ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
how many times can you give away one whole of something? Inspire (for parents) As parents, sometimes we put unrealistic expectations on our kids. We ask them to do their schoolwork wholeheartedly, play soccer wholeheartedly, sing in the choir wholeheartedly, and do their chores wholeheartedly. I mean, if “whole” is “total, undivided, complete,” then it seems pretty impossible for us to do all those things wholeheartedly. After all, how many times can you give away one whole of something? I’m being a bit silly, I know. I’m just trying to illustrate how confusing it can be to our children when we call them to give God their whole heart while at the same time calling them to be equally devoted to so many other things. I’m quite certain that in raising my kids I gave mixed messages about what really matters. I’ve had a relationship with God since I was seven, and I’m still trying to figure it out! Several years ago, I posed a question to God, “If I give you my heart, what will you do with it?” You see, at that point in my life, my heart was broken and bruised. I knew God still wanted it, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to give it to Him. I had
grown up hearing about God’s goodness and God’s love for me, but I didn’t really understand it. I wanted to, but my relationships with other people had overshadowed God’s claim on my heart. I had given parts of my heart away to other people and other pursuits. I wrote that challenge to God next to Isaiah 27:3. Know what that verse says? “I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment: Lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day.” God alone can make good on that promise. God wants my whole heart, and He deserves it. by Janet Lee
GettinKigngsS7–t11a(Srtoloemdon, Part II)
Scripture: I Heart Wants My Whole Main Point: God your family to signed to allow de is ce ur so re This your children d’s Word before Go in e tim ve ha n is for parents Because God’s pla ren’s faith, attend church. rers of their child rtu nu l ua irit sp e to be th lly, your children you grow spiritua as at th ow kn we lly as well. will grow spiritua
Equip (for parents) REM The story of Solomon’s life is tragic. Solomon “He d EMB ER v ied f was the son of David, the man after God’s ers o w r all, ho li own heart. Solomon received the kingship E t v h e a t tho shou because of God’s unmerited choice, even live se ld no for t before his father, David, left the throne. h l e o h m n i mw ger selv God blessed Solomon with wisdom and es b was ho died u fame and blessed the nation with peace t for for t raise 2 Co during his reign. he d Solomon’s falling away was very great, very public, and very tragic. David warned his son to remain strong in his faith and to follow God’s laws and follow His commandments. Solomon vowed he would and admonished the people to do the same. So what happened? Had Solomon given God his whole heart? Or had he just fallen away from God? We read that Solomon was on his knees, with his hands outstretched to the sky, begging for God’s favor, protection, and blessing. Then we read about how Solomon built a magnificent temple for God, but an even more magnificent palace for himself. Either way, Solomon fell short. Solomon’s life is not only tragic, but also disturbingly familiar. Each of us has felt pulled away from God maybe by the lure of fame, wealth, or lust. We might have acted holy to hide the fact that, but inside, we feel far away from God. We might have cared more about our “palace” than God’s “temple.” Solomon’s life stands as a warning to not take God’s blessings lightly, to not think lightly of our sins, and to not let our hearts wander. We have the privilege of sacrificing our whole hearts to the holy God, who requires nothing more or less of us.
(for parents & kids) Sometime this week gather your family and read through the biblical account of Solomon’s later life in I Kings 8:22–30 and 11:9–13. After reading this part of The Big God Story, give each person in your family a piece of blank paper and some crayons. Have everyone draw a heart on both sides of the blank paper (parent’s help with younger children). Then have each person start by writing or drawing a picture of areas of their lives where they feel they have given their heart to God. Talk with your children, and affirm with them that you have seen these areas in their lives too. Then have each family member turn their paper over and write or draw the areas of their lives they are struggling to turn over to God. Together as a family, pray about those areas in each of their lives. Ask God to give them the strength to release those areas to Him, and help them trust Him with their whole heart. Share with your children that what your just read is a part of The Big God Story in the Bible, and they will hear more about this in church this week.
© 2010 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.