This is a guest post by Jennifer for our Love in the Real World series. Learn more about Jennifer at intentionaltraditions.com.
“So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us.”-1 John 4:16
Recently this verse struck a deep chord within me. A strong desire for my children not only to hear often about God’s love but to come to know and believe in it. That phrase has become part of my nightly prayer and blessing for them. How often we as adults struggle with trusting this idea and I deeply want to plant this in my children’s hearts and minds if possible.
One step toward this this year is to leave them a “love note” from a book rich with words about God’s love for us and how then we should love others- 1 John.
You can download and print the 10 Hearts to give to your loved ones each day here. Feel free to write your own personal note on the back, specific to their day and decorate or attach candy (who wouldn’t love that!). I’m going to stick mine on their door each morning. The verses may also lead to a good dinner discussion on how we love others or deal with those who were unloving today. These moments will help to equip them for the tough challenges they face in their own little world. We want to train them to respond in sacrificial love out of an awareness that God loves them.
Don’t worry about what day you are starting- even the 10 days after Valentine’s Day would be a special surprise!
Parent’s Prayers from 1 John
1 John 4:16 – Lord, More than anything I want my children to come to know and believe the love that You have for them. Help me today through my patience and kindness to display that love You have for them. I want to dwell with You and in Your love and bless my children today by this example. In Jesus’ strength, Amen.
1 John 4:18-19 – Our Father, Thank You that Your love is so unconditional, patient, and forgiving that we can come to You without fear. When my children are afraid, help them to settle into this great love and give You their fears instead of carrying them and striving alone. Perfect our hearts each day as we grow to be more loving and more like You by dwelling on Your example and resting in Your love too. Thank you for loving my child even before they were born. Be near them and remind them of Your love while we are apart today in a meaningful way to them because You know them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:20-21 – Dear Lord, Thank You for Your great, true love toward us! Please help me and my children speak truth with our love today. Help us in those moments when we are tempted to treat those we love without love. Guide me to be a greater example in loving who I can see, training them for perhaps a greater challenge- loving One they cannot see. Love our family, friends, and schoolmates through us this week and help us grow in love toward the ones with whom our love has grown cold. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 5:1 – Good Father, Open they eyes of my children to the evidences of You all around us that they may believe. My hearts’ cry is that they would be born again of You and love You. It is a parent’s greatest peace. If my children already believe, help me notice the love they have for others and help me display it too. I know the world will recognize we are Yours by our love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 2:4-6 – Father, Let us be blessed to see true fruit from our children’s belief in You. We humble ourselves to be changed by Your Word and example so it is evident we “know You.” Help me to lead them in learning and keeping Your Word. I know Your love is truly perfected in the heart that keeps it. Lord, today I want to walk in the way You walked and lead my children in Your footsteps. Let Your love be alive in our household today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 3:1-3 – Father, Open our hearts to see more clearly what kind of love You give to us. You gather us from any circumstance and call us Your children! And if we believe in You we are adopted and receive all the rights of a son or daughter. I pray for my children to also accept this perfect love. This relationship will confuse some we know, but help us to share it and explain it compassionately. Holy Spirit, call more into Your family through our story of adoption. Thank You for Your perfect love that purifies us for a new future. Thank You that You offer this to all. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 3:16 – Thank You, Father, that You taught us just what love is. My heart Knows love because it knows You. In a world of confusing messages about what pure love is, You defined it long ago by laying down Your life for us. Give us an understanding of this and love so intense for each other that we would be willing to lay our life down for another. May You be glorified in our life and our death. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:7 – Lord, Show us today the overlooked ways that we do not love others fully. The times that we ignore, or pass by, or give no attention. The moments that we have not let Your love invade. The times that are too busy to show Your love inside of us. Forgive us for cutting short what Your love would do. By Your power, help us to change habits this weeks in small ways. Help us become aware of any bias or busyness or selfishness. Help my children and me to display that we have been born again of You with our generous and patient love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:11-12 – Lord, Please help me to understand just a little bit how much You love us and the world around us. How would understanding that love change how I could interact with those You have placed in my week? Give me opportunities to speak to open hearts and share what I know to be true of You, even if I can’t see You. Thank You that You abide in us and perfect our flawed ideas of love. Help me to see the fruit of your abiding love in my children and bless them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4: 9-10 – Father, Thank You that Your love is not kept reserved and far from us. What an extension of Yourself to send Your Son down to walk the dirt among us! Thank You for the new life that we may live through You. I pray for that life for my sons (here and around the world); a life of freedom, purpose, and hope, living in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read more from Jennifer on her blog intentionaltraditions.com
Check out others in the Love in the Real World Series.
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