A friend LOVES at all times Valentine…by Susie

Valentine friend

I have been told that as our children grow older, our work as parents becomes much less physical and a whole lot more emotional.  I confess that I have already found that to be true.  Where as I used to fall into bed exhausted from nursing a baby and chasing a toddler, I now fall into bed exhausted from the mental and emotional energy it has taken to guide my children through the challenging task of examining their heart responses to  situations they have found themselves in that day.  In particular, God has blessed me with an adorable, sweet and very tender-hearted, young boy.  While these characteristics make him a pure joy to be with, it also means he is extra vulnerable to the often insensitive and unkind words and behaviors of others in his life, including his own mother’s 😦 As a result, friendships are more work for him.   What might make one child sad for one day, instead grieves my boy for weeks.  Where one child might shrug off a snub from a pal and move on, my boy remembers for a long time.

 And so that brings us to our Valentine’s Day theme for this year.  It is a perfect opportunity to talk about the love between friends.  Here is the simple beauty and endless wisdom found in the book of Proverbs:

A friend loves at all times.

Proverbs 17:17

I know its hard for my son to keep his heart open and loving toward a buddy who has hurt his feelings, whether it happened on purpose or completely unwittingly.  That’s life! That’s friendship!  Sometimes we hurt others.  Sometimes they hurt us.  But what is our heart response going to be when that does happen?  How can I coach my son in this?

I don’t know about you, but I find it MUCH easier to teach and to talk with my boys about things when the other parts of their bodies are being occupied.  That’s why almost 80% of our Bible reading and devotional teaching happens over breakfast or dinner.  They are seated, their hands are occupied, and I can get a word in edge-wise every time they take a bite 😉  (And that’s why I’m gaga over the Table Top Truths placemats click here for the RaisingDeepRoots post on making mealtimes meaningful.)   The other 20% seems to happen over some craft or activity.  Again, they are focussed on a task, their hands are busy with a project, and its fun!  And I’ve managed to disarm them from the  guarded, “this suspiciously has the feel of a lesson is about to be taught” frame of mind! LOL!

And so without further ado, I’m so excited to share with you our “A friend loves at all times” Valentines!

I have been in love with these people shapes kits by Lakeshore Learning!  I’ve ordered them time and time again and always find a use for them.  (Usually they end up in my preschool Sunday School class)  Doesn’t this look like so much fun?  I promise you it is!

people shapes lakeshore

The possibilities are endless.  We had so much fun customizing each Valentine friend to match the look and personality of the friends at school, in the neighbourhood, and at church.  Of course, you don’t really need this kit. These Valentine friends would be VERY easy to cut out  from any card stock paper, or even the construction paper might have in your craft closet.   The clothes are made from felt so you could pick up a few sheets of felt and cut out shapes for yourself in no time flat.  Grab your glue, buttons, other beads and odds and ends and you are ready to create your friends 🙂

 I think they turned out so cute!

Making Friend valentines

Valentine friend

proverbs17


There are so many directions a lesson on friendship could take, but since we were focussing on our “A friend loves at all times” Bible verse, I wanted to focus on those situations when loving a friend is hard.  Not surprisingly, it was easy to answer the question, “When is it hard to love our friends?”

1) When they hurt our feelings,

2) When they are mean,

3) When they are being selfish and will only playing what THEY want to play and not what WE want to play.

Any of these sound familiar?  And of course, the ever-relevant and life-giving word of God provided us with the answers:

1) Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” New International Version (©1984)

A friend who loves at all times will forgive. And forgive. And forgive.   Don’t bear grudges.  Don’t stay mad.  Forgive your friend.

2) 1 Peter 3:9   Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. New Living Translation (©2007)

A friend who loves at all times will repay evil with kindness.  We may want to be mean back or to seek revenge but that’s not how to be a loving friend.  Afterall, “A soft answers turns away wrath”.  Proverbs 15:1

3) Philippians 2:4   “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  New International Version (©1984)

A friend who loves at all times will seek the interests of others.  Just because our friend doesn’t want to play what we want to play, doesn’t mean we get mad and stomp home.  We choose to play what they want to play because we chose to love them. {You may want to add in a caveat that this doesn’t apply in those situations when a friend wants to play something that is against your family rules or is displeasing to God..}

These have been easy to review.  What do we do when a friend is hard to love?

When they hurt us, we forgive.  When they are mean, we are kind in return.  When they want to play something we don’t think is fun,  we don’t insist on our own way, we play what they like to play because we love them.

And finally…

monster valentine

A friend LOVES at all times…even when our friend is being  a MONSTER! LOL!

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

Susie

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Comments
One Response to “A friend LOVES at all times Valentine…by Susie”
  1. Danyel says:

    Thanks Susan. I like this idea!

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