One of my favorite things about fall is the apple. We live about an hour or so away from an area full of apple orchards. It’s a nice little break from the city to drive up and pick fresh apples on a crisp autumn morning. After bringing them home, our kitchen smells great while the apple butter simmers on the stove all day. Whether or not you have apple orchards near you, you can use apples with your kids to point them towards God.
This fall, take some time and use apples to do one or more of the following things. All of them will help shape your children’s hearts and minds towards God.
- Go apple picking. If you live near orchards, take your kids to them and let them wonder through the rows of apple trees. Point out the different varieties. Each has some special aspect that makes it different from the others. Often mixing several varieties makes things like pies and apple butter taste even better. You can also have discussions about how God created variety in our world to show His love for us. He also gave mankind the intelligence and creativity (creating us in His image) so that we could use them to add additional varieties when we needed or wanted them. You can also talk about how the Church is like making a great apple pie or apple butter. The church works better when everyone is using the gifts God gave them while working together to do the things God wants us to do.
- Compare apple prices. Stewardship is an important part of living the Christian life, yet it is one that is rarely addressed. God gave us stewardship of the earth and everything on it. Your family also have personal stewardship of your money and property. Part of good stewardship is spending money wisely. Have your kids look through grocery ads and check prices at the orchard (it’s also a great way for them to learn about less common measures like bushels and pecks!). Which apples are the cheapest? Then teach them about the other factors that can go into a decision about how to spend money – gas money, your time, the fun family experience factor, the quality of the product, etc.
- Serve someone with your apples. From taking fresh orchard apples to someone who is lonely and visiting to making apple butter for your neighbors to making an apple pie and having guests in your home, there are a lot of ways to use some of those apples to show God’s love to others.
- Help your kids understand the relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit a little better. The concept of God being one God, but having three distinct identities within that one God is practically impossible for us to understand. It is important to at least begin to grasp it so your children will not be swayed by false teachings. As you peel apples for something, explain that God is similar to an apple. The peel, apple slices and apple core are three parts of the same apple. You can separate them to do various things with each, but they made up one apple. It’s not a perfect example, but it will give them a basic understanding of the concept of the trinity.
- Have an apple family devotional. The fruit in the Garden of Eden was probably not an apple (technically it may not be a fruit today as it was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), but there are a lot of stories in the Bible about growing things and the production of a harvest. Help your children understand that just like the farmer expects his apple trees to grow apples, God expects us to produce fruit for Him, too.
- Have your children include some friends. Everything in the above categories could easily be done with other children. It’s a great way to introduce non-believer families to God or encourage Christian children to learn more about God. It’s also another way to teach your children about hospitality.
Apple season starts about now and will last until almost Thanksgiving. Pick a day or two and use the fresh apples to help your kids grow a little closer to God.