Christian Home Builder - Lesson 3

How Do I Love Thee?

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can explain that love in families is something we decide and do, not just feel.
  2. The student will be able to identify 8 forms love can take.


  1. This particular lesson lends itself to personal illustrations and stories on the part of the teacher and the students. As you think about the 8 forms of demonstrating love, reflect on your own life experiences and add stories or illustrations that would demonstrate these different kinds of love.
  2. Read I Samuel 20.


In families, we tend to show love through one or two personal preferred styles. These styles can be expanded to include a greater repertoire of responses. This lesson will help the student learn new ways to show "how I truly love thee.”

Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class


  1. Sharing time, prayer and announcements.
  2. Review of last week's lesson.
  3. Thought question: "How do you like to be shown that someone cares about you?” (Is it through talking, a special gift, shared memories, traditions you do together?)
  4. "How do you normally show someone you love that you care about them?” (card, note, prayer)

Learning Experiences:

  1. David and Jonathan share a deep relationship together. From 1 Samuel 20, find the things David and Jonathan did to demonstrate their love and affection for each other as grown men?
    1. They shared memories.
    2. They went through difficult times together.
    3. They offered gifts.
    4. They made formal declarations through the establishment of a covenant.
  2. 8 ways to demonstrate love for another person. The following are Formal Declarations.
    1. Formal Declarations
      1. This would include the covenant that David and Jonathan made together.
      2. In our society today, it includes rings and vows and the filing of a license.
      3. In academic circles, the formal declaration between a University and a student, will include a diploma.
      4. In our faith, it includes Baptism and the Lord's Supper. These all represent formal declarations of love, commitment and affection between two parties.
      5. They play an important and vital role in the establishment of a covenant between two people.
      6. While important, these formal ways of demonstrating love are not the only way that love is shown or the most prevalent on a day to day basis.
    2. Taking and Fulfilling Responsibility
      1. One of the most common ways we show that we love another person is by taking on and fulfilling our responsibilities to them.
      2. I tell my wife that I love her and I am going to support her throughout my lifetime. These words are meaningless unless I go out and get a job, get up and go to work, bring home a paycheck and faithfully deposit it into the bank so we can pay our bills and buy food. This is taking and fulfilling responsibility.
      3. The consistent and faithful execution of this responsibility builds trust in a relationship over time.
      4. This is the foundation and the building block of a good solid relationship.
      5. The teacher may want to explore the style of love that Dorcas demonstrated in Acts 9:36 and following, where she faithfully served members of the church, through her sewing ministry.
    3. Our Gifts
      1. Often we think of a gift bought for another person is one of the most common ways we demonstrate love.
      2. It is a multi-billion dollar business in this country today. Everything from small gifts to large extravagant outlays of money are used to demonstrate ones love and affection for another person.
      3. It may be as simple as a greeting card or as monumental as a million-dollar endowment in someone's name. Or a building named after another person.
      4. The Bible is filled with illustrations of people giving gifts to others.
      5. Jesus is described as God's gift of salvation to us.
      6. When Jacob and Esau met, a procession of gifts preceded that reunion.
      7. David and Jonathan exchanged gifts.
      8. What kinds of gifts do you like to give? What kinds of gifts do you like to receive? Is there someone in your family who likes to receive gifts and you lack the knowledge to purchase?
    4. Shared Stories and Memories
      1. One of the great building blocks of a relationship is the ability to share experiences together and retell the stories that we have all known and loved for so many years.
      2. In many ways, this is central to our faith as well. The Lord's Supper is a time when we share the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
      3. Baptism is an illustration of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. These are shared faith stories.
      4. Relationships have shared stories. Do you remember a time when you and your spouse were lost somewhere, do you remember that funny story, joke or situation that only the two of you remember and understand?
      5. Inside jokes and stories can be a part of the true wonderful fabric that brings people together.
    5. Traditions
      1. We demonstrate our love for one another by developing and sharing traditions together.
      2. My wife and I enjoy a tradition of fixing breakfast together on Saturday mornings, eating together, drinking coffee and talking with one another for a couple of hours. Sometimes this is the only quiet time we enjoy in our week. And so, those traditions are truly cherished between us.
      3. What unique or simple traditions do you enjoy between the people in your family that you love?
    6. Humor
      1. Humor, often overlooked as a bonding mechanism in loving relationships, can be one of the strongest glues that holds people together.
      2. Humor is something that builds a connection between people.
      3. More funny things happen in family life than in any other circumstance.
      4. Listen to the comedians on TV and note the amount of humor that flows out of their own family life.
      5. Humor can be something that can be cultivated and expanded over a person's life.
    7. Doing Your Thing With You
      1. A truly wonderful gift that you can give to another person is to take the time to do something that they enjoy doing with them, and not complaining about that.
      2. Too many times we don't want to get involved in someone else's interests. Or if we do go, we spend the time complaining about having to be there. It would be better if we did not comment at all.
      3. The capacity to get involved with someone else's activities or interests and truly enjoy them, or make an effort to enjoy them, will result in that person making an effort generally to return the favor.
    8. Just Dropping It
      1. How do we show that we love someone else? By forgetting things!
      2. God said that he removes the memory of our sin as far as the east is from the west. Sometimes we need to drop some things and just let them slide.
      3. Sometimes we need to forget something and just go on. Sometimes we need to just ignore things and not let them register.
      4. In one ear and out the other can be very healthy for families and can be a way to truly endear ourselves to one another.
      5. How good are you at being forgetful over another person's wrongs?


  1. In your journal this week, I'd like for you to write the ways in which you like to receive love from other members of your family.
  2. Secondly, I'd like for you to write about how you think each member of your family likes to receive love from you. If you are not sure, ask them about this. See if your perception of their ideas matches what they tell you.

Back to Christian Home Builder

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.