Bible: 1 Corinthians 13; Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)

Bottom Line: Our love for others should be sincere.


  • Piece of paper (one for each student)
  • Pen/pencil for each student
  • Pennies (10 per student)


Each student will play this game as individuals.

Give each student 10 pennies and instruct them to hold onto them in their hand.

Also, hand each student a piece of paper and a pen/pencil.


Say: Today, our game is all about the things you love and don’t love.

At the top of your piece of paper, I want you to create two categories: LOVE and HATE.

Under the category of LOVE, I want you to write 3 things you love more than anything else in the world.

Now, I know HATE is a strong word, but I want you to write down 3 things you don’t like at all—and DO NOT write anyone’s name down.

Give students a couple of minutes to write down their LOVE and HATE words.

Also, instruct them not to share their answers with anyone.

We’re going to use this game to show how much we have in common as a youth group—the things we love and dislike.

When I say, “Go,” you’re going to walk around the room with your pennies and pieces of paper.

You are going to walk up to someone and “challenge” them.

Before you read the things you love or don’t like to each other, you’re going to guess how many answers you think you have in common—it can be the things you LOVE or HATE.

Each of you will show a number of pennies to each other that represents how many answers you think the other person has that are the same as your answers.

For example: If you think both of you have one thing you LOVE that is the same and one thing you HATE that is the same, then show the other person 2 pennies.

After both of you have shown your pennies to the other person, then, you will reveal your list of LOVE and HATE words.

If you guessed correctly, and the other person was wrong, the other person has to give you the number of pennies they had guessed, and you will keep your pennies as well.

If the other person guessed correctly, and you were wrong, then you will give them the pennies that you had guessed.

If you are both correct, then no pennies are exchanged.

If you are both wrong, then the person that went over the number of shared answers has to give their guessed pennies to the other person.

If you’re both incorrect, and you both went over the number, then no pennies are exchanged.

I will let you know when time is up, and the person with the most pennies at the end of the game wins and will receive everyone’s pennies as their prize!


Ask: Were you surprised by each other’s answers?

We really have a lot in common!

I want to begin by asking a question.

Do you remember your first crush?

The first time you looked at someone and thought they were the best thing in the world?

If you’ve ever seen kids in kindergarten that have a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend,” you know they don’t actually love each other—they are “in like.”

Maybe they think the other person is handsome or pretty, smart, funny, etc., but they don’t know enough about them or know them well enough to actually love them.

As you grow and mature into teenagers and young adults, you have a different understanding of what love is—and it is very different from when you were younger.

Real love is built on what we read in 1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Say: I want you to think about that kind of “love” Paul is talking about and compare it to what our culture defines as “real love.”

What are the differences between the two?

Allow a few responses from students and help them clarify the differences between worldly love and godly love.

When we experience real love, we are able to understand what this next verse is talking about.

Read Romans 12:9-10.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

This verse begins a section in the Book of Romans where Paul is addressing how Christians should treat each other.

First, he says, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.”

If you have to pretend to love someone, then that is not love at all, because our love towards other followers of Christ should be sincere.

When you look around this room, you should genuinely care about everyone here.

And if you don’t, then you are missing something really important.

God places a lot of value on how we feel about each other.

In fact, He created us to make up the “Body of Christ,” and no one should hate a part of their body—we should be grateful for every part because it has a purpose.

Next, Paul instructs believers in this verse to, “Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”

Hate and Hold Tightly are pretty strong terms.

It’s not enough to dislike what is wrong and try to do good.

We should be passionate about it.

And lastly, Paul says, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

Genuine affection does not necessarily mean you are affectionate towards one another.

As you look around this room, that might make some of you feel relieved!

This type of love is also known in the Greek as philostorgos: “tender affection, especially toward precious family members.”

Look at the person next to you.

They are your brother or sister in Christ; they are part of your family.

In a family, you don’t give up on each other.

You show mercy and grace, you sacrifice and give to one another.

Ask: How do we love and care for each other as part of the family of God?

Allow a few responses from students. Give a few examples of when you have shown care for someone in the Body of Christ.

We give honor to each other—we show respect and think of each other more than we think of ourselves.

I want to take a moment to go back to what I said earlier about how the meaning of love changes as you enter young adulthood.

While we have been talking about loving each other in the Body of Christ, you also need to know this: If you want to have a successful relationship, and marriage someday, you will remember everything that we talked about today.

Because before you can love each other in a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife way, you need to love each other as part of the family of God.

Then, you will truly understand what love is and God’s plan for love in our lives.

[End Lesson]


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