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What Is Love? Lesson Plan

In this What Is Love lesson plan, teens consider how they define love. They also discuss what is the difference between liking someone and loving someone. This will help young people understand the concept of love from a comprehensive standpoint. We’ll explore different types of love, such as familial love, romantic love, and platonic love.

The objective is not just to delve into the emotional aspects but also to discuss the responsibilities and actions that come with love. By the end of this lesson, participants should be able to differentiate between various kinds of love and understand that love is often shown through actions as much as it is felt emotionally.

The plan includes a mix of discussions, interactive activities, and reflection questions. These will encourage participants to think critically about what love means to them, how they express love, and how they wish to be loved. This understanding can significantly affect their future relationships and emotional well-being.

Overall, the lesson aims to provide a balanced view of love, equipping youth with the knowledge and skills to engage in meaningful, respectful relationships throughout their lives.

Opening Game for What Is Love? Lesson Plan

Start by playing the Love Definitions Icebreaker Game. This is played with the aim of exploring different definitions and perspectives of love, and to open up a discussion on the topic of what is love.

Ask a few questions.

  • What are some things you own which you love?
  • How much would you be willing to give up for these things?
  • Are there things you used to love when you were younger which you don’t love anymore?

We tend to use the word love a lot. We might “love” our new pair of shoes. Or we might “love” the beautiful fall weather. In these cases, our love is an emotional response. And in these cases, we don’t have a lot of choice about what we love either. I might love ice cream, but not love spinach. And no matter how hard I try, I might never love spinach.

When we use love in that context, what we are really talking about something or someone we like very much. Our preferences for one thing over another cause an attraction. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it is not really the kind of love that Jesus often speaks about.

  • How do you see the difference between loving and liking?
  • Is there something that makes love different?
  • So what is love?

Scripture Reading for What Is Love? Lesson Plan

Now read Matthew 22:34-40:

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40 – the Gospel for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Discussion for What Is Love? Lesson Plan

Jesus speaks of loving with our whole being. This is more than just feeling good about something or someone. It is more active. Loving is more than just a reaction to something. It is something we actively do with our whole effort.

To love someone is to want what is best for them. In the case of someone who has insulted or injured us, this can be really difficult. It doesn’t mean we need to have a relationship with them. But we do need to let go of grudges and not hope for the worst for them.

Let’s think of a few situations. What things might we do out of love? And if it is easy or more difficult?

  • Loving your family
  • Loving your girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Loving the people on your team or in your club at school
  • Loving your friends
  • Loving your teachers
  • Loving the homeless man on the street
  • Loving your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend
  • Loving the person who has been gossiping about you

What are some other people you might need to love? Would it be easy or difficult?

Jesus not only told us to love. He showed us how to love. He gave the ultimate example by giving his whole self over in love when he died for us on the cross.

We will probably never be asked to die out of love, but we will be asked to make sacrifices. We might have to sacrifice some of our pride. We might have to give some money to the poor. We might have to give up some time doing something we enjoy to help another person out.

By making these sacrifices, we not only show our love for each other, but we show our love for God. For we are all His beloved children and he wants what is best for all of us. And we can cooperate with Him by working for the good of others, especially when it is not easy.

Small Group Reflection Questions for What Is Love? Lesson Plan

  • Why do you think Jesus says that loving our neighbor is just as important as loving God?
  • How do you actively show love to the people in your life?
  • Is it easier to love some people over others? Why or why not?
  • What sacrifices have you made in the past to show love to someone? How did it impact your relationship with them?
  • How can we follow Jesus’ example of sacrificial love in our daily lives?
  • Is there someone in your life who you find difficult to love? How can you pray for them or show them love this week?

Challenge for What Is Love? Lesson Plan

Jesus first instructs us to love God with everything we have. But he also tells us to love our neighbor. Why? Because if we can’t love the person who is right in front of us, then how can we love God?

This week, try to do something out of love for someone you don’t necessarily like. If nothing else, pray for them every day.

Prayer for the What Is Love? Lesson Plan

Conclude this What Is Love? lesson plan by praying the Act of Love .

Themes for the What Is Love? Lesson Plan

  • Types of Love: Exploring the different forms love can take, such as romantic, platonic, and familial love.
  • Emotional Understanding: Examining the feelings associated with love and how they impact relationships.
  • Love as Action: Discussing how love is not just a feeling but also involves actions and responsibilities.
  • Communication: Highlighting the importance of effectively expressing love through words and actions.
  • Self-Love: Introducing the concept of loving oneself as a foundation for loving others.
  • Cultural Perspectives: Looking at how the concept of love may vary across different cultures and belief systems.
  • Boundaries: Discussing the importance of setting healthy boundaries in relationships based on love.
  • Love and Respect: Exploring how respect is a key component in any loving relationship.
  • Social Influences: Analyzing how media and societal norms can shape our views on love.
  • Critical Thinking: Encouraging participants to think critically about their own ideas and experiences related to love.

Background Material for the What Is Love? Lesson Plan

The What is Love lesson plan incorporates key elements that align with the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly those found in Part Three, Section Two, Chapter Two: “The Human Community” and Part Three, Section One, Chapter One: “Life in Christ” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. These sections provide theological foundations for understanding love in a broader, more nuanced context.

The “Human Community” section discusses the importance of social justice and the concept of loving your neighbor. It establishes the idea that love is not confined to personal relationships but extends to broader social responsibilities. In a similar vein, the lesson plan encourages participants to explore love beyond personal feelings, emphasizing how actions and societal engagements also express love.

On the other hand, the “Life in Christ” section talks about the Christian virtues, with a focus on love as a cardinal virtue. It explores how love is not just an emotion but a moral obligation that comes with responsibilities. This mirrors the lesson plan’s emphasis on love as action, driving home the point that love involves commitment and responsibility.

These two sections can serve as a resource for understanding how the concept of love aligns with Catholic teachings. They provide a richer, deeper context that can enhance the discussions and activities in the lesson plan. By integrating these theological perspectives, the lesson plan not only addresses the emotional aspects of love but also its ethical and moral dimensions.

In summary, these sections of the Catechism offer an invaluable framework for exploring love. They help reinforce the idea that love is a complex, multifaceted concept, which involves both feelings and actions, individual relationships, and broader social responsibilities. This theological grounding enriches the lesson plan, making it more comprehensive and aligned with Catholic principles.

Youth Ministry Lesson Plans

Youth Ministry Lesson Plans and Reflections

Lesson plans are meant to give a framework for introducing information to youth. This What Is Love? lesson plan is part of a larger set. Most of these also include reflection questions for small group sharing. These help youth think about how to apply what they have learned to their everyday lives.

Frequently Asked Questions for the What Is Love? Lesson Plan

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