Point: God looks beyond the mask and into our hearts.
Gather: Simple costumes or masks.
Go: Have each family member come to family night in costume. Then guess who each person is supposed to be.
Ask: Why is it fun to dress up in costumes? Do you even pretend to be someone you're not at school, at work, at church? Why do people sometimes hide themselves behind a "mask"?
Read:1 Samuel 16:7
Share: Have each person talk about a time they felt judged by how they look or what people thought of them. Why is God more concerned with our hearts than with the way we look or act?
Remember: The mask, you see, is hypocrisy.
Pray: Ask God to help you be real with your friends and family.
Focusing on Others
Point: Love is unselfish-it focuses on others.
Gather: A snack and a Bible.
Go: Have each family member take turns mirroring each other. Have one person sit directly across from another and copy that person's actions.
Ask: What was necessary for doing this activity well? How is this activity like love?
Read:1 Corinthians 13
Share: We can have the same love God has for us by focusing on other people rather than ourselves.
Remember: Christian love isn't self-seeking which means that it isn't selfish. True Christian love is expressed without expecting anything in return.
Pray: Allow time for each family member to share prayer concerns or answers to prayer.
1. "Peas" Pass the Veggies
Mealtime Prayer: Thank God that his word teaches us right from wrong. Ask him to help you choose what is right.
Main Course: Daniel was a young man who loved the Lord. He was invited to a royal feast, but there was a problem. Daniel didn't want to eat the meat because he knew it had been offered to an idol. He decided to eat vegetables instead. Read Daniel 1:8-16.
- Think of times when you had to choose not to do something wrong. What happened?
- How can we know what is right when we face a tough choice?
- How can your conscience and/or the Bible help you know the difference?
2. Heard WHAT through the Grapevine?
Mealtime Prayer: Lord, just like I'm careful about what goes into my mouth, help me to be careful of what comes out of my mouth. Amen.
Main Course: Read Proverbs 10:18. Play the game Grapevine. Whisper a crazy sentence into the ear of the person next to you and have that person repeat the sentence they heard to the person next to them. The last person says the sentence out loud. How close was it to the original?
- Why don't sentences end the same as they start?
- What happens to gossip when we share it with other people? Why?
- What kinds of things does gossip lead to?
- How can you stop gossip before it starts? When you hear it?
1. Bible Trivia
Q. How many times did Peter deny Jesus?
Q. What is the name of the mountain on which God gave Moses the Ten Commandments?
Q. Who was the wisest man who ever lived?
Q. Who prophesied to dry bones and they came to life by God's power?
2. Bible Memorization
The Word of God is sharper than what?
A. A double-edged sword; B. A razor; C. A Philistine spear
John 3:16 is well known for what?
A. explaining the mysteries of the end times; B. Explaining the Gospel clearly; C. John baptizing Jesus
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us four things that Scripture is useful for. They begin with the letters t,r,c, and t. Can you name these four things?
1. Fat Cat
One person thinks of a Fat Cat (words that rhyme like Fat Cat or Funny Bunny) and gives a clue so that the other person can guess what it is. For example, I might give a clue for "fat cat" saying "chubby kitty". When both of you have gone a few times, close with one of these choices: "fun son or "pearl girl".
Dear God, Thank you for all the fun you give us. And thank you for a "fun son"/ "pearl girl" like (child's name) to share it with. Amen.
2. Future Family
Have your child imagine that she is all grown up. Instead of living in this family, she has a new family of her own. Ask your child:
What kind of family would you like it to be?
If you get married, what kind of person would you like to marry?
What kinds of pets would you like to have in your family when you are grown up?
What rules would you have in your home?
End by saying, "It's never too early to start praying for your family. Let's start tonight!"
Dear God, A family is a wonderful thing. Thank you for ours. Thank you for (each member of the family). And thank you for the family that (child's name) will someday have. We pray they would love each other and take good care of each other. Amen.
From Heritage Builders, a ministry of Focus on the Family. For more great family devotions from Heritage Builders, go to our Web site, www.christianparenting.net.
Copyright © 2003 by the author or Christianity Today/Christian Parenting Today magazine.
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