Need an easy, fun, and creative Bible lesson on love? Use this free Bible lesson plan for kids about God’s love! Show children from God’s Word how knowing Him enables us to love one another, too. Perfect for Sunday School, children’s church, or other ministry for kids–especially if you’re doing Fruit of the Spirit lessons. Scroll down for details about this “God is Love” Bible lesson plan for children.
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How to teach kids about the love of God
Wondering where to start your Bible lesson for children on love?
Many people start in the wrong place–they start by doing a Bible study on “love one another.” Or they tell Bible stories about loving others.
But it’s not the approach that God takes in His Word.
1 John actually says that no one can truly love unless they know God and are born of Him (see 1 John 4:7). It also states that God is love–and the source of true love.
So if you want to teach a children’s Bible lesson on “love one another,” you need to start by teaching your kids about God’s love first.
Use this fun & easy Bible lesson plan on love
Want to make things simple and stress-free? Simply print out the “God is Love” Bible lesson plan I’m sharing below.
Then use this free “God is love” lesson for kids to teach from 1 John about the connection between God’s demonstration of love toward us and our love for one another.
The lesson plan is super easy to teach and very kid-friendly–perfect for a last-minute children’s church, kid min, or Sunday School lesson (especially if you’re kicking off a series on the Fruit of the Spirit). You will be able to:
- Quickly pull together a lesson on love that is both interesting and biblical
- Easily prep everything needed for the lesson (because I know you’re busy! 😉 )
- Feel fully prepared for your Bible lesson about love
“God is Love” Bible Lesson Plan for Children’s Sunday School
- A picture or poster of a house.
- A picture or poster of a cake.
- A picture or poster of a heart.
- A printout of 1 John 4:7-11.
- A printout that says, “God = Love.”
- Colored markers or highlighters.
- A breakable object. The prettier and more valuable the object seems, the better! If you want to go with the “fruit” theme, here’s a beautiful “fruit” object you could use.
- A mini whiteboard and dry erase marker.
Full Bible Lesson Plan on Love
Can you love one another if you don’t know God?
Show the kids the picture of the house. Ask:
Could the builders of the house build the roof first? Why not?
Show the picture of the cake. Ask:
Could the baker of this cake put the frosting on first? Why not?
Show the picture of the heart. Ask:
Can people truly love one another if they don’t know God?
Allow the kids to answer and even discuss this, especially if there are various opinions.
Then show the printout of 1 John 4:7-11 and read the passage to the kids. Point out that God’s Word says only a person who is born of God and knows God can love others.
God is love.
Explain to your kids:
When people think about love, they often start with how to love others. And the Bible does talk a lot about how to love other people.
But here in 1 John, God makes it very clear that love begins with Him. He IS love (1 John 4:8).
Hold up the printout that says, “God = Love.”
Then refer back to the 1 John printout. Point out to the kids that there are 2 ways, according to this passage, that God demonstrates His love to us. Ask if the kids can find the 2 ways on the printout. If they can’t find them, direct their attention to verses 9 and 10:
- God sent His only begotten Son so we might live through Him (1 John 4:9)
- God sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10)
You can even use a colored highlighter or a marker to underline the two ways God demonstrates His love.
“Propitiation” is a big and unfamiliar word, so use a little illustration about “propitiation” to show your kids what it means:
- Hold up your breakable object and tell the kids to imagine that one of them accidentally broke it. Be sure to name someone specific.
- Write the child’s name, along with a note that he owes you for the breakable object, on your mini whiteboard. Emphasize that the only way he could be forgiven is if he pays for his wrongdoing.
- Then tell the kids to imagine that another child (name a specific child) comes along and gives you all the money needed to pay for the broken object.
- Use your finger or a tissue to completely erase the name and the debt note from the whiteboard, leaving it completely clean.
- Then explain that is propitiation–covering or making amends for guilt or wrongdoing.
Now explain that each of us has sinned against God. It’s as if God has a huge whiteboard with each of our names on it. And the Bible says that the penalty or “payment” necessary for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Tell the kids:
This is exactly why God sent His one and only Son into the world!
God sent His Son to pay the price for our sins–death.
When Jesus died on the cross, He became the propitiation for our sin. He paid for our sin.
It’s as if God takes His finger and completely wipes out the the note against us, because of what Jesus did.
And as a result, we no longer face death for our sin. Instead, we have new life because of Jesus!
Jesus has already done everything needed for us to be forgiven and made right with God. And God offers that forgiveness to everyone who trusts in Jesus. He gave His own Son to make that possible. 1 John tells us that this act of God’s is the ultimate demonstration of love.
So make sure to conclude this illustration by pointing out to your kids that this is where love starts. God is love. He loved first. And apart from Him, it’s impossible to show love to others.
Only people who know God can love one another.
Hold up the 1 John printout again. Point out that there are 2 conditions or pre-requisites for love, according to this passage. Ask if the kids can find the 2 conditions on the printout. If they can’t find them, direct their attention to verse 7, which says everyone who loves:
- is born of God
- knows God
You can use another colored marker or highlighter to underline these 2 conditions or pre-requisites to loving others.
Explain that each person who trusts in Jesus for salvation is made right with God and able to have a relationship with Him (“knows God”), and is added to God’s spiritual family (“is born of God”).
Especially if you’re teaching this lesson as part of a series on the Fruit of the Spirit, be sure to mention that each person who is born of God receives the Holy Spirit. That’s why love is a fruit of the Spirit!
In order to love others, you must first know and trust God. You must be saved and have God’s Spirit within you. This is why love is a fruit of the Spirit!
If you have a group of mostly unsaved kids, you may want to slow down here and really emphasize this point. But if your kids are mostly believers, you can move on to the next point–the command to love others (because we are loved by God).
Because God loved us, we should love one another.
Tell your kids:
God demonstrated His love for us by sending His son to pay for our sin.
Before we can truly love others, we must first know God and be born of Him (by trusting that Jesus completely paid the price for our sin when He died on the cross).
If we have trusted Jesus for salvation, then we have the Holy Spirit within us–and God has a command for us about love.
Hold up the 1 John printout again. Point out that there are 2 commands for believers in this passage. Ask if the kids can find the 2 commands on the printout. If they can’t find them, direct their attention to verses 7 and 11:
- Love one another (for love is of God)
- Love one another (because God loved us)
You can use a third colored marker or highlighter to underline these 2 commands.
We know now that God is love–and the source of true love.
Because He loves us, we also should love one another.
If we’ve trusted in Jesus for salvation, then we have the Holy Spirit inside us–and He will help us show true love to other people.
Emphasize to your kids that it’s impossible to truly love others without the Spirit.
- If they aren’t believers, then challenge them to think about recognizing God’s tremendous act of love toward them, and putting their trust in what Christ did for them on the cross.
- If they are believers, then challenge them to think about how they can mimic God’s incredible love–how can they show that kind of love to the people around them?
The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Finally, conclude by showing the pictures of the house and the cake again. Say:
We agreed earlier that you can’t build a roof before you’ve built a house, and you can’t add frosting before you’ve baked the cake.
But once you’ve built the house, you should build the roof. Once you’ve baked the cake, you should add the frosting.
And once you’ve known the love of God, you should show that love to one another, too.
That’s why the first fruit of the Spirit is love. 😉