PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
‘Mom, that sounds funny,’ my youngest son said, giggling. ‘I’m God’s valentine?’ Inspire (for parents) It was the 13th of February. Time was running out. My sons needed to create a valentine for each of their 20 classmates before the classroom parties the next day. We huddled around our dining room table, which was piled high with paper, tissue, crayons, and the mandatory (according to the boys) dinosaur stickers.
“Mom, that sounds funny,” my youngest son said, giggling. “I’m God’s valentine?”
I did my best to contribute to the project. However, the boys, three and four years old, rejected most of my designs due to “not enough stickers.” I decided to get creative and make a valentine straight from the heart. I took the largest piece of paper I could find, cut out a gigantic heart, and wrote “BE MINE” in large bold letters. I held it up and read it to my boys.
At that moment, my older son decided to make a valentine for God. His brother joined in, and they made sure that God’s valentine had the most dinosaur stickers of all!
My oldest son shook his head, “Mom, we’re yours! We’re your kids!” I answered, “You’re right. But there’s someone else who could send this valentine to you.” “Who?” they asked. I told them, “God. He could write this valentine and ask you to be His. You could then say the same thing to Him that you said to me, ‘God, we are Yours! We’re Your kids!’”
I smiled. “Yes, you truly are,” I told my kids. “You belong to God. He made you. He loves you and knows everything about you. He is your heavenly Father and is always watching over His children.”
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Equip (for parents) Equip is additional background information that will help as you introduce this passage of Scripture to your children this week. God had a plan for Saul to be His own. As a young man, Saul had the benefit of a privileged upbringing. He attended a Pharisaic rabbinical school in Jerusalem, where he studied with a rabbi who was considered one of the greatest teachers of Judaism. Saul eventually became a Pharisee, and possibly a member of the Sanhedrin. As a zealous upholder of the law, Saul led the charge of those opposing the message of Jesus Christ as Redeemer. On the authority of the chief priests, he imprisoned those who professed Christ as Savior. He traveled from synagogue to synagogue, seeking to punish those who believed and trying to force them to curse the name of Christ. While en route to the city of Damascus, Saul met Jesus, and Jesus claimed Saul for His own. As a result of this encounter, everything in Saul’s life changed. Saul began speaking to the Jews and Gentiles in Judea of repentance and the resurrection. Where he once brought persecution, now he brought the hope of God’s promise. He was given a new identity; even his name changed. No longer was he known as Saul of Tarsus, but as Paul, an apostle of Christ. Paul spent two years in prison while on trial for charges brought against him by the Sanhedrin. Once given authority to condemn, he was now facing his own condemnation. The Roman government found Paul innocent, but because he had made an appeal to the Roman emperor, he was transferred to Rome and placed on house arrest while awaiting an audience with Caesar. During this time, Paul continued to preach the gospel to all who came to visit and served as pastor to the early churches through his many writings.
God chose us to belong to Christ [Jesus] before the world was created. Ephesians 1:4 (NIrV)
Support (for parents & kids) This week, JUST FOR FUN, go on a walk together as a family. As you’re walking along the path, sidewalk, or road, ask your children to tell you things they know to be true about God. Use this time to remind them how much God loves them and wants them to be His. When you return from your walk, read together the account of Saul in Acts 26:12– 18 and what happened to him as he walked along the road to Damascus. (You may choose to read this part of The Big God Story from a children’s or easy reader’s translation of the Bible, such as the New International Reader’s Version.) Ask your children, “How did Jesus appear to Saul?” Then, have them share with you what they think Jesus meant when He told Saul to tell people to turn from darkness to light. Explain to your children that what they just heard is true and part of The Big God Story. They’ll learn more in church this week about how God chooses us to be His. Take a moment to pray as a family, thanking God for wanting you to be part of His family.
© 2012 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.
This preteaching tool for parents encourages families to spend time in God’s Word together before children arrive at church.