This popular icebreaker game is a great discussion starter for Valentines Day and introducing the concept of God’s unmerited love for us.
What You Need
- You need a chair for each youth
- You’ll need enough open space to arrange the chairs in a circle.
- Place the chairs in a circle facing inward. There should be one chair for each youth you expect to play the game.
- Ask the youth to each sit in a chair.
- Once all the youth have taken a seat, remove any extra chairs and close up the circle so there are no gaps.
- Then randomly select one youth to stand in the center of the circle and remove his or her chair from the circle as well.
What to do
- All the youth should be sitting in chairs except one who is standing in the center of the circle of chairs.
- His or her objective is to take the seat of someone sitting in the circle and force them into the center.
- This is done by getting someone in the circle to smile. The youth in the center of the circle must go up to someone sitting opposite sex and saying the following exact words in whatever manner desired to get a smile: “Honey, if you love me would you please, please, smile.”
- The youth who is chosen must keep eye contact and say the exact words, “Honey, I love you, but I just can’t smile” without cracking even the slightest smile and keeping a straight face the entire time.
- If he/she smiles, then he/she gives up the chair to the person in the middle and now must stand in the middle for another round of the game.
- If the chosen youth fails to smile, whoever is in the center must choose a different person and try again. This continues until someone smiles and is forced to give up a seat.
- Continue for several rounds – long enough for it to be exciting and fun, but not too long or it will get boring.
- The youth will quickly discover who is an easy target and can’t keep a straight face. To make the person smile, they can make funny faces, speak in strange voices, and make gestures and move around. The only rule is they cannot touch the person they are trying to make smile.
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
MAKE IT SPIRITUAL
As people, we often place conditions on our love. “I will love you if” “If you love me you will” “I love you because..” We usually love people because of who they are or what they do. But God’s love for you completely transcends who you are and what you do. He, who knows you best, in all of your sinful actions, unclean thoughts, and hurtful words, loves you most.
But doesn’t scripture place conditions on God’s love?
- John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
- Exodus 20:5-6 “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
- John 16:27 “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
- 1 John 4:15-16 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”
- If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. (1 John 4:15-16)
God loved us first. His love is freely given. It is not based on who you are or what you’ve done, but it is instead based on WHO HE IS and what HE HAS DONE. His love is unchanging as he is unchanging. It will not be taken away. But there is one condition. WE MUST ACCEPT IT OR RECEIVE IT!
Someone once explained it this way. Imagine yourself carrying a large box filled with everything you value most in life. It take both arms and all your strength just to carry it. And God walks in will another box filled with all his love, his blessing, his riches, the best of everything. It is offered to you completely free, unconditional, everything is yours for the taking. From God’s perspective it is given to you regardless of who your are or what you have done. It is an unconditional gift, unmerited favor, grace. But from your perspective there is a condition. You must first put down the box you are holding before you can receive the box God is offering. The condition is not on God’s side but on yours. Are you willing to receive it? To do so, you must give up what you are holding and hold on to what he has offered.
THE NATURE OF GOD’S LOVE
1. God loved you before you chose him.
- Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Ephesians 1:4-6 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the Beloved.
- Ephesians 2:4-5 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. God’s love is not based on who you are, but who he is. God loves you, not because you deserve it, but because he CHOSE to love you. There is nothing you can do, say, or be, to deserve God’s love.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.”
- 1 John 4:8-10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
- Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified FREELY by his GRACE through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus.”
- Ephesians 3:16-21 “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
- 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
3. God’s love for you is unchanging
- Romans 11:29 “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
- Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heighth nor depth,nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Psalm 48:9 “Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.”
- Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
- Psalm 136:26 “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
- Lamentations 3:22 25 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”
MAKE IT PRACTICAL
- Do you ever feel that God loves you and cares for you us more when you have pleased Him? Explain.
- Do you feel that He loves you less when you sin? Explain.
- Do you believe that your performance makes God love you more? Explain.
- What encouragement do these verses on God’s love offer to those who feel God loves them less when they fail?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
- Is there anything in your life that you are holding on to that prevents you from freely accepting God’s love and all that he offers to you? What’s holding you back?
- Which of these verses is most meaningful to you and how can knowledge of the truths contained in that verse enable you to live a fuller, more abundant Christian life, embraced in the love of God?
Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Games and Activities in Celebration of common Holidays.
Creative Holiday Ideas has over 300 pages of ideas to help you plan your next Valentine’s Day activity as well as other familiar holidays. If you’ve ever wondered what you’re going to do in celebration of the holidays and how you’re going to do it, this resource is for you.
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