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Love One Another - A Lesson Plan on Love

About This Lesson Plan on Love

This Love One Another lesson plan will help youth consider what it means to love. Love is not a feeling. It is something we must decide to do.

Opening Game for Love One Another

Start this lesson plan on service by playing Emotion in Motion (see the complete instructions).

Follow up with a few questions:

  • Which emotions were the easiest to recognize?
  • Which were the most difficult?
  • Why are emotions so important to us?

Our emotions are important to us. When we recognize an emotion in another person, it gives us a clue how to respond. Our emotions can be difficult to control though, especially immediately after something triggers one.

Scripture Reading for Lesson Plan on Love

John 13:31-33A, 34-35 (Jesus gives the Great Commandment) - the Gospel Reading for the 5th Sunday of Easter - Year C

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once.

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 13:31-33A, 34-35

Discussion for the Love One Another Lesson Plan

We often think of love as an emotion. But Jesus tells us to love one another. That means that love is something we can train ourselves to do. So it is important to understand that love is not really an emotion. Emotions are feelings and reactions to what is happening around us. Love is a decision.

Often when we love, we feel intense emotions also. For example, we might feel joy, happiness, and excitement. We can also feel anger, hurt, or other negative emotions when the one we love is hurt, or hurts us. But love itself is not an emotion. It does not come and go the way emotions do.

So if love is not an emotion, what is it? St. Paul puts it beautifully in the first letter to the Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.

So love is being patient when that really annoying person is talking. It is being kind, even when someone is unkind to us. It means letting go of jealousy when someone else makes the basketball team and we did not. It means lifting people up instead of tearing them down. It means forgiving. And it means truly wanting what is best for the other person.

Loving can be really difficult. It often means sacrificing what we want for the good of another person. Jesus showed us this example. He sacrificed his life for us. Hopefully we will never need to die for another person, but sometimes we have to die to our own wants or our pettiness. When Jesus says, "Love one another as I have loved you" he is telling us we are going to need to make some sacrifices for each other.

And these sacrifices are decisions. We have a choice. When that person who I don't enjoy talking to looks like she needs some cheering up, I can decide to go talk to her or to ignore her. When that guy gets the part in the school musical which I wanted, I can hold a grudge or I can genuinely congratulate him.

Jesus commands us to love. He doesn't say it will be easy.

Reflection Questions for the Love One Another Lesson Plan

  • Can you think of a time when you found it difficult to act in a way which was loving?
  • Does love mean letting people hurt us over and over again? (No, find another way, such as praying for them.)
  • Is there someone in your life whom you need to work on loving?

Challenge for the Love One Another Lesson Plan

This week, try to think about the little decisions in your life as they occur. When you have two valid choices for how to act, then ask yourself, "Which of these would show the sort of love Jesus commanded?" Then take that action.

Prayer for the Lesson Plan on Love

Conclude by praying A Prayer to Love One Another.

A Prayer to Love One Another
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A Prayer to Love One Another

Jesus tells us to love one another as he loves us. That is not easy! This Prayer to Love One Another asks for the grace to do just that.

Make Us One (Song)

This song from Jesus Culture goes well with this theme.

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