The origins of Valentine's Day may never be fully discovered, but for children who are growing up in Christian homes, the holiday can be one more opportunity to educate them about the greatest love of all time. The love Jesus showed for the world by his death on the cross and resurrection on the third day isn't something that should only be talked about at Easter. The most important act of love every shown to mankind can be celebrated every day of the year and Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity to teach the younger members of the family about the love God showed by sending his own son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
The following children's books are appropriate for sharing at bedtime, family devotion times or any other moment. They can be read aloud or children can enjoy reading them on their own. They are also a great addition to children's church and Sunday School lessons.
"My Valentine Story: Giving My Heart to God" by Crystal Bowman and Claudine Gévry (Zonderkidz, Dec. 2006) Just right for teaching children ages 2 and up about the special love Christ has for them, this picture book will become a family favorite.
"Love Is . . ." adapted from the King James Bible with illustrations by Wendy Anderson Halperin (Aladdin, Dec. 2003) The words found in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians of the Holy Bible are often read at weddings or other events where love is the theme. In this children's version of the verses, readers will learn that love is being kind, forgiving, polite and more.
"My Valentine for Jesus" by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton and Buket Erdogan (Zonderkidz, Dec. 2009) This book is sturdy enough for toddlers and preschoolers, but entertaining enough for older readers as well. With rhyming text and charming illustrations, kids will be able to relate to the main character's feelings of love for his family and Jesus.
"God Gave Us Love" by Lisa T. Bergren and Laura J. Bryant (WaterBrook Press, Sept. 2009) Grampa Bear and Little Cub are spending a great day together fishing when they are interrupted by some pesky otters. Little Cub wants to know why we must love everyone, even those who annoy us and Grampa Bear helps him understand the origins of love and its importance in the world.
"God Loves Me More Than That" by Dandi Daley Mackall (WaterBrook Press, Aug. 2008) Using rhyming text and language young children can understand, this book explains just how much God loves each and every person. More than all the bumbles in a bee, more than all the letters between A and Z; this is how big the love of God is.
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