Theme: My Responsibility to My Family
Today’s Lesson: Loving My Brothers and Sisters
Scripture Reference: Genesis 21:1-21
Memory Verse: I John 4:16
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)
Children will learn how important obedience is. Incorporated into the theme of obedience will be teachings on what their responsibilities are in the family. This will include their relationship with their parents, siblings, and others who are in authority.
Today, we will read a story about two brothers: Isaac and Ishmael. They had the same father but a different mother. These two brothers did get along very well, and eventually one left home.
Let’s say our memory verse together. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. I John 4:16 MEV
Have children make a LOVE CARD. Give each child a piece of card stock paper to fold. Write GOD'S LOVE on the outside of the card. Let them decorate the outside with stickers, glitter, hearts, foam hearts, or crosses. On the inside, let them list the people they should love. “I Will Love” can be the beginning prompt. Children can be encouraged to stand their LOVE CARD on their dinner table at home.
Bible Story Time:
What are some ways you can show love to your brother or sister?
What are some ways you can help your parents take care of your brother or sister?
Do you think you should tell your brother or sister you love them?
A very long time ago, there lived a man named Abraham. His wife’s name was Sarai. They were getting very old, and they didn’t have any children to carry on the family name after they died. Abraham prayed to God and asked Him to give him a son, and God promised He would.
Abraham’s son wasn’t born right away. In fact, a long time passed and God still hadn’t given him a son. Abraham and Sarai were getting older. Abraham may have thought God had forgotten about His promise.
Reflection: Do you ever feel as if God has forgotten what you have prayed and asked Him about?
Abraham and his wife decided they needed to help God out. Instead of waiting for God to do what He had promised, Abraham’s wife gave her servant to Abraham to marry. Maybe she could have a son. Sure enough, she did. They named him Ishmael.
But God wasn’t happy with what Abraham and Sarai had done. He had promised them a son, and he would give them a son. Some years later, Abraham’s wife got pregnant and had a son. This was the son God had promised. They named him Isaac.
Reflection: Do we sometimes have to be patient with God to answer our prayers?
Later, Abraham gave a big party to celebrate Isaac’s birth. But Ishmael was jealous of his brother even though he was just a baby. Ishmael’s mother was jealous too. Abraham’s wife noticed both of them making fun of Isaac. She got very mad.
Reflection: Have you ever made fun of your brother or sister because you thought your mom or dad was giving them more attention than they were you?
Sarai told Abraham to send Ishmael and his mother away. Abraham loved Ishmael and Isaac. They were both his sons. But he listened to his wife and sent them away. God promised Abraham He would take care of Ishmael and his mother.
Abraham gave Ishmael and his mother food and sent them away into the wilderness. Before long, the food and water ran out. Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, put Ishmael under a bush where he could get some shade. She thought both of them were going to die.
When Ishmael’s mother was just about to give up hope, an angel appeared to her and told her not to be afraid. Then he opened her eyes and she saw a well with water in it. They wouldn’t die after all.
God loved both of these brothers, but jealousy led them to separate from each other. Had they loved each other as they should have done, they could have lived together and had fun together. Since Ishmael was older, he could even have helped his father and mother take care of his brother.
God wants us to love everyone, including our brothers and sisters. They may do things that get on our nerves or even make us mad, but we should love them anyway. After all, God still loves us even though we sometimes do things that disappoint Him.
God wants us to love everyone, including our brothers and sisters. Let’s sing a song about how much Jesus loves us so He can help us love others.
Let children color the Isaac and Ishmael coloring sheet.
Let each child tell one thing they learned about loving others from the story about Isaac and Ishmael.