God loves and values life. He took the care – before we were even born – to ordain our days and then “knit” us together in the womb. “Made in God’s Image,” is the first lesson of a mini-series dedicated to teaching children about the Sanctity of Life. Children will learn that even though all people are made in God’s image, he deliberately made them individually unique as wonderful and beautiful displays of his power and glory.
TARGET AGES: 8-12
OBJECTIVE: To learn what “Sanctity of Life” means and understand that being created in God’s image shows how much he loves and values us.
MAIN IDEA: We know God values human life because he made us in his image, gave us unique qualities, and sent Jesus to die for our sins.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm 139:13-14 & 15-16, John 3:16-17
MATERIAL(S): “God Loves You” mirror craft (from Oriental Trading or make your own alternative at home)
Introduction (10 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, help us understand why you value human life. Please prepare our hearts to accept your truth regarding our importance to you. Amen.”
ICE BREAKER ACTIVITY: Say, “Before we begin today’s lesson we are going to talk about things we admire in other people. Think of someone you know and tell the class what you admire about that person.” Start the discussion by giving your own example and then allow students to volunteer sharing. Then comment, “Now we are going to state something we like about ourselves. It’s often easy for us to see good things in other people but only see bad qualities in ourselves. After your example say, ‘I am made in God’s image.’” Again, lead the discussion and allow students to chime in as they feel comfortable. Explain to the class that God cares so much about us that he created us as reflections of him. Say, “Today we are going to learn what it really means to be made in God’s image.”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Start the lesson by explaining the phrase, “Sanctity of Life” (the God-ordained value, or sacredness, of all human life because every person is created in God’s image). Say, “Over the next few weeks, we are going to learn why life is important to God and what we can do to help protect, and value, his most precious creation.”
- Reiterate to the class that every person on earth is created in God’s image. Read Genesis 1:26-27. Say, “An easy way to understand how we all share God’s image is by considering who we look and act like in our family.” Give the class an example of someone you resemble physically and mentally/spiritually. Say, “Sharing the image of [a family member] involves more than our physical appearances and includes spiritual qualities as well. The same is true for being made in God’s image.” List five to ten qualities of God on the board and ask for volunteers to comment on which qualities they share with God.
- Ask, “So if everyone is created in God’s image, then why are we unique (to fulfill his purposes and represent his power and glory)?” Read Psalm 139:13-14. Point out that the author of these verses (David) praised God for making him unique. Say, “So let’s also praise God for our unique qualities! Think of something about your appearance or personality that makes you special and share it with the class.” Give an example for yourself and then ask for volunteers to share how they are unique. Consider saying, “Thank you God for making [the child’s name] unique,” after each comment.
- Lastly, read Psalm 139:15-16. Comment, “We know God places great value on human life because we were, ‘made in the secret place’ and, ‘all [our] days were written in [his] book before one of them came to be.’ God wouldn’t take such care in creating us if we weren’t incredibly valuable to him.” Furthermore, read John 3:16-17 as evidence of God’s love for us. Say, “If human life wasn’t important to God then he wouldn’t have sent his perfect son, Jesus, to die for our sins. We are all very special to God, so we can trust that he has a good plan for each of our lives.” Outline how to believe in Jesus and assure the children that they can always come to you with any questions regarding God, the bible, or salvation.
Craft: “God Loves You” mirrors (15 minutes)
Pass out the crafts and help the children as necessary. Say, “This craft will remind you that you are a unique and special creation!”
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: We know human life is important to God because he made us in his image, gave each of us unique qualities to glorify him, and sent Jesus to die for our sins so we could spend eternity with him.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, thank you for making us special. We love you and thank you for creating us and providing a way to be with you through Jesus Christ. Amen.”