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.
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.”
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.
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 .
Act of Love Prayer
The Act of Love prayer is a simple but powerful prayer that expresses our love for God and our commitment to loving and forgiving others.
Love Definitions Icebreaker Game
The Love Definitions icebreaker game is played in a youth ministry setting with the aim of exploring different definitions and perspectives of love, and to open up a discussion on the topic. It can also help to build group cohesion and encourage teamwork.
Love One Another – Another 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.
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.
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