Have you ever tried to put a piece of furniture together without the instructions? You might be successful for a time, but at some point you will find if you don’t follow the instructions exactly as written, you have a mess on your hands.
Your kids need to learn God gives us commands for a reason. He knows what is best for us and has given us a set of instructions in the Bible for living that best life. If your kids choose to ignore or change the instructions and do their own thing, they will usually end up with a mess on their hands.
There is a great, fun activity to make the point to your kids. Often young people will think God’s commands are for later when they are “old and boring”. Or they think, they can tweak them here and there to make God’s commands more “fun” for them. They may think they can pick and choose which commands they obey without any consequences.
If you want your kids to learn the importance of following God’s instructions, the following recipe will make the point without wasting a lot of ingredients. Have your kids make the recipe, but put out a few extra ingredients…maybe baking soda. white sugar, or cornmeal. Consider leaving off the labels for the ingredients or encouraging them to add other ingredients or don’t give them the recipe at all and have them guess at what should go in it.
When they are finished, allow them to have a very tiny taste of the finished batter. How does it taste? Did the recipe’s author want it to taste like that? If they have made a lot of changes to the recipe, have them make it again making only one change. Taste again and while the results won’t be as drastic, there should still be an “off” taste to the finished product. Now have them repeat, following the recipe exactly. Enjoy all of that finished product.
As you eat. Explain that God gives us commands to live the best possible life. When we try to make even tiny changes to God’s commands and how we obey them, the results will mean our life is not as good as it could have been had we obeyed God. If we make lots of changes, it may be hard to even recognize what was meant to have been a godly life.
Ask your kids what kinds of “tweaks” they notice people try to make to God’s commands. How does that usually work out for them? Be prepared for all sorts of answers as your kids may just be beginning to process this idea. Gently guide them towards understanding how important it is to follow God’s commands exactly as He has given them – even if they don’t understand them or agree with them. (Salt is a good example to use. Kids may wonder why you would put salt in a sweet recipe. Explain that it is needed to balance the other flavors, but someone who doesn’t cook may not realize that and be tempted to leave it out of the recipe.)
No Bake Cookie Dough
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
⅛ teaspoon of salt
⅛ teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of milk
5 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar. Mix in each additional ingredient in the order given.
Helping your kids understanding the vital importance of obeying God’s commands exactly as given will make a huge difference in their Christian walk. A couple of ruined batches of this recipe are worth the lesson your kids will hopefully learn.