When adults ask children, “What is love?” the answers are often comical, sometimes sweet, and occasionally leave the grownups pondering how a child can have such a deep and thoughtful understanding of this abstract idea.
As with all parenting topics, parents and caregivers can either teach our children what the Bible says is true, or we can allow the world to explain it. Scripture gives believers a clear understanding of love and how we are to demonstrate it to God and others.
Here are five verses to help your children understand God’s love for us and how we can, in turn, love others.
5 Bible Memory Verses for Kids About Love
John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
One of God’s attributes is love. He is love. And to demonstrate that love to us, He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for us, to take our place and allow for the forgiveness of our sin. To make this more personal for a child, read John 3:16 but insert your child’s name in place of “the world.” It might read, “For God so loved Sarah that…” How precious it is for all believers to hear that the God of the universe loves us!
1 John 4:19 (NIV)
We love because he first loved us.
When we understand God’s love for us, we can understand how we can love those people who can be harder to love. No matter what, we are all sinners and God loves each of us. When we realize this, we can love people God has placed in our classroom, neighborhood, and family.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
To spell it out so there is no confusion, the author of 1 Corinthians, Paul, wanted us to understand what love is and what it isn’t. On a large piece of paper, make two columns. Label the first “Love is…” and the second “Love is not….” For a family devotional, read these verses and fill in the chart. This chart could also be used in times of correction to help children understand their actions according to the definition of love.
1 John 4:7 (NIV)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Sometimes it can be a struggle to love those who have different personalities than ourselves. This verse reminds us that we don’t have to manufacture love for other people. “Love comes from God.” And we show that we know God when we love others.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
Jesus replied: “‘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.’”
There have been multiple times when my children have expressed frustration because they didn’t know what to do in a situation. I love how Jesus sums up His commandments with these two verses: Love God, Love others. Every decision we face can be sifted through these three verses.
To help your children learn these five verses on love, write each on a paper heart and hide the hearts around your home. Have fun playing hide-and-seek looking for the truths. Discuss each verse when found and pray that God will lay a solid foundation in your children’s heart of what true love is.
Download a printable of these 5 Bible Memory Verses About Love
Want to keep digging into what God’s Word says about LOVE with your kids?