Here's the first one from Proverbs 1:
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck (ESV).
It's important our kids understand "hear" as used here. =) Rather than telling them, ask them what they think this specific word means. If they're not getting it, try giving them multiple choice options. (And just a note on multiple choice, some kids will always want to pick the last thing you said, so change up which option is your "correct choice.")
- saying "uh-huh" or "yes, ma'am/sir" whenever mommy or daddy says something?
- stopping what you're doing and thinking about what they're saying?
- obeying based on what mommy or daddy says?
If your kids are a little older and can understand "parallel construction"--two things lined up that have the same direction/meaning--you can point out how "hear" and "forsake not" are set up as "parallels"--both have the thrust of doing/obeying the instruction/teaching (another set of parallels). If you journal as you go, it may be fun to draw parallel lines and group the concepts together above and below each other.
Then there's the metaphor (where one thing stands in the place of another, like a simile but without the "like" or "as" and so a little stronger):
"they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck"
Get the picture. Think Olympic athletes. Back in the day, a garland was placed on the winner's head; we still place a pendant or medal around the neck of the winner. My kids immediately connected this to the DVD of Eric Liddell, the Olympian who wouldn't run on Sundays and later became a missionary. So the idea of the garland and pendant is, basically, that of being a winner!
Then find the comparison. What is the graceful garland and pendant compared to? The instruction/teaching of a parent, and specifically the hearing/obeying/not forsaking of that godly instruction.
So the lesson's simple: obey, and you're a winner!
And now they have a great word picture to go with it.
- Craft for kids: Make a pendant and write "OBEY" on the "medal" and a leafy wreath.
- Write the verse and draw a picture of an Olympic athlete.
- Think about using some of the words from your Proverbs Time for spelling: hear, forsake, winner. Or harder: Olympian, graceful, pendant, obedience.
- Other fun Olympics links here.
Enjoy the time you get with your kids talking about the Word. And then watch for opportunities to apply it. I typed half of this on Monday afternoon, and--no joke--Monday night, we had a reason to talk about
"not forsaking your mother's teaching." And I was thankful I'd thought about it during the day, because God's Word is a far better counselor than I am.
I'd love to hear from you. Please post how your kids responded to this Truth Talk/Proverbs Time or which lesson idea was your favorite part (most helpful or most fun). Looking forward....