Love Is a Fruit of the Spirit: Free Elementary Valentine’s Day Bible Lesson
Published: January 13, 2023
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what better time to learn about love—a fruit of the Spirit? In this free Bible lesson about receiving and sharing God’s love, elementary kids will experience a Bible devotional that helps them go deeper in understanding God’s love—and how they can pass it on. They’ll also enjoy a science experiment that helps them discover how big and unchanging God’s love is.
This freebie Bible lesson about love comes from Digging Into Epic Teachings of the Bible, one of five amazing year-long programs from Dig In Sunday School Curriculum.
Love Is a Fruit of the Spirit: Deeper Bible
Set It Up
Say: Love is a fruit of the Spirit. You probably have a general idea of what love is. But how can we really love like God? Let’s dig in to that. First, let’s play a game.
Join kids in standing in a circle.
Say: In this game, we’ll pass around a high-five. When you get one, turn to the next person and pass it on. Begin the game by high-fiving the child next to you.
When the high-five gets back to you, change it to a fist bump and pass that around. For a third round, pass around a cool handshake, such as one where you slap the backs of each other’s hands, bump your fists on top of each other’s, double high-five, and then shake hands.
- How did you know what to pass on to someone else in this game?
Say: This experience reminds me of something in the Bible.
Read 1 John 4:19.
Say: Love is a fruit of the Spirit. You know what’s cool about fruit? An apple tree doesn’t have to try really hard to grow apples. The apples just grow! The point of this lesson is not to “try harder to be more loving.” The point is that as we grow in our friendship with God, love grows in our lives. And it happens because we get to know God’s love for us! Let’s see what else we can learn from God’s love.
Explore God’s Love
Set out the dominoes.
Say: I’m going to read some verses. Every time I read the word love, someone will set up a domino, adding to a line. Be listening and paying attention for what these verses say love means and what it looks like.
Read 1 John 4:7-12, 16-21. (In the NLT, these verses use the word love 28 times!)
- What did you learn about what love means or looks like?
Say: There are some other verses that teach us what it means when we pass on God’s love. Let’s find out what those verses say.
Explore How to Love
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, pausing after each sentence for kids to share a real-life example of a way they could show love based on that description and then set up a domino.
Say: Imagine these dominoes are people. When we haven’t accepted God’s love, we’re just standing there with no love to pass on. But watch what happens when we receive God’s love.
Push the first domino over, and watch the chain fall.
- How do these dominoes remind you of what our verses talked about?
Say: Let me reread the verses that talked about how God showed us love.
Read 1 John 4:9-10.
Say: God loved us and sent Jesus to die for us. When we truly get how much God loves us, we can’t help but pass it on! And the more we get to know God, the better we can show love. Check this out.
Read the first sentence of 1 John 4:17.
Say: Maybe you didn’t think our chain was perfect the first time, or you have a cool idea of how to set it up differently. For example, maybe you want to make it so one domino knocks down two and splits the path. Take some time to try different methods and get the perfect domino effect.
Allow time for kids to experiment with the dominoes.
Talk About How Love Is a Fruit of the Spirit
- What helped you get the dominoes just right?
- The Bible says as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. How is that different from just practicing love out of our own strength?
Say: Love is a fruit of the Spirit. That’s because the Bible says God is love! Every time you built a domino chain, the chain was a little different. But one thing never changed: Someone had to push over the first domino to start the chain falling. We’ll never be good at loving people unless we realize one important thing: Love comes from God.
Read 1 John 4:7.
Say: This part of the Bible was written in Greek. In Greek, there are a lot of different words for love. For example, there’s phileo (phil-EH-oh) love, which means brotherly or friendship-type love. It’s where we get the city name Philadelphia. There’s also eros (EE-ros) love, which is more romantic. And there’s storge (STORE-gay) love, which is a natural love you feel, like the way you feel about your parents.
- Tell about someone you love like a friend—phileo love.
- Tell about why you storge love your parents.
Learn About Agape Love
Say: Those kinds of love are good. But there’s one word for love that’s different from any of those, and it’s the word that was used every time love was mentioned in the verses we read. It’s called agape (ah-GAH-pay) love. It means unconditional love. No matter what someone does, someone with agape love still loves them. Agape is a deeper kind of love, always wanting good for the person you love, giving to that person, and prizing that person.
And that’s how the Bible describes God’s love for us.
- Describe what God’s agape love might look like when a person passes it on.
Say: Agape love is a fruit of the Spirit. When we have God’s Spirit living in us, he’ll help us love fully, unconditionally, and with a giving heart like his.
Love Is a Fruit of the Spirit: Object Lesson
- paper (1 sheet per child)
- pencils (1 per child)
- rulers (1 per child)
Measure Objects With Fingers
Say: A perspective is a point of view, or the way we see things. And some things are not as they appear! Let’s observe and record different perspectives of objects around our room.
- Give each child a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a ruler.
- Have kids sit down and then choose an object in the room. It could be a picture or poster on a wall, a doorknob, a window, or a piece of furniture.
- Kids each close one eye and hold up their fingers in front of the objects they see, as if pinching the objects between their thumb and pointer fingers, while remaining seated and at a distance from their chosen objects.
- Have kids keep holding their fingers at the distance they see and slowly place their fingers down onto the paper.
- Have each child use a pencil to mark the distance between thumb and finger on the paper and then use a ruler to measure the distance.
Measure Actual Objects
Say: Our measurements are small! Those objects have to be bigger than a couple of inches, right? Let’s measure the objects and compare our findings.
- Have kids move from their seats and use rulers to measure and record the actual size of the objects. Then have them compare the actual measurements to their finger measurements.
- Repeat, having kids select other objects around the room.
Talk About How Love Is a Fruit of the Spirit
- How did the actual size of the objects compare to your finger measurements?
- What makes God’s love feel small sometimes?
Say: Our perspective can make things seem small. But when we’re up close to the real thing, we realize how big it really is! Sometimes our perspective of God is small, too. But when we’re close to God, we see and experience a truer view of his love for us—and it’s big! Point to one object in the room, and have kids each close one of their eyes while they hold a thumb up in front of the object, making the object seemingly disappear. Then have kids open their eyes again so they see the object without moving their thumbs.
- How is the object in our room like God’s love for us?
Say: Even if we feel far away, God’s love never changes or goes away. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. God’s love is constant and doesn’t change, regardless of our limited perspective. When we’re close to God, his love flows through us to other people in need of God’s never-ending, constant love.
More Valentine’s Day Freebies
Want more awesome experiences to add to your free Bible lesson about love? Check out these five powerful experiences about God’s love. Need a craft? This heart-themed craft is great for Valentine’s Day!
© Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use or duplication permitted.