- Have any of you now or in the past had any aggressive pets at home? Tells us about them. (Allow your teens to share about problematic issues with pet aggression; if you have any experience with an aggressive pet—past or present—be prepared to share as well. Ask any of those who respond how they handle the aggression and if the tactics they use have worked.)
Aggressive pets can be a problem—especially when they are snapping and biting at any and everyone around.
Share this video with your students [2:45]:
Confronting Richard | Dog Whisperer
- Do you think the dog needed to be confronted, or should they have left well enough alone and let him be? (Answers will vary.)
- What observations can you make about the way the dog was confronted? (Answers will vary, but might include that the man was purposeful, steady, perseverant; he didn’t raise his voice or strike the dog, etc.)
- Would you describe the confrontation and the approach used as “loving”? Why or why not? (Answers will vary but might include that the confrontation helped socialize the dog so that his interactions with people in the future are more pleasant.)
Confrontation is part of everyday life—even with people.
- What are some common examples of confrontation in our society? (Some possible answers: interactive relationships between friends, siblings, and teachers include confrontation of all sorts. Other examples might include road rage, bullying, war, parents’ rules, social media interaction, political, etc.)
- What negatives often happen during confrontations? (Answers will vary, but may include: fighting, yelling, discussing, whining, sassing, cursing, even physical altercations.)
- Are these types of confrontations generally productive or not? Why? (Neither side is really listening or working toward resolution.)
Confrontations are inevitable. Just like with the dog’s biting issue, ignoring a problem and letting it fester isn’t the answer. But how we handle the situation is key. The Bible has some specific guidelines—let’s find out what it says!
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
As we learned today, God wants us to deal with people by confronting them in love—especially in the Body of Christ. If we have an issue with a person in the church, Matthew 18:15-17 helps us see that we can first get together with them to discuss the issue, then if that doesn’t resolve things, we can take one or two Christian friends with us to confront this person again. Finally, if those two strategies don’t work, we need to go before our church leadership and ask for their help in solving the problem.
You may not have conflicts now in your life with other Christians that can’t be resolved one-on-one, but you may one day go into business with a Christian brother or sister or face conflict with your spouse that seems beyond hope. God has given us guidelines to cope with potentially volatile situations so that we don’t have to fall into destructive patterns the way the world does.
The 2 Corinthians 2:6-8 passage and Hebrews 10:23-25 address how Christians are to treat others during and after confrontations by forgiving and comforting, reaffirming love, spurring each other on to love and good deeds, continuing to meet together, and encouraging one another. When confrontation is dealt with like this, the church remains a safe and secure place for everyone.
Hand out writing supplies, and have students think of people with whom they may be in conflict. Have students contemplate what might be dividing them: Are these people Christian brothers and sisters? If so, how might today’s Scripture passages apply? If they aren’t believers, how might praying for them right now help?
Set aside a few minutes for prayer. Have students use this time to pray individually about the difficult situations they may be in with other Christians or with non-Christians.
After students have finished praying, share: It may be difficult for you to admit, but some of you in this group may be experiencing conflict within our own group or may have issues that need resolving. Mention that you will provide opportunities at the end of today’s lesson for students to talk with those in the class with whom they may need to resolve something. Remind students that if the one-on-one doesn’t work, they can connect with you or another church staff member about taking the next step. If issues aren’t resolved in today’s group time, that is OK. Encourage students to contact each other this week and try to work through issues they may have according to the Scripture passages in today’s lesson so that your group can be of one accord.
Allow for extra time before dismissal for students to connect within your group. Be sure to follow up with students next week to see how they resolved confrontations with love.
(For our adult customers: we are not affiliated with and do not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, our editors carefully review the referenced material and non-references web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.)
(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)