Time for Families – "Love your neighbor"
February is a great time to teach your children about love. There are many aspects of love that you can address. Being in primary, I have been focused on the love our Savior has for us and how we show love to Him. I thought this month would be a great time to focus on love and service. Here is an outline to introduce this theme for the month. You may want to adjust it based on the ages of your children. However, I have noticed that if I break things up a bit (have an activity, a story, a game, etc.) it really holds their attention. The kids in primary love stories taught from pictures and it really helps if it is told in your own words.
Opening Song: Love One Another p. 136 in the Children’s Songbook
Scripture: Matthew 25:34-40 (Read this scripture and then ask your family “what does this scripture teach us about love?” and “what does this scripture teach us about how the Savior wants us to show love?” We should show love by serving and we should serve like we are serving our Savior.
Years ago, a young woman moved to a small town to be a school teacher. One of her students was having a difficult time in class. She could not read. Her family did not enough money to take her into the city for an examination to find out if she could be helped. The young teacher thought the problem might be that the girl could not see well. With her own money she took the girl to have an eye exam. She needed glasses. With new glasses a whole new world opened up to the girl. For the first time in her life she could see clearly the words on the chalkboard and in books. The teacher didn’t make very much money, but the little she had, she shared with her young student and completely changed her life. In doing so, she was also blessed.
- Ask: How might the teacher have been blessed by helping her student?
- Ask: How have you been blessed by helping someone?
Teaching from the Scriptures:
Ask: Who is our perfect example of love and service? (Read John 3: 16-17)
We are His desciples. He has given us this commandment: (Read John 13:34)
Depending on the attention span of your family share some stories from the Savior’s ministry that shows his love for others (I like to use the Gospel Art Kit pictures because they are real pictures – not a cartoon- and they tell the stories straight from the scriptures):
Jesus healing the blind (GAK 213 John 9:1-17, 35-38)
Jesus blessing Jairus’s Daughter (GAK 215 Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25)
Christ and the Children (GAK 216 Matthew 19: 13-15)
Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead (GAK 222 John 11:1-45)
Jesus Washing the Apostles Feet (GAK 226 John 13:4-15) – This is one of my favorites because it shows that the Savior was not above serving in any way. It was usually the servants that washed the feet but the Savior showed his love for his apostles by washing their feet.
Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (GAK 227) and The Crucifixion (GAK 230) – Here is where he showed the greatest love. He loved each one of us so much that he gave his life for us so that we could return to our Father in Heaven.
Prepare hearts cut out of construction paper. Have each family member think of a way that they can serve or show love to someone they know. Write each idea down on a heart and then post them on your fridge or somewhere visible in your house. As these services are performed this month, take them down. This activity will go the whole month until each service has been performed. Throughout the month take the opportunity to talk about each one and how they felt when they did their service.
Children love to serve. You can also use a service bee (or any stuffed animal you may have) and do service for each other in your home. When the service is done the stuffed animal is left where it was done (i.e., if they make their sister’s bed, they leave it on the bed). When the person that the service was done for finds the stuffed animal, it is now their turn to perform a service. This is a great chance to teach love and service in the home. Sometimes that is the most difficult for kids (and grown ups) to learn! 🙂
“Tremendous happiness and peace of mind are the results of loving service to others. Nobody can live fully and happily who lives only unto himself.”