to make it more personal. “Fear not, Tim, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 ESV)
  • Cut up a verse word by word. Break into teams and have a race to see which group can put the verse in the correct order the fastest.
  • Print verses on hearts and then cut them apart. Mix up the pieces and pass them out. Encourage students to find their other half.
  • Put actions to one of the verses and memorize it as a group.
  • Have small groups or individuals practice looking up Bible references and reading the verses aloud. Count how many different ways God says, “I love you.” Talk about the different ways God shows His love for us and how we can show love to others.

Care and Share When we think of Valentine’s Day, we usually don’t go beyond our circle of friends. This year, use the day to help your students think of others, especially people who might be lonely or hurting.

  • Make cards for the shut-ins in your congregation and deliver them in groups of two or three.
  • Make care packages for deployed military members or people who are serving as missionaries.
  • Send words of encouragement to single parents, those who have lost family members, and those who are sick or recovering from surgery. If your group is able, consider making a few meals to go along with those encouraging words.
  • If you are feeling really ambitious, use Matthew 22 as a model.Prepare a meal and “go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.” (Matthew 22:9 NIV)

As you plan your Valentine’s Day celebrations, remember to ask God to point out opportunities to share his love. Ask him to show you the people who need to know his love and unconditional grace. Ask him to bless your efforts as you spread his love and forgiveness throughout your community and beyond.

 

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