PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
Even when we want our own way and make poor choices, [God] always gives us another opportunity to get it right. Inspire (for parents) It was a typical day in my ongoing battle to toilet train my stubborn two year old. When my daughter, Haley, told me she needed to use the washroom, I hurried her to the bathroom and encouraged her to use the “big girl” potty. She fussed and argued and in typical fashion, promptly wet her pants. I hadn’t slept well the night before and my patience was running thin. In my frustration, I yelled at her. “I’m bad, Mommy,” Haley said with tears in her eyes. Like a lightning bolt, I realized the impact of my frustration on my little girl. I had a moment of clarity. I paused, kneeled down, and spoke to her softly. “No, honey, you are not bad,” I started. “You just made a poor choice. In fact, Mommy also made a poor choice by yelling at you. I’m sorry. Let’s get you into some dry clothes and we’ll have an opportunity to make a good choice later.” As I knew it would, that opportunity came later. Haley had to go to the bathroom and again, chose to wet her pants. Instead of raising my voice at her, I chose to practice patience. It
dawned on me that perhaps I was asking her to do something she wasn’t developmentally ready for. In that moment, I had the sudden realization of the amazing way God saves us. Even when we want our own way and make poor choices, He always gives us another opportunity to get it right. He doesn’t heap shame on us or condemn us. Instead, he lovingly draws us to Him. As a parent, I can model this aspect of God by responding in the same way. Our God is a God of grace, forgiveness, and second chances. Our God is a God who saves! by Nicki Straza
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Equip (for parents) The Bible is rich in examples of how God has been saving His people throughout all history. Take a look at Jonah, a prophet of God, who was given a message to take to the Gentile people of Nineveh. God said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2). But Jonah ran from the Lord because he was aware of the purposes behind God’s message. It seems strange that a prophet of God would flee from His clear commands— especially when the goal of the message was to bring repentance and grace to its recipients. Israel was gaining strength and enjoying their favored relationship with God. However, in this time of reprieve, the people were becoming complacent. This complacency seems to have allowed the people to forget the call upon their nation by the Lord God. It is possible Jonah’s response was reflective of the heart of the Israelite people. Perhaps he was jealous for the relationship his people had with God and did not relish the thought of the Lord extending grace and compassion toward the enemies of Israel. Scripture tells us a storm came when Jonah was on the boat. To solve the problems it was causing the crew, Jonah was tossed overboard. God sent a great fish to save Jonah by swallowing him alive—allowing him to contemplate his actions and turn his attention once again to the Lord. Jonah went to Nineveh and gave the message God commanded. After hearing and believing his message, the people repented and were shown grace and mercy by the Lord.
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, read the biblical account of God sending Jonah to Nineveh in Jonah 1:1–6, 11–12, and 15–17 during your child’s bath time. Allow her to splash and create a “storm” in the bathtub. When you read about Jonah being swallowed by a fish, ask your child to imagine what it must have been like to be inside a giant fish. When you’ve finished reading, think of questions that reflect on the passage, such as, “What did Jonah do when God told him to go to Nineveh?” or “What happened once Jonah was thrown overboard?” Share with your children that what they just heard is true and a part of The Big God Story in the Bible, and they’ll hear more at church this week about how God shows His mercy and grace. Close your time by praying and thanking God for being a strong and powerful God who wants to save us.
© 2011 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.