February 2021 – Just Share Love

February 2021 – Just Share Love

Decorations

Use Valentine’s Day colors: red/white/pink tablecloths, balloons, cupid arrows and heart–shaped confetti scattered on the tables.

Games

Use the following website to print a Valentine word search:

https://www.morningmotivatedmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Valentines-Day-Word-Search_Hard.pdf

For additional games check these websites:

https://www.cupcakediariesblog.com/2018/01/valentines-day-candy-dice-game.html

http://funcheaporfree.com/the-bowl-game-the-best-party-game-youve-ever-played/

Refreshment Ideas

A float made with three ingredients is fun and simple. Pour cherry soda over vanilla ice cream and use red licorice for a straw. Check Pinterest for other refreshment ideas.

Heart Popcorn Balls

Check the following website for the directions to make heart popcorn balls with printable tags: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/heart-pop-recipe-and-printable/

God Is Love

A quick glance.

A shy smile.

Sweaty palms.

Hearts a–flutter.

Nervous introductions.

Aaaaaah … all the characteristics of young love.

Sometimes those characteristics cause us to behave in a manner that is unusual or foreign to us, and we can even be referred to as lovesick! A little song from many years ago blames Cupid for causing the behavior that has him acting like a lovesick fool.

I’m in love and it’s a crying shame

And I know that you’re the one to blame

Hey, Hey, set me free

Stupid Cupid stop picking on me!

Do you remember your first love? What do you remember most? Did you act like a lovesick fool? Do you remember wanting to look your best? Did you look for unique ways to make your loved one feel special?

We have anniversaries of special events in our lives and we are intentional about doing things that will show our loved ones how special they are to us. During the month of February we are especially mindful of expressing our love and focusing on appreciating those little things that are sometimes taken for granted.

Often we allow ourselves to get so busy that we miss opportunities to love and be loved. That is why we sometimes go to extremes when Valentine’s Day arrives. We may overcompensate for those times when we’ve taken our loved ones for granted. In doing this, we can get so wrapped up in celebration of love for each other that we lose sight of where love comes from.

“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV).

I think it is safe to say that everyone has a need to love and be loved. We are created in the image of God, and Scripture tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The beginning of that verse says, “Whoever does not love does not know God.” We know that there are many in this world who do not yet know God. Unfortunately, there are those who find it hard to love others because they have not had very good earthly examples of true and pure love that is an expression of being in relationship with the God who is love.

We must allow ourselves to love and be loved by the One who “first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We should not take this love for granted but cultivate our relationship with God and be intentional about showing Him how much we value that relationship, much as we make the effort to show our earthly loved ones how special they are to us.

Because God is love, His love overflows in us, and a natural expression of that love is that we then love one another. Scripture tells us many times to love each other. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). Furthermore, Jesus Himself, when asked “which is the greatest commandment in the Law” said, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

A few more phrases from our songwriter friend:

You mixed me up for good right from the very start

Hey now, go play Robin Hood with somebody else’s heart

You got me jumping like a crazy clown

And I don’t feature what you’re putting down …

Hey, Hey, set me free

Cupid stop picking on me”

The image of this lovesick songwriter may not exactly be the ideal we’re looking for. The love that comes from the one who will “never leave you nor forsake you” goes much deeper (See Deut. 31:6). As already mentioned, exhibiting the true and pure love that is an expression of being in relationship with the God who is love, makes all the difference. We can be eloquent speakers, extremely knowledgeable on many subjects, very generous with our possessions, hard–working to the point of exhaustion, but if we do not have love, we are nothing. 1 Corinthians 13 outlines this very clearly. This chapter of scripture is commonly referred to as the Love Chapter because it outlines those characteristics that are evidenced by a life overflowing with a true, pure love that comes from God. While these characteristics seem very basic and straightforward, they can be among the hardest to achieve, given our human nature.

Meditate on the words from 1 Corinthians 13 as we pray that our lives evidence a love that is rooted in relationship with God.