Main Point: There are lots of enemies trying to tear families apart. The best strategy for surviving is by living in love like the Bible says.
Discussion Starter: The Big Bad Wolf
This discussion starter merges an old nursery tale with an important lesson. Divide students into groups of three people each and give each group a small stack of newspapers and some tape. They have 5 minutes to build a newspaper shelter of some kind using the newspaper and tape. The only rule is that it must be big enough to get all three team members inside. At the end of the time limit, all newspaper and tape must be dropped. At that time, the wolf (adult leader) then attempts to blow the shelter down.
OPTIONAL: Actually read the story of “The Three Little Pigs” before you do this discussion starter.
OK, I know that the last time you heard the story of “The Three Little Pigs” was in kindergarten…unless you have a little brother or sister. And you’ve probably NEVER acted it out…but we wanted to do this tonight to illustrate an important and desperate truth: there are lots of enemies in life that are trying to tear down families and homes. We’re going to talk about what some of them are, and the best way to resist them for the next few moments, so let’s go ahead and break into our discussion groups.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite nursery rhyme or bedtime story.
- ASK A FEW: Did anybody think they had put a house together that was going to withstand the wolf? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Do you remember the reason the wolf was trying to blow over the house in the first place? (Leaders – According to the original story, he was going to devour them.)
- ASK A FEW: What are some “wolves” that are trying to destroy families today?
- ASK A FEW: How important is it for families to resist these “wolves”? Why?
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the best ways to combat these particular wolves that you’ve named?
Read the following passage:
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NLT)
If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. 6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. 9 Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! 10 But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. 11 It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure– faith, hope, and love– and the greatest of these is love.
So, tonight we had a fun time playing a hands-on version of “The Three Little Pigs.” What we learned is that there are lots of wolves that stand ready to destroy not just our homes, but our lives. We talked about some of them in our small group discussion time and how dangerous they are.
But then we talked about Paul’s “love” passage in 1 Corinthians 13. Isn’t it a little ironic that almost every married couple has this passage read at their wedding, but then, sadly, they don’t live in love like this when they become a family? Not only is it sad, but it’s dangerous.
One of the things you’ve hopefully learned by now is that living in love puts up a great defense against all the wolves that are out there in life. When we love each other, it’s much more difficult to be torn apart by jealousy, or envy, or greed. It’s also much harder for unforgiveness to reign in the same place where love reigns. When you love someone, you want the best for them, and nothing else.
In short, love brings people together and makes them stronger.
I have a challenge for you this week. I challenge you to read through this same passage with your family. That’s right. Pretty simple, huh? All you have to do is say, “Hey Mom, Dad. Let’s read one short chapter from the Bible.” See what happens. If you’re feeling really bold, you might ask a few questions about it afterwards. But just make sure you give everybody a chance to hear this important piece of Scripture.
It will make your family stronger.
Close in Prayer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.