Use this Love Your Enemies Sunday School lesson to teach children to love like Christ.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Tell students, I want you to think of one person that you really, really don’t like. Try to think of someone who was mean to you or did something bad to you and now you don’t like them because of it.
Do you think you could ever love that person even if they never said they were sorry for what they did and even if they just kept being mean to you? Could you love them?
(Have a student read Matthew 5:43.)
What does it mean if people love their neighbors and hate their enemies? Loving your neighbors means loving people who are nice to you and hating your enemies means hating people who do bad things to you or are mean to you.
(Have another student read Matthew 5:44.)
Does Jesus want us to only love people who are nice to us?
Who else does Jesus want us to love? Jesus wants us to love our enemies. Jesus wants us to love the people who are mean to us. He wants us to say nice things to the people who say mean things to us.
(Have another student read Matthew 5:45.)
What does Jesus say we will be if we love the people who are mean to us? Jesus says we will be children of God. God will be happy with us if love even the mean people.
In fact, if we love the people who are nice to us and the people who are mean to us, Jesus says that we will be acting just like God does. Jesus says that God lets the sun shine on good people and bad people. God sends rain down on good people and bad people. God treats everyone the same. So we should treat everyone the same too. We should love nice people and mean people just the same.
(Have another student read Matthew 5:46-48.)
Jesus says that it’s easy for people to love and be nice to people who love and are nice to them. Even people who don’t believe in God can love and be nice to people who love and are nice to them. But Jesus wants us to be better than that. He wants us to love even people who don’t love us. He wants us to love even people who are mean to us.
Do you remember how I asked you to think of a person that you didn’t like very much? I want to think about that person again, but this time I want you to think about ways that you can love that person and be nice to that person, even if they’re not nice to you.