Love: Fruits of the Spirit
by Manon Ceridwen James
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To explore love, which is one of the fruits of the spirit.
Preparation and materials
- Collect or make a selection of greetings cards that celebrate relationships – Valentine’s Day, a wedding, wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays of a brother, sister, other relations.
- Have the passage 1 Corinthians 13.4–7 (NRSV) to hand to read out in the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
Explain to the children that you are going to think about the word ‘love’. Link it to the assembly ‘Ethos – fruits of the spirit’ if you have held that assembly previously.
Tell the children that you have brought different cards with you – for Valentine’s Day, a wedding, wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays of a brother, sister, other relations. You are going to explore with them what these cards might say about different types of love.
Show the Valentine’s Day card.
A Valentine’s Day card is often given when two people love each other. Equally, we can give a Valentine’s Day card as a surprise to someone we like but they don’t necessarily like us back in the same way. This sort of love can sometimes be one-sided and can also change.
Show the birthday cards for a brother and a sister.
These cards are for a brother and a sister. Ask the children, ‘Who has brothers and sisters?’ Do they always get on with them?
Try not to get too involved in family squabbles at this point, but explore how sometimes, even when people are members of our family, we may not like them very much, although we still love them. We can sometimes find our brothers and sisters annoying and we argue a lot with them, but they are still family.
Show the wedding day card.
Explore how people can decide to spend the rest of their lives together because they have ‘fallen in love’. Wedding days are very happy days when we celebrate this sort of love, when a couple want to become a new family together.
Show the wedding anniversary card.
Discuss how special it is when a couple has managed to stay together for years and years, despite all the pressures and problems that can occur. We celebrate when people have been together for a long time as they will have had lots of ups and downs and supported each other through difficult times, as well as having shared lots of happy times together.
Show the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards.
Explore how mothers and fathers love their families, but it can also be very hard work – making a home for a family, all that housework, thinking of and shopping for meals, working to earn the money required to pay for things and making sure the children have everything they need. Mothering Sunday and Father’s Day can both be days when we give something back to our parents, show them how much we love them and are thankful for all that they do.
We have thought about lots of different types of love, but there is one important form of love that we haven’t thought about – God’s love for us. In some ways it is like all of these cards put together and more.
– It is like a Valentine’s Day card because God loves us even when we don’t love him.
– We are always a part of God’s family.
– God never stops loving us.
– God is always there for us and is even described by Jesus as loving us like a father (or mother).
God’s love for us is unconditional. What this means is that it isn’t dependent on what we do for him or what we are like or who we are. God loves us because he just loves us. He thinks we are lovely. All of us.
Sometimes human beings love us like this, but not always. If we have unconditional love from a partner or parent, we are lucky, but it is how God loves us, always.
Time for reflection
Read out 1 Corinthians 13.4–7 (NRSV):
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is what the Bible tells us love is. Do we love like this?
We thank you for the love we have in our lives.
Help us to be loving.
Thank you for loving us.
Help us to know and feel your love for us.