Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tested by fire. The enemy wanted the fire to scare the friends so much that their courage was extinguished. But, that’s not what happened. The fire only fueled their courage and trust in God.
What fire(s) are you walking through right now? Do you need courage to keep walking, courage to keep trusting in God’s faithfulness or courage to allow others to walk through the fire with you? This month, I hope you will be renewed knowing that YOU are not alone in the fire and be empowered to take that truth and feed it to your children, so that it nourishes their soul for years to come.
I introduced Courage by first asking the kids to tell me what they were afraid of. The lists were endless…the dark, COVID, snakes, the world running out of ice cream, etc. Thankfully, I told them that Jesus gives us courage to use when we’re scared. Courage means we don’t freeze in fear, but we keep walking, keep moving making bold choices for Him. Courage doesn’t mean we will never be scared again, rather Courage = Walking Scared.
When our kids are fearful, we remind them of the truth in Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Since we are not always with our kids at every moment of the day, putting pictures with the memory verses helps preschool children write God’s word on their hearts! This allows them to use scripture to grow their courage and as a weapon to defeat fear! Each month the Bible Verse will be a free download, just click on the picture below.
Cutting and gluing makes this a great fine motor task for older preschool children while the younger ones build expressive and receptive language skills. Before they glue on a picture, give directions such as, “find the picture of someone who looks scared.”
Post this somewhere in your home that you spend lots of time! The refrigerator works well for us, and the boys each repeat their verse daily. Watching their progress (and your children’s too-keep sending me videos) is the most heart warming experience!
Typically, I share Bible stories using peg people. Yes, we enjoy reading them from a children’s Bible, but my three year old is much more engaged when he has something to hold in his hands and can use the peg people to act out what he just heard!
This year, I am so excited to be sharing each month’s Bible Story with the boy’s preschool during chapel. Since the peg people were a little small for our gathering, we came up with these larger wooden peg people. As you can see, my boys have loved using them to retell the story! (Plus the fiery furnace made from a box with tissue paper and felt is a HUGE draw.)
I use an old SLP tool known as “setting up the environment” to encourage the boys to spontaneously retell this story. Try leaving props laying around your house in different spots and watch your kids gravitate to them. My go-to line is, “What? How did those get there?”
I promise, your kids will be begging you to listen to them tell the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego multiple times a day… ok, if you insist! Side note- Do you notice the candle burning in this picture? The boys asked me to light it because they thought it would add the “perfect touch” to their story!
The most enlightening part of this time is wondering with the kids at the end of the story. This is where I truly learn from them as I hear what’s going on in their mind when I ask them questions like,
“I wonder if there are ways we can use our courage to stand up for God today?”
Food for thought: How do we achieve the ultimate goal for our children to truly know God instead of just knowing about Him? Could each Bible story they learn, verse they memorize, interaction they have with us, actually point them towards knowing God’s courageous, flawless, righteous, and infinite loving character?