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Family Time with God

September--Family Ties

The devotionals on this page and the following page (October What's It Worth?) are designed to guide your family through two months of short, simple times with God and each other. Each week's lesson starts with a member of the family reading the month's Scripture passage out loud. Then follow the discussion guidelines for the week.

Look It Up

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. ? A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; 12; NASB).

Get Ready

You'll need two rubber bands and three cords or ribbons?one gold, one burgundy, one green?each about 10 inches long. Also, cut another 10 inches of one color, it doesn't matter which. Braid the cords together and secure each end with a rubber band. Set the extra length of cord or ribbon aside.

Remember This

A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart (Eccl. 4:12).

Talk It Over

WEEK 1: The Family Cord
Place the braided cord and the single cord where everyone can see them. Pass the braided cord and the single cord around the family and encourage everyone to tug on both the braided and the single cord. Which one feels stronger? Talk about the ways your family is like the braided cord. How do you help each other? How does it feel to work together to solve problems? What are some ways God makes your family's cord stronger? End by thanking God for making you a family.

WEEK 2: The Gold Cord
The gold cord represents God's blessings in our lives. Talk about the ways God has blessed your family. Think about your family's strengths. Then ask family members to talk about something they like about your family. End by thanking God for the ways he has blessed your family.

WEEK 3: The Burgundy Cord
The burgundy cord represents Christ's suffering. Talk about the ways your family has struggled. How has God helped you through hard times? How have those hard times helped your family grow closer to God? Ask each person to talk about one struggle he or she has faced and the ways God helped him or her through it. End with a prayer thanking God for his faithfulness, even in hard times. Ask God to help your family trust him in the midst of struggles.

WEEK 4: The Green Cord
The green cord represents growth. What are some ways your family is growing closer to one another and to God? What can you do together to help you get closer as a family? Next, take turns talking about an area in which you're trying to grow. End with a prayer thanking God for his patience as we grow closer to him. Ask him to give you patience with one another, too.

Karen L. Maudlin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in family therapy. She also teaches in a Montessori-based children's worship program at her church. She and her family live in Illinois.

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