Few parables sum up the Biblical command to love one another like the one about the good Samaritan. As you strive to impart an attitude of concern and love for others with your kids, spend time focusing on the good Samaritan parable to drive home this important lesson and help kids learn how to love others.
Read the Parable Together
Open the Bible to Luke chapter 10, verses 25 through 37 to read the parable with your kids. The premise of the story involves an injured man lying by the side of the road. As the man lay there, a priest and a Levite both passed by him but decided not to help him. Finally, a Samaritan passed the man and stopped to help to make sure that the man received the medical care he needed.
Talk it Over
Help your child understand that both the priest and the Levite knew that the man needed help, but they decided not to involve themselves in helping him. When the Samaritan realized that the man needed help, he not only stopped to provide as much immediate comfort as he could, he also made sure that the man received additional help to recover by paying for the man’s lodging until he recuperated. The Heart for Missions website recommends explaining that the Samaritan showed love and mercy to the stranger on the side of the road, even though the main was probably generally considered an enemy to the Samaritans. The Ministry to Children website points out that the Samaritan also showed an example of loving someone else as much as oneself. The story can lead to a discussion of how Jesus taught that everyone is our neighbor, and that we should show kindness and love even to those we don't necessarily like.
Talk about a time when your child experienced a difficult time. For example, if your child had a hard time making friends after a move, your child might be able to empathize with the injured man in the parable. Focus on someone who extended help or kindness to your child to help him appreciate a gesture of care and love. Explore times when your child or your family extended love and kindness to someone else so your child can see and understand the example of love, even to those you don't know.
Put it Into Practice
Make a family goal to practice concern and love for others. Encourage your child to look for ways that she can show love and concern for other people. Set an example of outgoing concern for your child to help teach the concept and set a positive example for your child to follow. Discuss the goal of loving neighbors once or twice a week at dinner or at another time when the family gathers together. Encourage family members to share examples of extending outgoing love and concern to others, and help them find ways to show love to those they might not normally associate with. Provide praise and positive feedback when you hear stories of loving neighbors.
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