Fun Activity for Teaching Kids About Perseverance

Let’s be honest. The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. Those who don’t have perseverance won’t make it to the end and spend eternity with God in Heaven. History is full of stories of people who perhaps started out as Christians, but quit when it became too difficult. If your kids are going to be faithful, productive Christians, they need perseverance.

Perseverance requires a good kind of stubbornness. A willingness to keep living the Christian life even when it gets hard or seems less fun than sinning. The problem is how to help your children develop perseverance before they need it to live the Christian life. Fortunately, there’s a fun family devotional you can do to help your kids begin to understand the importance of being perseverant.

You will need 5 straws, a piece of paper, a plastic fork, one soda can, 6 inches tape and a rubber band for each child. Call your children together and tell them the story of the walls of Jericho found in Joshua 6:1-27. Point out that the walls didn’t fall the first time the Israelites marched around them. Or the second. Or the sixth. And even on the seventh day when the walls finally fell, they had to march around the walls seven times before they fell.

Ask your kids why they believe the Israelites didn’t give up and quit before the walls fell. Ask them to explain perseverance to you. If they are younger, you may need to explain it to them. Have your kids think of examples when perseverance can help. Explain that being a Christian is not always easy. People may tease them or refuse to do things with them because they worship and obey God. They will have to be perseverant in order be a faithful, productive Christian for their entire lives.

Give your kids the items you gathered. Tell them they are to use the items to design something that can shoot a rubber band at a target three feet away and hit it. Give them several minutes to try. When the time is up, ask if they would like to continue or give up. After you’ve had fun with the activity, talk about the perseverance needed to succeed. How can they be more perseverant when things get tough?

The Library Christian Children Should Visit Regularly

If you have children, it is likely you have spent many hours at your local public library. Libraries are a great way to encourage children to read and learn about the world around them. They can sharpen academic skills needed for success by reading lots of library books. Your children can even use books to explore who they want to be when they are adults.

Sadly, there is one library your children may rarely visit with you or independently. This is actually the best library in the world. The books in it contain the knowledge your children will need to live the best possible life. It has books that teach them how to have better character and healthy relationships with others. There are books that encourage them to serve other people. It even has books with some of the most exciting history the world has ever known.

Where is this library? In the Bible! We often present the Bible to children as one very large, extremely overwhelming book. We give it to them on a reading level far above their own. We don’t help them with vocabulary and other necessary reading comprehension skills. And then we wonder why they don’t read it or do what it says to do.

The truth is that the Bible is actually a library of 66 books. They aren’t in perfect chronological order, so they don’t have to be read in the order they have been placed. There are books of exciting history, wisdom, poetry, biography and more. You can even give your children an NIrV version written on a third grade level – making it easier for even beginning and struggling readers to read independently.

You can take your kids to this library by reading them stories and scriptures from it. You can improve their reading comprehension by explaining vocabulary words to them and discussing the meaning of various verses and passages. Ask them questions about what they read and encourage them to tell you about stories and other passages in their own words.

You can also encourage them to read books from the library independently. Start them on story heavy books like Esther, Ruth, Judges, Genesis, the Gospels and Acts. Or steer them towards books with lots of practical wisdom like Proverbs and James.

It’s best to visit this special library daily, but if you and your children have never been before (except “field trips” on Sundays), start with just a verse from a book a day to develop healthy reading habits. On days when you have more time, try to read more. On days that are hectic, that one verse will keep you in the habit of going to the library every day.

Changing your children’s perspective on reading scripture can help them develop lifelong scripture reading and studying habits. Those habits can strengthen their faith and help them reach their full God given potential.

Do Your Kids Feel Needed at Church?

Having godly self esteem is a challenge. Adults have shifted back and forth from being super critical of children to making them believe they are practically perfect in every way. Most congregations would say they value the children and teens that attend, but they don’t always act that way. Young people are often siloed away from the adults in special areas for classes and some, if not all, of worship. They rarely see adults, much less develop meaningful familial and mentoring relationships with them.

Perhaps even more harmful, they are made to feel superfluous. The adults take all of the active roles in worship and service. Often children especially are barred from participating in service and other ministry efforts, while teens are given a marginal role at best.

Contrast this to the real world, where schools often encourage students to take leadership roles in every area of school life. Charities often have special roles for children and teens to develop the next generation of volunteers. Young people are encouraged to share ideas and develop their own service and leadership projects.

Children and teens may not be able to express it well, but they are made to feel useless and even unwanted in many churches. They are aware adults put little effort into their classes and they aren’t learning much of importance. No wonder many leave at the first opportunity for something that makes them feel they add value to being there.

