Watch the metamorphosis from a monarch caterpillar to a butterfly.
Just as a butterfly needs to struggle to get out of its cocoon, we need to struggle to learn some important life lessons. God is wise enough not to remove all trouble and suffering from our lives. There are some things we learn only by going through hard times.
If you never had any trouble, you would probably be very selfish, uncaring, and proud. Suffering breaks our hearts and makes us more understanding and humble. Even though no one likes suffering, it can actually be good for us. Perhaps the apostle Paul knew this better than anyone.
Read James 1:2-4, 12.
How can the hard things in life make us better? (Make us more understanding; help us have more faith; make us call out to God more; help us to get closer to God; teach us to be more patient and self-controlled; etc.)
Someday there will be a reward from God if we endure suffering. God promises a crown of life to those who endure—who don’t give up, but keep going even though it is hard.
Let it Go!
Talk to your child about situations where others have hurt them unjustly.
Is there someone who has hurt you or treated you unfairly?
What should we do to those who hurt us?
Read Romans 12:17-21.
God has promised to judge the world, and we don’t have to keep bad feelings toward those who act wrong and hurt us. We can release our hurt feelings to God.
Would you like to do this? (Ask your child to open their hands as a sign that he/she is giving them over to God.)
This is a way of saying we will let God take care of them. We don’t need to hurt that person back or get even. We can forgive those who hurt us, knowing that God has promised to repay them for the wrong they have done. God is forgiving, and we must try to follow His example in forgiving others too!
Look through the picture books (or look at family pictures online) and spot the changes.
As you are looking, ask questions:
Do you see any changes?
How have you changed?
We see physical changes in pictures, but what are some other kinds of changes? (Change in characteristics: Is someone more loving, more caring, more joyful, more patient, etc.) God changed Paul in huge ways, freeing him from a life of hurting followers of Christ to a life of leading others to Christ.
Read Galatians 5:22-23 to see some of the qualities God wants us to have—love, joy, peace, patience, etc.
God is working inside us by His Holy Spirit to change us to be more like Jesus.