“I love you” is forever

With your children, watch the part of your wedding video where you and your spouse exchange your wedding vows. Or, look at wedding photos and repeat the vows you said to each other.

Explain that mom and dad promised to keep loving each other forever if good things happened in life or even if bad things happened. Assure your kids of your love for each other. You can define faithfulness as love that goes on forever. Read Mark 10:6-9, and review the questions for discussion.

Questions for discussion
  • Are you the kind of friend who sticks with a friend in times of trouble?
  • What kind of trouble can you imagine your friend or brother getting into that they would need you to stick by them?
Relevant Scripture

Mark 10:6-9 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they were no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

A faithful mouth

Read Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 16:28 and Proverbs 17:17. Explain that people who are loyal and stay true to their word are considered faithful friends. Examples of faithfulness within friendship include keeping secrets, refusing to repeat unkind things others have said, being forgiving even if your feelings are hurt, and doing what you say you will do.

After your discussion, have your children role-play situations to practice faithfulness with friends or using stuffed animals and dolls. As you play with your children, use the questions below to further illustrate the importance of being a trustworthy confidante and loyal friend.

Questions for discussion
  • Would you like it if you told me a secret and I told someone else?
  • Do you consider yourself a faithful friend?
  • If your friend asked you to keep a secret, would you?
  • If your friend hurt your feelings and then asked you to forgive him/her could you?
  • When people say unkind things about other people and others spread this information around, it is called gossip. What would you do if someone said something unkind about your friend?
  • How can we be faithful friends?
Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”

Proverbs 16:28 “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times…”

“I won’t be your friend”

For children who are dealing with an “I don’t want to be your friend” scenario, read Psalm 18:25. Emphasize that when we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us. He is a friend who will never leave us. Explain to your children that people will end up being unfaithful sometimes, but God will never let us down.

Encourage your children to focus on being a faithful friend, instead of worrying about who is or who isn’t their friend. Remind them that in order to have faithful friends, they need to be a faithful friend. Have your children act out scenarios that would likely occur on a day-to-day basis in their lives. Have your children practice being faithful friends who never say the words, “I don’t want to be your friend.”

When we are mistreated, we do not feel like being loyal in return. When one of your children is angry with a friend or sibling because he/she feels hurt by something they have said or done, have your child practice blessing the one who has hurt him/her (Luke 6:28). Have them pray for the person who has been unfaithful to them.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 18:25 “To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless.”

Luke 6:28 “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Teddy bear tea party

Stage a tea party for the stuffed animals that “live” in your home. Don’t let your kids know, ahead of time, that the goal is to practice inclusiveness. Just set up the tea party and have your children begin gathering stuffed animals. Wait and see if they bring all their animals or not. Chances are, some will be left out. (If your children will likely bring every single one of their stuffed animals, hide one for use later. This can be an excellent opportunity to affirm them in their choice to include “everyone.”)

After the “guests” have arrived, ask your children if there are any others who would like to come. If they do bring more, it’s your cue to act the part of the stuffed animals who have been added to the party. Exclaim how delighted you are to have been invited as well.

Finally, ask if there are any others. When the final answer is “No,” see if you can find any that have been left out, or retrieve the one you stashed away. Play the part of the excluded stuffed animal and cry (or otherwise illustrate how bad you feel). While you have “tea” with all the stuffed animals, talk about the importance of including others in play and in conversations.