As you watch television with your children, talk about the commercials and the desire for more things. (Because of streaming, commercials might not be available. Look up some commercials on YouTube and watch them as a family.)
Ask your child the following questions:
What do advertisers want you to do? (buy their products)
When you see an ad, does it make you want to buy the item?
Are the products in advertisements as wonderful as they appear in commercials? Have you ever bought something that didn’t live up to its advertising?
Does buying things make you happy?
Is it possible to have too many things?
What do you really need to be happy?
Things will never bring us the joy we find in Christ. They can make us happy for a little while, but lasting joy comes from trusting God. Paul encourages us to try to be content in every situation, whether we have a lot or a little. Allow each family member to share something that brings them lasting joy and pray together, thanking God for the blessings mentioned.
Trusting in Jesus
Items Needed: Cookies
Bake a batch of cookies and enjoy them after dinner one night as a family.
As you are enjoying the cookies, talk with your children about how food satisfies our hunger, provides what our body needs, and keeps us alive.
Just as food and drink provide what our bodies need, Jesus provides all we need to be satisfied. We don’t have to have lots of things or a perfect life in order to find joy. Trusting in Jesus brings us true joy. We must choose to rejoice in Christ and remember that we are never alone.
How can you trust in Jesus and not other things? (what you think about, the way you spend your time and money) Do you think more about getting things or giving to others? Do you spend time dreaming about what you will buy next, or do you serve God and others? It’s not wrong to have things, but things should never be FIRST in our lives. Things don’t bring us joy. Trusting Jesus and rejoicing in Him is the key to having joy.
What Are You Thankful For?
- Writing utensil
Give each family member a piece of paper, a pencil or pen, and instruct them to make a thankful list. (If your children are too young to write, ask them to draw pictures.)
One of the best ways to find joy in Christ is to be thankful. Do we have clothes and a place to sleep? Do we have food to eat? God gives us these things to enjoy, and we should say thank you. If we aren’t thankful and happy with what we have, we probably won’t be thankful if we have more.
Ask each person to choose one item from his or her list and say it aloud as a prayer of thanks to God. (Thank you for my clothes. Thank you for my books.)
Keep the lists close by so you can add to them throughout the week.