A string chain can illustrate how the wrong friends can be like weak links in the chain of your life. You can teach your Sunday school students these children’s Bible object lessons using the related scriptures of Proverbs 19:22 and Luke 12:24.
Bible Object Lessons: Your Friends are Only as Strong as the Weakest Link
Three-inch-long pieces of string—enough for each student to have a dozen. Multi-colored yarn also works well, especially if you can get one ball that keeps changing colors.
Cut the string in three-inch sections by wrapping it around three fingers a dozen or so times. Then make the cuts at both ends. Make your own chain first (see lesson below for description of how). As you will be discussing the concept of “the weakest link” tie one loose enough to come apart when you demonstrate for the class.
When I was a girl we used to make necklaces out of string pieces. There’s something about tying knots in string that has always meant a lot to people. We tie strings around our fingers for luck or to remind ourselves to do something. We make string bracelets and necklaces to link ourselves together with friends symbolically. Let’s make one now. We’ll use ties as symbols for people who are close to us.
Show them how to loop a piece of string around one finger and have the person next to them tie it in a double knot—loose enough so that it can be pulled off easily.
Next, you loop the second piece of string through the first, wrap the second one around your finger while the first one dangles.
The first loop is you. Each additional stands for one of your friends. Symbolized by your second loop: Who is your best friend? Say that person’s name, then let the person next to you make tie the string for that person. Let students add links as saying name.
Third: Who is your best friend from your own neighborhood? If your best friend lives in your neighborhood, think of your second best friend from your neighborhood. Let them say the name and add a link.
Fourth: Who is your best friend from playing a sport? Say that person’s name and add a link. If it’s one of the people you already named, then say your second best friend from playing a sport. Let them add a link.
Fifth: Who is your best friend because you belong to the same club or church group? Let them say names and add links.
Sixth: Who is your favorite cousin? Let them say names and add links.
Finally: Who is your best friend who only comes here to visit another relative? Like a grandma or an aunt? One of your friends’ cousins? Let them say names and add a link.
Now we have a chain of friends. Think of the things your friends do. Some friends are known for being very good. Others can get into trouble. Have you ever had a friend who stole things or lied and appeared to have no conscience? Some should be able to give examples.
That person would be considered a “weak link” in your chain.
Pull from your chain at both ends and let students watch as the weak link snaps and breaks.
You’ve heard the expression, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. All the people you associate with can be fairly good. If there’s one that has a weakness for doing wrong things, it can infect other areas of your life and bring you down.
What do you need to do if you have a weak link among your friends?
Take the link that came apart and separate it from the chain. You have to put it aside for the time being. Proverbs 19:22 says it’s better to be poor than a liar. Luke 12:24 says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If you’ve made a treasure out of trouble-makers, your heart will become troubled.
You can replace a weak link with a stronger link. Hold up a new piece of string. In life, if you have a friend who is getting in trouble, you might have to eliminate that person from your plans for a while, and you can use the time to make a new friend.
Take a new piece of string and have one of the kids tie the knots so you can add her.
Your other option is to try to strengthen the other person.
Pick up the discarded loop, put it around your finger and let the student tie the knots.
You can try to talk to her, try to be a good influence. You can tell her that if she stops lying about friends, shoplifting at the mall, that’s the only way she can get back to being friends with you. Sometimes kids will listen to you…if you have leadership qualities…
Show that the link is strong now and back in place.
Our friendship bracelet is like our circle of friends. If there’s a weak link, the bracelet becomes useless, and in life, we can put ourselves in positions where God can’t use us. We want our whole circle strong, so we have to watch out who we let in our inner circle.
Put your bracelet around your wrist and have the person beside you tie the ends with one final link so it will stay on. Let that link represent the person who ties it on for you!