The story of [tag]Samson & Delilah[/tag] provide many [tag]Sunday school lessons for children[/tag] in regards to friendship. Understanding how to choose the right friends is an important part of growing up and learning judgment. (Teacher words in bold.)
Samson, a Judge of Israel, was given the gift of great strength. More than once he single-handedly protected Israel with his bare hands. However, one woman was able to get the better of him. It’s a great story of how God makes us strong, but picking the wrong friends can make us weak.
Have your parents ever said to you, “Gee, we really don’t want you going over to so-and-so’s house to play?” So-and-so can be anyone who gets into trouble, or who could get you into trouble.
Your parents know how easily trouble spreads. Delilah was Samson’s friend, and his parents had warned against friends like her. Samson, of course, was older, and so he wanted to make his friend Delilah his wife.
Samson was lured in because she was fun, because she was beautiful, and because she was tricky enough to make him believe she would never betray him.
How do we pick friends?
Here are some important qualities:
Are they the types who keep getting into trouble? If so, they will get you in trouble too. Hand one child an index card that says on it, NO TROUBLE MAKERS. Let the child read the card then hold it up.
Can they make people laugh, but their jokes often hurt other people? Someday a person like that could hurt your feelings, too. Hand another child an index card that says NO HURTERS OF FEELINGS. Let the child read the card then hold it up.
Do they often say bad things about other kids when those kids are not around? Someday they will gossip about you, too. Hand another child an index card that says NO GOSSIPERS. Let the child read the card then hold it up.
When you play games, do they often cheat? Cheating means a person cares more about winning than he does about his friend—you. Is that really a good friend? Hand out an index card that says NO CHEATERS. Let the child read the card then hold it up.
Do they often hit and punch? Sometimes children hit and punched because they’ve been hit and punched a lot by older, stronger siblings or even parents. Hence you have to show kindness. But if you hang around with a violent person, you could get hurt…or be inspired to hit and punch yourself ! Hand out an index card that says NO HITTERS OR PUNCHERS. Let the child read the card then hold it up.
Wow, that kind of eliminates a lot of people, doesn’t it? Doesn’t almost everybody you know do a couple of these things once in a while?
Notice I’m using the word “often” in most of my questions. Anybody can mess up “once in a while,” but if people mess up often, you want to keep your strength, not give it up like Samson did. You don’t want to make them your best friends.