Many lessons have grown from the Garden of Eden.
Many lessons have grown from the Garden of Eden.

The story of Adam and Eve is more than a historical account of mankind’s fall from grace. Recorded in the Bible’s Book of Genesis, the story addresses temptation and discerning right from wrong. These are relatable to people today and may be of special interest to teens. Discussion helps them connect to the first citizens of the Christian faith, but adding games, projects and other activities reinforces life lessons that span from Eden to the world now.

A Taste of Temptation

Give each teen some colorful, fruity candies and add twice as many red pieces to the mix than the other colors. Tell the teens they can eat every piece except for the red ones because you will be using them later. Proceed to discuss the story of Adam and Eve, and as it approaches the serpent tempting Eve with fruit, begin commenting on the forbidden red candy. Tell the teens it tastes better than the other colors, has fewer calories and boosts energy. Mention how soon they will run out of the other colors of candy and suggest that a few red pieces won’t be missed. Whether the kids give in or not, tell them they have been tempted with lies and promises just like Eve was. Open discussion on other types of temptation that is familiar to teens, the ways it is presented and the possible consequences of making the wrong choice.

Tree of Right and Wrong

Adam and Eve thought they had good reasons for eating from the forbidden tree, but they failed at discerning right from wrong. To help teens learn how to make correct discernments, draw or paint a tree on plywood or paper and designate one half of it as “Right” and the other half as “Wrong.” Cut apples from construction paper and label each one with a behavior that needs to be defined as right or wrong. Have the teens take turns picking the apples from a basket and deciding which half of the tree they should be placed on. Some of the behaviors can be an obvious, such as cheating or refusing drugs. Also include behaviors where the correct response might not be clear to young people, or where they may think they have a good reason for doing something questionable, such as covering for a best friend instead of getting them in trouble. Encourage teens to discuss these tricky situations and guide them in searching the scriptures for guidance in discerning the correct response.

Recreating Eden

Have the teens write, produce and star in a skit that compares life in the Garden of Eden to life in today’s world. As they create scenes and roles for the skit, encourage them to see the similarities between the serpent and the things that tempt people today. Suggest the skit offer ways to avoid temptation and escape it if it finds someone. As the teens research the scriptures and discuss the elements of their script, they may gain deeper awareness of how seemingly harmless things can be destructive, cloud judgment and promote behavior that will lead to serious regrets.

A Bite of Truth

Give each teen an apple and tell them to enjoy a few bites then set it aside. Have them check the apple 15 minutes later and they will see that the inside has already started to turn brown. Present this as an analogy to Adam and Eve biting into the fruit and exposing the world to deterioration. Also compare it to our personal lives and how quickly they change and suffer when we open ourselves up to negative influences. Though simple, this analogy can make a memorable point.