A Friend’s Letter
Paul wrote a letter to his friend, Philemon. This letter is actually a book in the Bible called Philemon. In fact, most of the books in the New Testament were letters written from Paul to the churches he had started. The Bible is God’s love letter to us.
Write a letter to a friend or relative. If your child is too young to write, he can dictate a few sentences for you to write and then he can draw a picture at the bottom. Address it, stamp it, and put it in the mailbox.
When someone hurts you or makes you mad, what do you want to do? (I want to hurt him back or be mean to her.)
This reminds me of a story in the Bible about Philemon who had been wronged by his servant, Onesimus. Onesimus stole money and ran away, but he met the missionary, Paul who told him about Jesus. Onesimus became a follower of Jesus and was changed.
Paul writes Philemon and asks him to forgive Onesimus and accept him as a friend.
Would you want to forgive Onesimus?
Paul wanted Philemon to deal gently with Onesimus because God also had forgiven Philemon and made him free of sin. This is the only way to forgive those who have wronged us–to remember that God has forgiven us and made us free from sin.
Is there someone God wants you to forgive? (Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person wasn’t wrong or that you weren’t hurt; it means you are giving up your right to get them back.)
The Pet Store
Visit a pet store and admire the puppies.
Talk about how pets and animals are dependent on people to care for them. Tell your children that Proverbs 12:10 says a righteous man cares about and treats his animals well. Treating animals with gentleness and kindness pleases God.
The fruit of the Spirit for this week is gentleness. Another word for gentleness is kindness. When Jesus lives inside you through His Spirit, He will help you to be gentler and kinder.
On the way home, play the opposite game. Say one of the words listed below and they must think of a word or two that means the opposite.
Find the opposite for: tender-hearted, courteous, harmless, kind, pleasant, polite, peaceable, sensitive, and meek.
How do you think God wants you to act?
****Look for times when your children are showing gentleness/kindness and praise them for it. “I’m glad to see you helping your brother tie his shoes. I’m proud of you for being kind to your sister and making her a sandwich.”
What is Courage?
Items Needed: seven small pieces of paper
Write each letter of the word courage on a small piece of paper and hide them around the room when the kids aren't looking. Invite them to find letters to a word that will help them every day. After the letters have been found, unscramble them to make the word courage.
In class, your kids learned about two men—Caleb and Joshua—who had courage. Moses sent 12 spies to search out the Promised Land. Two spies (Caleb and Joshua) gave a good report while 10 spies gave a bad report. The ten said they could not win against the people because they were like giants. But Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to follow God who would help them win.
Why is it hard to stand up for what's right? (Others might make fun of us, exclude us, fight against us, etc.)
What is courage? (Doing the right thing even though you may feel afraid)
Discuss ways to have courage in the situations below:
- Others are saying bad things about your parents
- Your teacher says that we all evolved
- You did something wrong and your mom asks, "Did you ______?"
- Your friends want to watch a TV show your parents forbid you to watch
- Your friends make fun of someone
It is not always easy to stand up for what is right, but God can give you courage.
Know, Believe, Remember, Do!
Items Needed: four pieces of paper or a white board and marker
Write a blank line for each of the letters in the following words: KNOW, BELIEVE, REMEMBER, and DO. Tell the kids they have 10 guesses to figure out four words that will help them be more courageous. After the words are guessed, ask the kids to help you think about how each word can help them be courageous.
Sometimes it is hard to be courageous and stand up for what is right.
How can these four words help us?
- KNOW what is right. God has given clear instructions about right and wrong in the Bible. One of the first questions to ask when we are not sure what to do is, “What does God say about this?”
- BELIEVE God’s Word. Caleb and Joshua believed that God had the power to help them conquer the land He had promised them. They believed God, so they spoke up and reassured others that God's Word will always come true. They cared more about what God thought than what others thought.
- REMEMBER that God is with you. He has promised to be with you always and can give you courage. (Read Hebrew 13:5.) God and you make a majority! Say a quick prayer to Him when you need courage. He is with you and will help you.
- DO what is right no matter how you feel. Caleb and Joshua probably felt afraid when the others wanted to stone them, but that didn’t stop them from doing the right thing. Never forget that God rewards those who DO what is right.
Fun Ways to Remember
Review the Ten Commandments; the kids are memorizing them until the end of February.
Go the website below and review hand motions:
Set the alarm to go off at different times of day or evening and review the commandments. The first person to run to the alarm (or designated spot) and say the first commandment is the first winner. Set the alarm again and the first person to get to the alarm and say the next commandment is the next winner. (You will set the alarm 10 times.) Cheer for the one who arrived first and said the correct commandment the most times!