My Heart Loves
My Heart Loves
It was Valentine’s 2017 and we spent some time talking about love and friendship. I wanted to encourage Mr Dude & Little Miss to talk about what it means to be a good friend. I want to teach that Valentines isn’t all about grown up love but for friendship. (Read more on that here.)
I asked; "What do you love about your friends?" and "What do you want in a friend?"
I loved hearing what made their hearts happy.
It was really insightful in how they might relate to Jesus. I could take this exercise now that I know what their heart is looking for and steward that into how they relate to Jesus. Mr Dude wrote, ‘My heart loves friends who make me laugh’. Don’t we all love that?
I’m definitely more likely to watch a side-splitting comedy than a thriller (and I love thrillers!)
What does your heart love?
What does it look like for our friend Jesus to make us laugh?
During a prayer meeting at church one time, one of my very best friends and I were the only two that had turned up, so we lay down on the floor (with some cozy cushions) and closed our eyes. We were tired, we were weary, and to be honest we couldn’t be bothered to stand up to pray! But as we laid there I felt Holy Spirit remind me that the joy of the Lord is our strength. And then my mind raced as it dawned on me that laughter existed in heaven before it existed on earth! Joy belongs to God.
God embodies joy.
He didn’t have to create laughter. In heaven joy existed because God IS joy. God owns funny! Fun belongs to him! So in my childlike way I wanted him to show me how he, the King of fun, the King of joy, is funny.
What makes you laugh Jesus?
Whether it sounds strange to you or not, I asked Jesus to show me something funny.
I saw him in my mind, lifting his robe slightly above his feet and he began dancing in such a crazy mix of tap and hip hop and groovy Irish dancing that it made me burst out laughing. My friend and I lay on the floor for a good 30 minutes laughing 'til we cried as the Holy Spirit poured His joy in to us. It may have been sparked by this picture of Jesus dancing, but it was sustained by His presence filling our hearts.
So I wonder what it looks like for my children. What does it look like for yours?
I want them to laugh ‘til they cry in God’s presence and experience how doing so can strengthen them. I want to encourage them to ask Jesus to show them his humour, his joy, his silly side. And see what they see. Have them ask the question, What makes you laugh Jesus? I bet they’ll see wonderful things. Teach them that God is fun and they'll grow up feeling safe in his presence. Teach them young to seek the joy of the Lord, and they will learn how to make it their strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 - The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Our hearts need joy. It strengthens us.
We also chatted while creating apple heart prints.
A friend loves at all times - Proverbs 17:17
Little Miss’ heart’s desire was: wanting to feel loved. “My heart loves friends who love me.” This is something I totally relate to and often struggle of making an idol out. Teaching our kids to search for good friends, be good friends but not to idolise friendship as the only thing to satisfy their hearts is important to begin young. I can only hope and pray that she fills her life with good, honest, real loving friends, but first finds her heart in Jesus and her friendship with him. The most important thing for me to teach them? They are loved by God.
Even the best friends that we have, will never compare to The Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Having a friend to do life with who loves at all times. Isn’t that what knowing Jesus as our friend is all about? Doing life with him while he loves us at all times.
So how do we lead our children into a love encounter with Jesus?
Model it, initiate it, give space for it and let it develop easily over time and practice.
So consider Heart Talk as a family.
Discover what your kiddos love, what they need, what you can pray for.
Share what's on your heart at the moment.
Share with your kiddos what you're excited about right now, and what you're a little nervous about too. Modelling this vulnerability and how to understand our emotions is an important part of parenting our little disciples.
**Try the 9 Emotions Pack for Free PDF Printable to go with this exercise.**
Enjoy sharing your hearts and building deeper connection.