GOD COMMANDS LOVE BECAUSE GOD VALUES LOVE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 John 4:7-11.
Verse of the Day: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” (1 John 4:7, NIV).
Heather and Robyn sat with their parents in their large family room.
“Heather,” Mom said, “would you show little Ian where the toy chest is?” Mom nodded toward three-year-old Ian, who was visiting with his parents.
“Sure,” Heather said, jumping up.
“I’ll go too,” Robyn said. She reached out a hand to Ian. He smiled and gripped her hand, and he and Robyn followed Heather out of the room.
Mom and Dad chatted for a long time with Ian’s parents and lost track of time after a while. Finally, Ian’s father looked at his watch.
“Oh, my,” he said. “Look at the time. It’s well past Ian’s bedtime.”
They stood together, and Mom and Dad led the way out of the room and down the hall to the playroom. Heather and Robyn sat in the center of the room, surrounded by toys, while Ian carried toy after toy back and forth from the toy box, which was now nearly empty.
“How’s it going?” Ian’s mother asked the girls.
“Oh, fine,” Heather answered.
“Yeah,” Robyn agreed. “We’ve been having fun, haven’t we, Ian?” The boy nodded happily and bobbed up and down in the middle of the room as if he were one of the toys from the toy box.
“Just one question, though,” Heather said, raising a finger like a teacher. “What’s that?” Ian’s dad said.
“Ian keeps saying something, and we can’t figure out what it means.” “Oh?” the boy’s dad said. “What?”
“It sounds like he’s saying ‘give a love,’ or something like that.” Ian’s mom and dad exchanged smiles. “Oh, that,” his dad said. “That’s exactly what he’s saying.”
“What does it mean?” Robyn asked.
“It means he wants a hug,” his mother answered. “That’s all. ‘Give a love’ means ‘I want a hug.'”
“Oh!” Heather and Robyn said together. They laughed and held out their arms. Ian fell between them, and they both hugged him.
TO DISCUSS: Even though Ian was a little child, he had already learned to value love and the signs (or tokens) of love, like hugs and kisses. That’s why he kept saying “give a love.” Can you tell that God values love by the things he says? If so, how? If not, why not? Do you think God would command us to love each other if he didn’t think love was good and important? What’s your favorite way to “give a love”?
TO PRAY: “Show us, Lord, the many ways that we, as a family, can show your love to others, particularly to those less fortunate than we are.”