In Luke 6:27-36 in the Bible, Jesus admonishes us to love our enemies. This is a difficult concept for anyone to completely grasp. Teaching it to children requires the instructor to be creative and offer fun activities along with the lesson. There are many options available to make this lesson fun.
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You can illustrate the need to love others, including enemies, by placing hearts, cut from construction paper, on one end of the room. Members of each team take turns running to the hearts, taping one on to their shirts and running back. The team that completes this relay first wins. You can use this race to discuss how the students may not like everyone on their team but they had to work together to win. This leads into the concept of loving your enemy.
You can use cartoons, like Tom and Jerry, to illustrate the concept of loving our enemies. Tom and Jerry are constantly fighting and it does nothing but cause damage and mayhem. In the cartoons, when they make up, or have a common goal, then everything goes much smoother. After showing some Tom and Jerry cartoons, explain that Jesus even wants Tom and Jerry to love each other because He knows how much easier life is without hatred.
Use a series of pictures to illustrate the concept of loving your enemies. One picture should show a child, by himself, looking very angry. The second picture should show a group of children all looking happy and having fun together. Use the picture to show how much hatred and anger can isolate you, and how the willingness to love someone, even if you are mad at him, allows you to live a happier life. This illustration demonstrates that Christ knew what he was doing when he instructed us to love our enemies.
To follow up on the lesson about loving your enemies, you can place a large red heart on a table in the middle of the room.The children can each take markers to write words from today's prayer on the heart. The children can then write their names around the edge of the heart to form a border. Use this to illustrate the need to pray for your enemies, asking God to help you love them.
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