Have you talked with your children about the kind of hearts God wants them to have? In today’s world many people call themselves Christians while having no intention of following any of God’s commands – especially if those commands keep them from doing what they want to do. Had someone spent more time explaining the parable of the soil to them, they might have a better understanding of the hearts God wants His people to have.
Their is a fun activity you can do with your kids to help them understand the many layers of the parable of the soil. You may have to grab a few supplies first, although you can also use paper cups, dirt from your yard and seeds from food scraps.
Grab your kids, a Bible and the supplies. Read them the parable from Matthew 13:1-23 (with older kids you can compare versions of the parable from Mark 4:1-20 and Luke8:4-15).
Explain that if they have never had a garden, this parable might be a little difficult to understand. Take your kids outside. Have them throw a few seeds on the sidewalk. Ask them what are some of the things that could happen to those seeds. Ask them whether or not they think those seeds will grow on the sidewalk to look like the plant on the seed packet.
For the next three “soils” you may want to allow each child to make one of each or make a couple of each for the family. If you can somehow make the parable “work” over the next week or so and show your kids the results, that’s great. If not, just explain what would probably happen if this were done in a real garden.
One cup should contain gravel. Your kids can drop in a few seeds. Another cup should contain dirt, and your kids drop in the good seed. You can be “birds” that then drop in grass seed to the same cup. For the last cup, use dirt and just the “good” seeds.
After all of the seeds have been planted, go back and talk about Jesus said would happen with each. With younger children, use a simplification of the explanation Jesus gave for the parable. Encourage older kids to think of concrete examples from real life of what each of those scenarios might look like in today’s world. Ask them to think of ways to make sure they are the good seed in the good soil.