Receive, Reject, Or Redeem
If you are a follower of Jesus, especially as a parent, you are confronted with what to do every time a holiday comes around. You have three choices: You can decide either to receive, reject, or redeem the holiday.
Culture for the most part doesn’t leave us with much of a choice and if our kids go to a public school or if they frequent any grocery store or shopping mall during any holiday season, then undoubtedly they will be exposed to whatever holiday their world around them is celebrating. This is especially true for Valentine’s Day, which is a day supposedly dedicated to love, but if we’re being honest, has turned into another cultural expression of sexual idolatry in the form of lust, over-desires, and me-centeredness.
So what should you do? I think if you are a Christian and a parent, you should redeem it. Why? Because you can take almost any situation, even pagan holidays, and turn them into teaching moments and gospel moments for your children. Valentine’s Day provides a wonderful opportunity to do this because it is an opportunity to talk about God’s great love more than anything.
Here are a few ways for dads and moms to redeem Valentine’s Day by teaching your kids about God’s great love!
1. Fathers can teach their sons about God’s great love through the way they love their wives on Valentine’s Day. Roll out the red carpet. It does so much in the hearts of your little boys. And bring them into the process.
Flowers, home-made notes, small gifts, hugs, kisses, and slow dances in the kitchen are some ideas.
Tons of expressions of love throughout the day to your wives in the presence of your sons.
For those fathers that have sons and daughters, encourage your sons to write love notes to their sister(s).
2. Fathers can teach their daughters about God’s great love through the way they pursue their daughter’s hearts on Valentine’s Day. Make a big deal out of it and them.
Hand-written notes asking to check a box “yes” or “no” as a response to the question “Will you be my Valentine?”
A Valentine’s breakfast, lunch date, or dress-up date on a night leading up to Valentine’s Day (because you should be treating your wife that night, right?;).
A teddy bear and a tiny box of chocolates or a love note with a hand-picked flower goes a long way.
3. Mothers can teach their sons about God’s great love by making a big deal out of their love for them and by celebrating that. Masculinity is not devoid of tenderness and moms can teach their sons that it’s okay to draw pink hearts and say “I love you” to their moms.
Heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries and pink smoothies for breakfast are a hit!
Little projects that involve red, pink, hearts, and lots of love.
Special Valentine’s Day snacks after school with a fun little gift (not candy).
4. Mothers can teach their daughters about God’s great love for them by modeling what it looks like to both love and be loved; that it isn’t about merely receiving love (flowers, cards, chocolates), but more so it’s about giving love.
Ask your daughter if she has a friend that she could love on this Valentine’s Day.
Use creativity to come up with ideas on how to love others on this special day.
5. Fathers and Mothers can teach their children about God’s great love for them by pointing them to Jesus’ love for them to truly show them how much they are loved and by helping to express this greater love to the world around them.
In our home, each year we cut out hearts and write 5 things on the hearts that we love about our kids.
Remind your kids that while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them (Romans 5:8).
One year, we went to the closest hospital and handed out single roses with notes that said “You are loved! Romans 5:8” to those suffering and hurting on Valentine’s Day.
The Best News On Valentine's Day
Above everything else, help your kids to see they aren’t entitled to God’s great love on any day but that He still gave it to them through Christ on this day and every day. This is the best news they could ever receive on Valentine’s Day!