Is your church guilty of marginalizing children and teens? Speak up. Volunteer to develop a system for involving them in more meaningful ways. If your church pushes back, encourage your children to develop their own ministry opportunities in their lives. Support them in their efforts to serve others and share their faith. Reassure them God wants them to be involved in their local congregation. Encourage them to keep trying to participate or develop opportunities to serve and share their faith and invite other Christians to join them. Whatever you do, don’t let your kids believe their congregation doesn’t need them to be involved. Because whether church leaders realize it or not, they do need your kids.

Fun Family Devotional on Obedience

Obedience is crucial for your children to live a faithful, productive Christian life. If your children obey you, it also makes your parenting job a lot easier. Yet, it seems that from a very young age, children want to do what they want to do – even if it means disobeying you and God.

Part of the problem is that children don’t have enough life experience to understand that rules are meant to protect them. When they disobey, there will often be negative consequences in the moment or at some future time. When those consequences are delayed, your kids are even more likely to believe they can disobey at will – leading to all sorts of serious issues.

There’s a devotional you can do to help them begin to understand that obeying God’s rules and yours is necessary for living the best possible life. You will need some light weight or origami paper and instructions to make various origami figures. It can be helpful for you to practice making them ahead of time if you’ve never done it before.

Call your kids together and tell them the story of the twelve spies in Numbers 14. Instead of focusing on the lack of faith at the beginning of the chapter, look closely at the end of the chapter when the Israelites tried to take Canaan against the word of God and Moses. What happened when they disobeyed? Why is it important to always obey God? What did Moses and God know that the people chose to ignore? What do parents, God and other adults know that kids don’t know? Why do adults and God make rules for kids? What are those rules usually designed to do? What happens when kids break those rules? Your goal in this conversation is to help your children understand that rules are not made to keep them from having fun, but to protect them from something they aren’t wise enough from which to protect themselves.

Give each of your children a piece of paper. Don’t show or tell them the origami figure they will be making. Do not demonstrate how to make the folds, but read the verbal instructions, one by one. In most cases, the finished figures won’t resemble what was supposed to be created. Show your kids what they were supposed to make. Talk about how disobeying the instructions – even a little – changed the intended result. Point out that when we disobey, our lives often don’t turn out the way God had wanted them to be. We can end up with a big mess when we insist on doing things our own way and disobeying God.

Have fun making additional figures adding visuals and help when needed. Talk about how much easier life can be when we listen to God and obey Him. It’s still not perfect, because everyone doesn’t obey God all of the time, but it is much fuller and richer than living a life of disobedience.

You can revisit this topic regularly using other Bible stories and any activity that requires following instructions. Spend time making sure your kids understand the importance of complete obedience to God.

Fun Family Devotional About Hezekiah

Hezekiah is one of those people in the Bible your children may never learn about in Bible class or church. Yet he is one of the more well known kings of Judah and has several fascinating stories of his reign told in the Bible.

Perhaps the most well known story about Hezekiah is found in 2 Kings 20. Hezekiah had become ill. The prophet Isaiah came to him and told him we was indeed dying. Hezekiah pleaded for the Lord to spare him. Isaiah told him that God had decided to let him live for fifteen more years. Here’s where it gets really interesting. Hezekiah asked for a sign that the Lord would indeed let him live several more years. Isaiah offered to make the shadow on the steps move either direction. Hezekiah wanted it to move backwards, because that was more difficult – and it did.

Your kids may not understand the idea of shadows going backwards and forwards. Making a sundial is a great way to teach them how shadows move and why Hezekiah knew going backwards was more difficult than forwards. You can find instructions for making a simple sundial here. You can also take note of how the shadows move over time on the steps of your porch if you have them. (If you want to go deeper, try making a wall sundial and note how you have to position the numbers differently for it to be accurate.)

As you reflect on the lesson and activity, discuss the power of prayer. Ask them to think of other times when God did what seemed impossible in the Bible. Talk about the amazing things you have seen God do today. End with a prayer asking God to help your family remember the power of God and the importance of praying to Him.

You and your children may want to explore the next story about Hezekiah in chapter twenty. Note not only the pride Hezekiah had and the consequences of it, but Hezekiah’s somewhat strange reaction to God’s consequence. How can our pride be our downfall? Why is it easy to pretend not to care about negative consequences that will happen in the future? Have they ever done something they knew would have negative future consequences, because they wanted to do what they wanted to do so badly? What happened when the consequence finally came? This is a great second lesson to introduce the concept of making good choices, in part, so you don’t have to experience those negative consequences in the future.