Family Guide to February
To me, February is associated with Valentine's Day and as fun as it is to celebrate the people in our lives that matter most, what if we took this time to focus more on God, His Word, His Love, and His desire for us to love Him and others? That's exactly what this guide is all about.
I want to encourage you, dads and moms, to read through this guide and talk about ways you can implement these ideas, or use them to create your own.
We Love Because God Loves Us
By Rick Warren
“We love because he first loved us”(1 John 4:19 NIV).
One reason God wants us to love is because He is love, and he created us to be like him—to love. The only reason we’re able to love is because God loves us:
“Love comes from God . . . because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 NIV).
We were created in God’s image to do two things on Earth: Learn to love God and learn to love other people. Life is all about love.
But love all started with God. He loved us first, and that gives us the ability to love others (1 John 4:19). The only reason you can love God or love anybody else is because God first loved you. He showed that love by creating you. He showed that love by everything you have in life; it’s all a gift of God’s love. And he showed that love by sending Jesus Christ to Earth to die for you.
In order to love others well, we first need to understand and experience how much God loves us. We don’t want to just talk about love, read about love, or discuss love; we need to encounter the love of God.
We need to reach a place when we truly understand how God loves us completely and unconditionally. We need to become secure in the truth that we cannot make God stop loving us.
Once we’re secure inside God’s unconditional love, we’ll start cutting people a lot more slack. We won’t be as angry as we’ve been. We’ll be more patient. We’ll be more forgiving. We’ll be more merciful. We’ll give others grace.
But you cannot give others something you haven’t received yourself. I hope that as you learn how much God loves you, you’ll also let him heal your heart so that his love can flow freely through you. It’s impossible to love others until you really feel loved yourself.
As a family make a paper chain, (use red, white and pink paper if you have it). Cut the paper into strips about an inch apart. Have each person share ways that they see God’s love.
Here are a few examples you can use:
“I see God’s love when I see puppies”
“I see God’s love when it rains”
“I see God’s love in our family”
“I see God’s love when I think of Jesus”
Write the different ways you see and experience God’s love on each strip of paper, and then link them together to form a chain. Throughout the month as God reminds you of ways He loves you add to the chain.
...the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Marriage is a beautiful gift that God has given us. To enter into marriage is a joy and that’s why we celebrate weddings and anniversaries, we’re celebrating this wonderful blessing of two people being united as “one flesh."
To become one emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and in every other way, the couple is to become one. Even as one part of the body cares for the other body parts (the stomach digests food for the body, the brain directs the body for the good of the whole, the hands work for the sake of the body, etc.), so each partner in the marriage is to care for the other.
Read in your Bible Ephesians 5:22-33 and Proverbs 31:10-31 and see how God explains this “oneness” of the husband and to the wife, respectively.
Take some time this week and share with your kids how you and your spouse met.
Pull out your wedding pictures or videos and talk with them about how you felt that day, what you were thinking, and if the pictures represent what it was really like.
Plan a family date night -
Where will you go?
What will you do?
Is there another family you can invite to join you?
Have you ever tried to talk with someone who speaks a different language than you?
What was that like?
Were you able to figure out a way to get your message across?
Sometimes expressing love to others can be harder than we think it should be, and one reason why is because we receive and express love differently.
Gary Chapman wrote about the 5 Love Languages years ago, and I believe they’re helpful while remembering that no one person experiences love in just one way.
Take some time this week to explore the 5 Love Languages
The five love languages are as follows:
1. Physical touch
2. Words of affirmation
3. Quality time
5. Acts of service
You can learn more about them here:
As a family talk about the 5 Love Languages and see if you can figure out each person's primary Love Language.
How does knowing how someone else experiences love help you have a stronger relationship?
Have your younger kids draw pictures of times they felt loved.
What do the pictures tell you?
How are they expressing their love language?
Make 10 paper hearts and write one love language on each heart so you have two hearts with the same words. Flip them over and play a matching game with the hearts.
Parents, for week 4 we're offering two options. Pray together as husband and wife and ask God to guide in wisdom as you prepare for the week. Ultimately you know your kids and you know what they are ready for. I would encourage you, even if your kids are younger and not ready for "the talk" to watch the first two lessons of the provided resource from Right Now Media and start having the conversation together and develop a game plan for when you will talk with your kids about sex and purity.
Option 1: Starting a healthy conversation about sex.
Parents this might be a good time to have an age-appropriate discussion with your kids about God’s design for sex and purity.
This could range from a basic biology/anatomy lesson and how God made us male and female to having a longer discussion on sex and purity.
A great resource to help you is “The Talks” by Barrett and Jenifer Johnson. You can access the video series on RightNow Media a resource that FBCP provides to you for free.
Text: PEARLAND to 41411
to set up your free account and start watching helpful resources for you and your family.
Option 2: God’s design for relationships.
Do you know there are 59 passages in the Bible about how to “one another” one another? 59 passages detailing what healthy, God-honoring relationships look like.
Here is a list of all 59
Many of the passages repeat the same ideas.
What patterns do you see in the Bible?
What does it look like for us to “one another” in our family?
In our friendships?
In our school?
In our church?
What do these verses tell you about the type of person you should look for in a friend? In a future spouse?
What do they tell you about the kind of person you need to be?
This would be a great time for you as parents to clearly express your expectations for dating and relationships.
As a family -
How can you show love to someone else this week?
What could you do for a neighbor, a friend, a grandparent or a teacher to show them you care about them?
If you haven’t already, go on your family date and have fun together.
Even if it’s as simple as going to Chick-fil-A and playing Uno.