GOD VIEW: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LOVE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. LOVE IS CHOOSING TO TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.
Key Question: What makes you feel loved? Preteens are becoming more self-aware. We start with this question because when kids start to understand the times when they feel loved, they’ll be more aware of how their actions can help someone else feel loved.
We start the month with something Jesus said in John 15:12-13, Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than the one who gives their life for their friends, (NIrV). Jesus proved this to us when He put us first by giving His life for us. If we say that we follow Jesus, then we should show others how much we love them.
Bottom Line: Love others because Jesus loves you. More than anything, we want kids to know that Jesus loves them. When kids understand how much Jesus loved them, they can see how important it is to share that love with others and point them to back to Jesus.
Key Question: What keeps you from connecting with others? Most people would never intentionally ignore others or make them feel like they don’t matter. Often, we don’t connect with others simply because we’re not showing them love in a way that connects with them. When preteens start to understand how they connect with others—and how others connect with the—they’ll be more likely to make the wise choice to treat others the way they want to be treated.
In week two, we find Jesus at the home of His friends, Mary and Martha. In Luke 10:38-42, we find how these two sisters had different things in mind when it came to having Jesus in their home. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while He talked. Martha was busy doing all the things that she felt needed to get done. She complained to Jesus, but He answered that what Mary was doing was better in this moment.
Bottom Line: Love others with your time. We often think that the only way we can show love for others is by being busy doing stuff for them. But people don’t need us to busy, they just need us to be there for them. The time we spend with others can speak volumes to show them how much we love them.
Key Question: When is it hard to love others? Loving others won’t always be easy. Preteens are very aware that there are people they don’t get along with or who don’t get along with them. We hope they start thinking about those moments when it’s more difficult to show love to them. When they’re aware of those moments, they can pray about a better response than the one in their head. Hopefully, they’ll choose to show love.
Jesus brought His followers to a mountain to explain to them what it means to live as part of God’s kingdom. During that message, He said something surprising about love. In Matthew 5:43-47 Jesus said, You’ve heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor. Hate your enemy.’ But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you, (NIrV). Jesus wanted to be sure that love is bigger than we think, and everyone deserves love.
Bottom Line: Love others because they matter to God. We tend to make judgement calls on who deserves to receive love. But that’s not the way God works. All people are created in God’s image, and regardless of how much we get along or not, we should work to be nice and show God’s love to them. We’ll help kids understand how they can do this for the people in their life.
Key Question: How can you show love to God? It’s one thing to show love to people we can see and interact with, but what about showing love to God? Preteens might have a hard time figuring out how to show love to Someone they can’t see. We hope they’ll see the many ways they can show how much they love God by not only the songs they sing but the life they live.
In Mark 14:1-9, we see that towards the end of Jesus life He was at the home of a man named Simon. While He was there, a woman approached with an expensive jar of perfume. She surprised everyone as she broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Many were angry and said she could have sold it and given the money to the poor. But Jesus told the crowd to leave her alone. What she was doing was important for what was to happen as He would go to the cross for us.
Bottom Line: Love God with everything you’ve got. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to understand how they can love God. We hope that through this story of the woman who anointed Jesus, they’ll start to realize that loving God can look like singing worship songs, but it can also mean doing their best, being generous to others, or putting others first. We’re all different, so we hope to help kids understand how they can love God individually with everything they’ve got.