Think about your favorite relative or best friend who lives far away. You finally get to go visit them but instead of spending time with you, they’re constantly busy in the kitchen or garage, doing laundry, or mowing the lawn. While those things aren’t bad, and they for sure have to get done sometime, what’s better in that moment is to intentionally spend time with the person you care about and build a closer relationship with each other. That’s what God wants from each of us. He wants us to choose Him and His way – because choosing His way is best.
MEMORY VERSE: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.” PROVERBS 25:28 (NLT)
Things of this world can so easily distract us from what’s most important. This is what happened to Martha in Luke 10 when Jesus and His disciples came to her house. She was so busy taking care of the details she missed out on getting to just sit and be with Jesus like her sister Mary chose to do. In the midst of a busy day, sometimes the best thing we can do is take time out to sit and be with God. All of the things of this world are temporary and fleeting but our relationship with Him lasts forever. Remember, we can never have self-control on our own. If we try to do it ourselves, we will fail. The Holy Spirit, however, can help us make the right choice to give up our way and choose God’s way.
At dinner this week play the game “Which is Better??” Bring things to dinner that you can compare with each other. (Bring items of which there is an obvious better one. For example, a pair of old shoes and a pair of new shoes, a penny and a dollar, or an almost empty drink and a full drink.) Raise both items to be compared then let your family tell you which is better. After the game, teach your family about how the world is trying to get them to choose the lesser of the two (i.e. money, fame, education), but that choosing God’s way of eternal life is ALWAYS best!
Choosing God’s way is best, so make a plan with your family of how you will each prioritize spending time with God. Discuss how this will involve making certain choices. It may mean you choose to wake up earlier than normal to spend time with God, or that you choose to spend time with Him before you go over to a friend’s house. It will be important to have constant communication about this with your family and, as parents, to model for your kids how you are choosing to spend time with God over other things as well.
Read Psalm 1:1-3 together before bed or first thing in the morning and discuss these questions: Why does God want us to choose to spend time with him every day? (He loves us and wants us to be close to Him. We spend time with Him to get to know Him better.) What do these verses tell us about why it’s important to spend time with God every day? (We will be blessed, we’ll know right from wrong, we’ll be fed, we’ll be strong, etc.) Pray together thanking God for His Word and that He wants to spend time with us. Ask God to help you see what’s distracting you from spending time with Him and for the strength to re-prioritize your schedule because you know He’s good, He loves you, and that choosing His way is best.
Ask your family to tell you things that would distract them from the better things God has for them. Explain that some of those things may even be good things. Example: working hard at school is a good thing, but if we prioritize it over time spent with God it becomes a distraction. Be honest with your family about the things that can distract you personally from God and from the better things He has for you. Ask them to hold you accountable for not getting distracted.
Thank God for the fact He actually wants to spend time with YOU. Ask Him to help you make Him a priority in your live and not get distracted by lesser things. Thank Him for the times you’ve intentionally spent with Him this week.
We are excited to continue in our first character trait of 2019, self-control!