Sometimes, the people we love most are the ones we treat the worst. We may snap at our spouses or push our siblings; those actions have long-lasting effects on others. As a family, observe two apples and talk about how they both look alike. Take one of the apples and pass it around to each family member. Take turns saying unkind words to the apple, such as “You are ugly” and “You are stupid.” Toss the apple on the floor and hit it on the table or counter several times.

Now, take the second apple, pass it around gently, and use kind words, such as “You are beautiful” and “I love your red color.” When you are all done, cut both apples open and look at their differences. Notice that the apple you were unkind to probably has bruising on the inside while the other apple is unblemished. Talk about how our words and actions can hurt others, even when we can’t see it from the outside.

Take some time to pray as a family. Use the weekly prompts to guide your discussion and prayer time.

Week 1

“We love because He first loved us.” How do we respond to God’s love? What specific ways can we love and respect others?

Week 2

What is the greatest commandment? (To love God and to love others.) How can we show our love to God? How can we show love to others this week?

Week 3

God disciplines us because He loves us. God’s kindness leads us to repentance. What helpful discipline have you experienced in your life?

Week 4

When we are rooted in God, He produces the fruit of the Spirit in us. How can you can use a particular fruit of the Spirit to love others this week? (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7–8)