Talking to teenagers about love (divine, fraternal, romantic, or otherwise) can be tricky. :)
"First, let's talk about what this is not: This is not a talk about 'romantic love.' (Several girls looked disappointed; several guys looked slightly relieved.) This is not a discussion about 'what love isn't' (which seemed to confuse them), nor is it a talk about 'how pop culture gets it wrong.' (This made more sense to them when I pointed out examples like Twilight).
"What we are going to talk and read and pray and think about tonight is this: 'How much God loves us, and how we are called to love God and others.'"
Next, we prayed. Always important, perhaps never more so than when speaking to teenagers about love. :)
Then we watched this YouTube video from SoulPancake:
Next we talked about four key questions, each supported by group discussion and a few appropriate (and sometimes surprising) Bible verses:
1. WHO LOVES YOU?
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world..."
1 John 3:1 "Behold what manner of love the Father hath given..."
2. HOW DO YOU KNOW?
Romans 5:6-8 "But God demonstrates his own love..."
I John 4:7-12 "Beloved, let us love one another..."
3. WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Matthew 22:34-40 "Love the Lord your God...and your neighbor...as yourself."
Matthew 5:43-48 "Love your enemies..."
4. HOW DO THEY KNOW?
I Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient..."
John 15:9-14, 17 "Love each other as I have loved you..."
We concluded the discussion with this thought:
"God loves us with a fierce, driving, passionate, all-forgiving love...and it's this kind of love that calls us to love God and our neighbors and ourselves! And we're all going to struggle with that in different ways.
"For some of us, it's loving God; for some of us, it's loving others; for some of us, it's loving ourselves. But we are all God's children -God's Beloved- and we are all loved and called to love."
Then we watched this video:
We finished with prayer...prayers thanking God for his love, confessing our unworthiness, and expressing our gratitude. Prayers giving God permission to work in and through and with us to bring about his kingdom here on earth.
Prayers for our friends and family and neighbors and co-workers and classmates who don't know God, and asking that they might glimpse him through us
Prayers of love.