I love sharing ideas about ways to have fun AND be intentional with our little ones! Typically I don’t spend time blogging about what didn’t work, but this week I wanted to show you that not every activity is a home run. However, the Lord always seems to have a nugget for me even if my children do not appear to be getting anything out of the lesson!
Let me explain:
I started this activity by asking my kids, “What kind of weapon did Jesus use to defeat Satan while in the wilderness?”
“A sword! But probably not the kind of sword you are thinking of, it was the SWORD of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Did you notice anything else He used? Any fruit of the Spirit? I saw a lot of Self Control, as he responded to each of Satan’s temptations by saying ‘It is written…’ Where is it written? In the Bible! So that means Jesus used the sword of the Spirit to defend himself from Satan! And we can, too.”
Have your children design their own Super Swords by using paper towel rolls, craft supplies, and these Bible Verse print outs. The boys had a great time creating these swords and of course, trying them out in battle. A simple activity with great results!
After our Spring Break trip where the boys had so much fun mining for treasure, I began to brainstorm ways we could recreate this at home. Then, I had the idea to connect it to self control! We ordered these gemstones and these beach toys to use as rock sifters. It took a little time but we combined sand, mud, water, gravel and the gemstones together. Then, I asked the boys to see if they could find all of the precious gems!
Here’s where it falls apart…while they had a GRAND time mining for gems, I tried to relate this to self control by telling them that all of the tiny gems, gravel and bits of sand represented the thoughts in our mind. The rock sifter was our self control which helped us separate the GOOD thoughts (gems) from the other ones that are better left behind. Just like the sifter helped us find the valuable gems while the bits of sand and gravel fell through, our self control helps us only keep the good thoughts and get rid of the others. Anyone following? This proved too much of a leap for preschoolers!
But, the Lord used one of their questions to teach me a lesson. “Is this a gem?” the boys asked. It was difficult to tell, so we compared it to the stones we knew were precious stones.
After we held up the piece of gravel to the other gems, it became very clear that it was not one we wanted to keep. This reminded me that some thoughts by themselves seem harmless and almost normal, like they fit right in with the millions of thoughts flying through our mind each day. (Do our kids have enough deep friendships? Is this video game okay? Are they watching too much tv? etc. ) But when we compare the thought to God’s Word, it becomes so clear that these are worries which have no place in our lives!
I am so grateful that God can take a crazy idea like mining for self control and turn it into a gentle reminder about the thoughts I am letting stick around in my mind. Convicting me that His word has all we need for abundant life and that when I compare my worries with the gospel, it is clear they do not belong.
Mr. Marc just recorded “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” which is a beautiful summary of what happens when we look to Jesus instead of focusing on the things in this world. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”