What is Love? lesson

Use this lesson to teach your Sunday school students about real love. This was lesson written for a class of 11- to 13-year-olds but could be adjusted for younger or older ages.


Preteen Sunday School Lesson



Supplies: Conversation hearts, paper, pens, glue or tape

Divide students into groups of two or three. Give each group seven conversation hearts (you might want to make sure there are no duplicates). Have each group create a story or poem incorporating all of their conversation hearts. They should write the story out on their papers, gluing or taping the hearts into place. Gather the groups together and have them read their stories for the class.

  • Do you use or would you ever use these phrases in normal conversation?
  • Are words or actions more important in showing love? Or are both equally important?

Today we’re going to explore: What is love?




Copy quotes and cut them apart. Call a student to the front to randomly pull out and read a quote. Then discuss:

  • Who wrote/spoke the quote?
  • What does the quote mean?
  • Do you agree with the quote?


a) “Who being loved is poor?”                                                                                      (Oscar Wilde)


b) “The course of true love never did run smooth.”                             (Shakespeare)


c) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”     (1 John 4:8)


d)  “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…”    (Shakespeare)


e) Piglet: “How do you spell ‘love’?”

    Pooh: “You don’t spell it; you feel it.”                              (A. A. Milne)


f) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

   but the greatest of these is love.                                     (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)


 These are words about love. Now let’s look at some people in the Bible who put love into action.




Divide the class into five groups. Give each group one of the following sets of Scriptures to read. Groups should be prepared to act out or tell the story and discuss how each person showed love.


  • Love of friends - David and Jonathan – 1 Samuel 18:3-4; 20:1-3, 16-17, 30-34, 41-42
  • Love of a mother – Solomon discovers baby’s true mother – 1 Kings 3:16-28
  • Love of a father - prodigal son's father – Luke 15:11-24
  • Love of a neighbor – the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37
  • Love of the Savior – Jesus on the cross – John 15:13; Luke 23:1-5, 18-27, 33-34 



Supplies: Paper, pens

Distribute paper and pens.

Considering all we’ve talked about today, write a definition for love.

Give students a few minutes to write their definitions and then have them share with the class. 

Love is not necessarily a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s not just really, really liking something.  Love means treating others the way you want to be treated. Love means sacrificing your own wishes for the ones you love.

Here’s the high standard of love. (Read 1 Corinthians 13.)

  • Do you love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind?
  • Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?

Remember, love is a Fruit of the Spirit. You need the Holy Spirit to help you grow this kind of love.

Let’s pray right now that God will fill us up with His Spirit and put His love in our hearts so we can love others as He does.

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