What Does Love Mean? (Children Tell)

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Dear Lindsey,

I got one of those cute-kid-quote emails recently. I had seen it before, but I loved reading it again, and I thought I would share some of my favorite parts as a Christmas letter to you.  Of course, I always enjoy audience participation, and these kids’ thoughts inspired some of my own, which I will include at the end. I would love to hear your own personal definition, or feel free to ask your children, or let them write a comment. It is such a thought-provoking question with such illustrative answers. 🙂

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What


does love mean?’

Their answers:

‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore, so my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’             – Rebecca- age 8

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’     –  Billy – age 4

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’     –  Karl – age 5

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’     – Chrissy – age 6

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’     –  Terri – age 4

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’     –  Danny – age 7

‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that.  They look gross when they kiss’     –  Emily – age 8

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’     –  Bobby – age 7 (Wow!)


Their thoughts sparked me to think of my own:

Love is… a mother who spends hours baking everybody’s favorite cookies for Christmas Day – even the cookies she doesn’t like.

Love is…a Daddy having a tea party with his daughter in the middle of the day.

Love is…a man showing his boys how to be men by living example.

Love is…my 9-yr-old daughter crying when I am crying, when she doesn’t even know there is something to cry about.

Love is…my dad eating my burnt peanut butter cookies because, “that’s just the way he likes them.”

Love is…my husband texting me every day while he is gone to tell me that he misses me.


I could list forever, but I won’t bore you with my love stories…

Here is a definition of love that came in story-form, in a Christmas card from a friend:

Nativity Play

For many years, a Midwest town held an annual Christmas pageant where children in the town acted out the story of Christ’s nativity.  Wally, a special needs boy of 9, yearned to be a shepherd in the play that year, but the director gave him the role of the innkeeper, because he wouldn’t have many lines to say.   Wally was bigger than the other kids, and his size would make his refusal of lodging more forceful.

The night of the play, Wally watched the pageant unfold with fascination, totally caught up in the story.  When it was time for his part, he was ready to go.

“What do you want?,” Wally brusquely asked Joseph.

“We seek lodging,” replied Joseph.

“There is no room for you in this inn, replied Wally, looking properly stern.

“Please, good innkeeper, my wife is with child and needs a place to rest.  Surely you must have a small corner.  She is so tired.”

Wally, the innkeeper, paused so long the audience was tense with embarrassment.  “No!  Begone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.

“No!”  Wally repeated automatically.  “Begone!”

Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary and they started to move away.  The innkeeper did not return inside the inn, however.  Wally stood there watching the forlorn couple, his brow creased with concern and tears streaming down his face.  And suddenly the Christmas pageant became different from all the others.

“Don’t go, Joseph.”  Wally called out.  “Bring Mary back.  You can have MY room,” Wally beamed…


That, my dear friend, is love.

From a recent devotional: too often we spend our lives seeking stars, and end up being disappointed to find only a stable; but when we seek deeply, inside the stable, we find the star: a King is born.

Whether you are blessed with stars or stables this Christmas, may you have room for the King.

Final definition: God is love.

God bless you as you celebrate His birth this week and always.

Merry Christmas,

Terri Brady

<< Luke 2 >>  The Birth of Jesus 


19 thoughts on “What Does Love Mean? (Children Tell)

  1. I bet that was a very touching surprise to the audience of that play. One of my favorite “forgotten carols” is the one which was written from the guilt stricken innkeeper, that turned the couple away, and later finding the grace of our Lord, and beckoning all of us to let him into our lives, as he wishes he’d of let them in the inn. Powerful!

  2. Beautiful Terri! I believe love is one of the deepest level of human existance. And that discovery usually happens when we don’t sense the presence of love. Without it, life has no meaning. We can all rest assured that even in those worst hours, God loves us more than anyone on this earth. Thank you for always displaying unconditional love to everyone you meet. It’s just more evidence that Christ is at the center of your heart. Merry Christmas to you, Chris and your entire family. Love, Kristen

  3. Terri…thank you so much for another wonderful article! Your stories are so inspiring and full of love for our great God. I really enjoy them. To you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Love is playing nerf gun war with my family instead of the millions of tasks I needed to be doing. (“Nerf gun war” could also be defined as stress reliever.)

  5. Love is your whole family giving you hand made Christmas gifts!
    Love is seeing Jesus in how your children and grandchildren treat each other every day!
    Love is praying with family on Christmas eve….every Christmas eve for 30 years!

    Merry Christmas and many Blessings to everyone at the Brady house!

  6. Max age 7 “Its Jesus’ heart and he loves us so we can love each other”
    I wasn’t ready for that! I am so grateful for the truth that our children are exposed to daily!

  7. I have enjoyed this post and I always appreciate how you remind us that the most important example of love is that of Saviour. Thanks for sharing this message with us. Some of us are hearing this for the first time, all of us need to be reminded of this daily.
    Caedmon – aged 3. Love means “to share.”

  8. Pingback: Saint Valentine, Guest Post by Bob Hunter « Allison's Book Bag

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