I Love Valentine’s Day! by William Summey

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One of my favorite parts of Valentine’s Day is helping the boys pick out their Valentine cards for school. They are not that much different than the cards I picked out as a young boy, except for the characters on the front of the cards (although I think Scooby-Doo® has remained popular across all these years). And this year? My sons both picked out NASCAR® cards to give to their friends!

Although Valentine’s Day is about more than giving chocolate and flowers, these tokens of love still remind us of the source of unconditional love — God. Perhaps our greatest task in parenting is to show our children unconditional love on a regular basis. If you are like me, when I am tired, frustrated, or angry, I realize that I can only love my children unconditionally with God’s help. So as you open your cards and eat candy hearts, remember to give thanks to God for sending Jesus — His greatest gift of love!

What do you plan to do this year with your kids on Valentine’s Day? What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?

Originally published February 12, 2009. 

Caring for Orphans

Adoption is a beautiful picture of God’s unconditional love. For a beautiful story of adoption, be sure not to miss "His Adopted Daughter" by Kimberly Moore in the November 2009 issue of ParentLife.97_11.30.09_orphan.jpg

But maybe your family is not quite ready to adopt a child or God has not placed the  calling of adoption on the life of your family. You can still help care for orphans. Consider the following ministries and organizations.

  • New Horizons for Children. New Horizons for Children is an international hosting program for orphaned children. Visit www.newhorizonsforchildren.org for more information.
  • Sweet Sleep™. Sweet Sleep is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that exists to share God’s love by providing beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children. For more information, visit www.sweetsleep.org.
  • Young Heroes. The devastation of AIDS is creating a generation of orphans in Swaziland. Swaziland now has nearly 70,000 orphans who struggle every day for the bare necessities of life. For as little as $20 per month, you can sponsor an orphan family, bringing them the crucial food, clothing, and education they need. Visit http://youngheroes.org.sz.

Is there a particular organization or charity your family contributes to? Does your family help care for orpans? If so, how? Share your ministry ideas with other ParentLife readers by leaving a comment!