Editor's notes: See the PDF for the accompanying pictures and activities (p. 19): http://cdn.ministerialassociation.org/cdn/ministerialassociation.org/assets/spouses/sij-archives-en/2017/sij-en-2017-1.pdf?201610131500
One of the best ways to share God’s love is to be a great friend. Whenever we’re kind to our friends, we’re giving them a little taste of God’s love, like a spoonful of the sweetest honey!
Our Best Friend Ever
If you want to know how to be a really good friend, find Psalm 103 with your family and read about God’s amazing friendship with us.
Make a list of all the wonderful things God does to be our best friend. Start with the ideas you can find in this psalm, and then add any other things He does to make us feel happy, loved, and special.
Or write “GOD” in a heart in the middle of a large piece of paper. Around the edges write everything you can think of that describes God’s friendship with us.
Pray for your friends:
Find some blank postcards, or cut cardstock into rectangles.
Draw a picture of your friend on one side of the card. Decorate it with stickers too, if you like.
On the back of the card write a prayer for your friend, or write a list of things that you are praying about for that friend.
You could even ask your friend, “Is there anything special you’d like me to pray about for you, or is there anything that is worrying you?”
Pray for one of your friends every day, and write more prayer requests and answers to prayer on that friend’s card.
Learn a Verse
Read Proverbs 17:17.
Draw a clock face on a paper plate. Write the numbers around the edge, and draw the hands at 9:15. Write Proverbs 17:17 on the center of the plate.
Put your clock where it will remind you to be a good friend and to help your family members when they are going through a tough time.
Cut out some paper people. Use a gingerbread cookie cutter, or find a pattern on the Internet.
Read Romans 12:9-21 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to discover some of the things that help people to be good friends.
Write one idea on the front of each paper person, such as being patient, being kind, or comforting people who are sad.
If you could be friends with anyone in the Bible (other than God and Jesus), whom would you choose?
Imagine you are writing a short letter to this Bible character. Tell them:
• How they have inspired you.
• Why you want to be their friend.
• One thing you would like to do with them if you could spend a day together.
Maybe you will meet them in heaven and you can be friends there!
On the back of each person write an example of how you could show patience, or be kind, or whatever you have written on the front. Ask your family to help you think of ideas too.
Which of these friend skills are you good at, and which ones do you find more difficult? What can you do to practice being an even better friend?
Design a poster encouraging people to make new friends as a way of showing God’s love to the world.
Love the Lonely
Read the first part of Genesis 2:18. Even in the Garden of Eden it wasn’t good for people to be alone.
Do you know someone who is lonely? Maybe it’s the new girl in your class or the senior citizen who lives next door. Whenever you are having fun, look out for other children who might be lonely. Do whatever you can to include them or to make them feel happier. You never know—that lonely person may become the best friend you ever had!
Make a list of things you could do to help someone in your class feel less lonely:
• Say hello.
• Be kind and helpful.
• Offer to show them around if they are new and help them find things.
• Ask them about their hobbies or their favorite class in school.
• Play a game with them.
• Share your snacks with them.
• Invite them to your party.
• Ask them to come and play at your home.
• Invite them to something fun at your church or to go for a walk with your family on Sabbath afternoon.
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Make a list of things that are much better to do with a friend than on your own.
Here are some ideas:
• Play hide-and-go-seek.
• Ride a teeter-totter (seesaw).
• Tell a joke!
• Play ball.
• Have a birthday party.
• Run a three-legged race.
Think about some people in the Bible who were friends: Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Daniel and his friends, Jesus and His disciples, Paul and Silas, etc. Find their stories in the Bible and see if you can guess what they liked doing together.
Just say it
Find a good time to tell one of your friends, “I’m really happy you’re my friend because ________.” Or send them a card, text message, or email to let them know they are special to you.
Ruth and Naomi
The book of Ruth isn’t very long, and it is a great story of two very different women who became best friends. Read it with your family. Then talk about these questions:
• What’s your favorite part of this story?
• What’s the most important message in this story for you?
• What does this story tell you about God’s love?
Talk about Friends
Read the different situations below and talk with your friends or family about what you could do to be a really good friend.
• Your friend is sad because his parents are separating and his dad is going to live a long way away. What could you do to be a good friend?
• A new girl in your church is sitting by herself. What could you do to be a good friend?
• You are having a birthday party. You could invite your special friends, but you want to be like Jesus and include some lonely children. What could you do to make them feel happy and included?
• One of your friends has started being unkind to another child in your class. It really bothers you. What can you do to help them stop their unkind behavior and be a good friend instead?
• Your family wants to make a difference and do a project for a group of lonely or sad children in your town. Find out about the children in your area who might be lonely (refugees, children with disabilities, children in the hospital, nearby children from other ministry families, children who are homeless, etc.) and think what you could do to make them feel happy and special.
Find some of your favorite craft materials. Use them to make two reminders:
• Something that reminds you how much God loves you
• Something that reminds you to be really good friends with other children
Friends show God's love
Try this experiment every day for a month. Ask your family:
• Who was a kind friend and showed you God’s love today?
• What did they do?
• How did it make you feel?
• How were you a kind friend today?
• What did you do to show God’s love, and what difference did it make to you and the other person?
At the end of the experiment ask yourselves: “What have we learned this month about being good friends?” and “How am I a kinder and more caring friend than I was a month ago?