How a Paper Cup on Valentine’s Day Can Help Us Measure God’s Love

We’re all a little like paper cups—not worth much until we’re filled up with something. Valentine’s Day is a time to be filled with God’s love and spread it around. Let’s remember on Valentine’s Day where love really comes from. If we want to share God’s love and God’s power in our lives, it all starts when you speak directly to Him.  This Bible object lesson helps you teach this important lesson to your students.

Looking for more great Valentine’s Day Ideas?  Check out our Valentine’s Day Lesson Pack!


Related Scriptures: 1 John 4:8

Bible Object Lesson: Valentine’s Day Paper Cups

Enough paper cups for yourself and every child; a pitcher of lemonade containing enough for every student to have a glass and perhaps a refill. (Pink would be great, given the holiday!)

Fill the pitcher with ice cold lemonade and hide it in a cabinet. Pass out one paper cup to each child and keep one for yourself.

We often hear the statement: God is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.” I want to love like God loves. That’s what He wants from us.But how do I do it?

I know I should always love my kids. And I do. But some days, when they’re arguing or making huge messes, I just don’t feel it. How about you? Do you always feel like you love your brothers and sisters?

Answer: No.

The Bible says sometimes Jesus needed to give an important speech like the Sermon on the Mount. Other times he would know he was coming to a place where he would have heal a lot of people. He would do something so he could give away God’s love to those people. Do you know what that was?

Let them take guesses.

Jesus would retreat somewhere quiet, and He would pray to God. What exactly is prayer?

Let them guess. Correct answer is “talking to God.”

We can ask God for things, surely. But for some of us, that’s the only time we try to “get with” God is when we want something. Sometimes, a better answer is to just sit and try to feel how much He loves us.

Hold up your empty cup.

Some days, I feel like this cup. I’m a good item. I could drop and not break. But what’s the problem with this cup right now? Hold it upside down and right side up.

Let them guess. Correct answer is “there’s nothing in it.”

There is a poem, and the first lines go like this:
A bell’s not a bell till you ring it.
A song’s not a song till you sing it.

What can we say about a cup? A cup isn’t a cup until…

Correct answer: “Until you fill it.”
Go and bring out your pitcher of frosty lemonade. Hold up your own cup.

This pitcher is a lot like God, and the lemonade inside is a lot like his love. God holds all the love.

When we pray and ask Him to just come and talk to us, He brings his love.

Bow your head as if to pray. Father, the Bible says you love me. That is such great news. How much do you love me?

Pretend to be God and answer in a whisper: “I love you so much that I gave my only begotten son.
Now, you can come up to heaven someday and spent eternity with me, and that makes me happy.”
Wow. I am starting to feel God’s love!

Pour a little lemonade into your cup.

That was fun. I think I’ll go back for more. Father, sometimes I get scared in the middle of the night. How can I know you’re there with me?

Pretend to be God and answer in a whisper: “I love being there with you at night [say your own name]. My word says, “The God of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.’ I watch over you all night. And do you know what else my word says? ‘I will give my angels charge concerning you, so you won’t even stub your toe.’ My angels enjoy watching over you [say your own name].”

WOW. I’m feeling God’s love now.

Pour some more into your cup.

Father, I know my parents love me. Is that how you love me? Is it sort of like that?

Pretend to be God and answer in a whisper: It might be hard for you to understand, but I love you more that your own parents. Yup. My word says, ‘Can a woman forget the baby she is nursing? She is more likely to forget her own baby that I would be to forget about you for a moment.’

Pour into your cup so that now it is full.

With just a little time spent with God and hearing His word, I am filled up with God’s love.

Being filled with God’s love means I now have love to share with… (name of the student to your right).

Pour all of your lemonade into [student’s] cup.

Don’t drink from it yet! I have a little more to share on love before we’re allowed to drink! I could have been a little selfish and kept some of that love for myself, couldn’t I? But the rest of that poem goes like this:

I believe what the wise men say
Love’s not love till you give it away!

I want to give away all my love on Valentine’s Day, and that’s not a problem…why not? There’s plenty more love where that came from.

Refill your own cup from the pitcher.

God has enough love to go around for all of us. If we share it, we can always get more where it came from. [Name of student whose glass you just filled with your glass]…I want you to pass all of God’s love onto the next person.

If she doesn’t quite understand, show her how to pour all her lemonade into the next child’s cup. Pour all the lemonade you just refilled with into that first child’s cup. Refill from the pitcher.

Repeat, having the last child with a full cup fill up the empty cup of the child next to him. Then, the next child can refill his cup.

Keep reminding them not to drink yet! Say repeatedly, “Now pour all your love into the cup of the person beside you” until every child has a full glass.

While you are in the process of filling all cups:
Sometimes we spill a drop, don’t we? Even if we’re being careful. We’re not as good as God is with our love. But that’s okay. Spots dry.

Even if we spilled our whole cup on the floor, what could happen?

Answer: We could get a new cup and fill it.

There’s always enough of God’s love to go around. You’ll notice that as our cups get filled with God’s love, what’s happening to the love in the pitcher?

It’s getting smaller.

But God’s love doesn’t really get any smaller. How does God fill up on love? We don’t really understand that. We know that He never stops loving. It’s probably something like…He goes off to the heavenly spigot, puts more love in His jug and adds more love powder. We don’t really know and we don’t have to. God says that he loves us more than our moms and dads do, and we can believe it without understanding it.

Once everyone has their full cup: See? What happened was that I spent time with God, in prayer and in his word, and I was filled up with his love. Once I was filled, I could pass it on to you, and you could pass it on to each other.

Let’s remember on Valentine’s Day where love really comes from. If we want to share God’s love and God’s power in our lives, it all starts when you speak directly to Him.
Raise your glass in a toast. Here’s to God’s love on Valentine’s Day! Now we can drink!


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Looking for more great Valentine’s Day Ideas?  Check out our Valentine’s Day Lesson Pack!


  • Wanda

    Reply Reply February 11, 2012

    Creative idea.

  • Maricris Podador Jayoma

    Reply Reply February 4, 2012

    Here’s to God’s love on Valentine’s Day!!!!

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