Sunday, August 20, 2017

Is Theology for Kids? Andy's Story

I wrote this weeks ago.  I had no idea then that the atmosphere in America would take such an ugly shift.  I considered letting this post wait a week or two for things to settle down but I couldn't. Consider this my quiet statement in the storm of shouts: "We are ALL made in the image of God Almighty." 


Is theology for kids?  Isn't it a dusty subject more suitable for seminaries and Bible colleges?  It's not for Sunday School or my kid at bedtime, or is it?  As an answer I'd like to tell you a story about Andy. 

This is Andy.

Andy is my daughter's little frog-he is also the source of a great lesson in the worth of human beings.  FREE theology curriculum for kids 


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Forgiveness Matters!

Free Devotional Series for Kids: Forgiveness MattersDevotional 9 focuses on forgiving one another.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents your notes are in italics.  Happy studying!


Forgiving one another

To Do:  As this is the last week, it is a great time to celebrate all your hard work.  You could take your recitation and Bible reading outdoors, to your favorite coffee shop or to the park.  

Questions to Ask: 

What does “forgive” mean? Is it the same as “bear with?”  Simply we bear with people when they have not sinned against us and we forgive them when they have.  

Free Devotional Series for Kids!  Forgiveness MattersWhat is the difference between saying sorry and asking for forgiveness?  Do they mean exactly the same thing?  When we say we are sorry we are talking about ourselves-we feel regretful of our actions.  When we ask for forgiveness, we are asking someone to change how they see us.  We want them to let our bad behavior go, not letting it damage our relationship.  However, in our ordinary lives we use the two statements interchangeably.

Why does Paul say we need to forgive? If the kids don’t immediately remember, you will need to reread Colossians 3:12-14. 

What have you asked God to forgive you for?  What has someone else asked you to forgive them for?  What is the connection? Sensitive kids may struggle to talk about sins aloud.  Be understanding.  However be sure that each child understands that our sin against God is worse than any sin someone has committed against them.

Insights: 

Can you imagine if as parents all the ethics and character we taught our children were rooted in punishment?  "Johnny, you can’t tell lies. If you do, I’ll spank you.”  “Susie, miss curfew and you are grounded.”  While those punishments may not be inappropriate, we certainly want to teach our kids more.  They need to value truth, trustworthiness and responsibility.  And these are grounded in something more than fear. 

In this section of Colossians Paul doesn’t just give some list of dos and don’ts and he doesn’t focus on the terribly punishments we’ll endure if we are disobedient. He grounds his ethic deeply. 

We too need more than the fear of Hell to ground our ethic in.  And Paul gives us the answers.  Our thoughts are exalted because Christ is exalted.  We live because Christ lives, so we can’t live like we used to.  We are chosen, beloved, deeply loved, and so we should be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient. We are forgiven by God and so we must be people who forgive. 


As you have worked your way through these devotionals, I hope you and your kids have been able to set your mind on things above.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bearing With One Another

Devotional 8 focuses on bearing with one another.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents your notes are in italics.  Happy studying!







Bearing with one another

To Do:  Like last week if the children have fully memorized their work ask them if they'd like to share it with someone.  It could be a family member, aunt, uncle, grandparents.  You could use the phone or Skype.  Or locally a favorite grandparent figure at church, a Sunday School teacher or your minister might be someone they'd like to share with.  Don't forget to start this week's devotional by re-reading the verses Colossians 3:12-14.

Questions to Ask:

What does it mean to "bear with" someone?  Don't be surprised if they don't know!  "Bearing with" someone simply means to put up with someone, to be patient, to be tolerant with them.

If "Bearing with one another" means be patient, why does Paul tells us the same thing twice?  Answers might include: It's really hard.  It's really important.  And that they have slightly different meanings (one is the idea of being patient in general and the other is being patient with someone who is different, difficult or annoying).

Who do you have to work hard to bear with?  Help kids focus on behavior or people who are hard to deal with but not necessarily sinning against them.  

What do you do that others have to bear with? This is a great time to help kids see that they can be annoying to their parents or siblings!

Who did Jesus bear with? 

Think of a situation where someone was doing something annoying.  What did you do?  What could you have done? What would be "bearing with" them?  Answers might be something like: "I hate it when my brother hums, especially first thing in the morning.  He's such a morning person.  I think that's annoying.  Often I shout at him to shut up.  Instead I could ignore it.  Bearing with him would be to either make my feelings known in a nice way or just not worry about it!"

Insights: 

In a family there are innumerable ways that people can rub each other the wrong way without actually doing anything wrong.  Add kids into the mix and the ways double.  Humming, tapping, and chewing; leaving underwear on the floor,  leaving the butter out, leaving shoes in the doorway; the way the toothpaste is squeezed, the time to leave for church, the best way to do...anything!  

Have you ever considered the spiritual aspects of dealing with these simple but annoying issues? 

When God places us in a family, He is giving us the opportunity to grow.  To put others first.  To demonstrate patience.  To learn to love others.  In other words He is offering us the chance to be like Him.  Like a rock being tumbled in a stream, the small annoyances and little problems are knocking off our rough edges and allowing us to shine in humility for the Lord. 



Did you miss one? 


The "Why" MattersIdentity MattersCompassion Matters, Kindness Matters, Humility Matters, Gentleness Matters, Patience Matters, Bearing with One Another MattersForgiveness Matters
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