Use this Valentine’s Day lesson to help preteens learn about God’s loving guidelines.
1. Do What I Say-Form two groups. Have each group create an imaginary dangerous mission for the other group to go on. Then have groups tell their mission to the other group. Have groups accept their missions and create guidelines to protect the people they’ll send on those missions, such as “Don’t feed the alligators.”
After five minutes, have groups report their guidelines.
*Ask: How important would these guidelines be if you were actually going on this mission? How is the world sometimes a dangerous place for us? Did you know that God has given us protective guidelines in his Word for our mission on Earth?
*Say: God loves us so much that he gave us loving guidelines that are usually called the Ten Commandments. Let’s look at how God wants to protect us.
2. Love Rules-(Supplies: Bibles, newsprint, and markers.) Form pairs and have them read Exodus 20:1-17.
Give each pair a sheet of newsprint and a marker. Have them number their newsprint sheet from 1 to 10. Have pairs re-word each commandment to explain why that commandment is a loving guideline from a loving God.
For example, kids may write, “Because I want you to be protected from religions that would mislead you, don’t have any other gods except me.”
When pairs are finished, have them take turns reading their commandments.
Then *say: This is a new way for you to understand why the Ten Commandments are important for us. They’re commandments from God that show us how to love God and others. They’re love in action. When you obey these rules for loving, you share God’s love in wonderful ways.
3. Love for Mom and Dad-(Supplies: Stationery, envelopes, and stamps.)
*Say: One of God’s loving guidelines tells us to honor our parents. We’re going to write letters to our parents to help them know how much we appreciate and respect them. Thank your parents for all the things they do and the many ways they love you. I’ll send the letters so they arrive on Valentine’s Day.
Close with a prayer of thanks for God’s loving guidelines.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Snack Idea
You’ll need: Message heart candies.
Directions: Have kids each find at least five candies that give them ideas of ways to show love to their families. Then have them eat the candies.