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 have to get done sometime, what’s better is intentionally spending time with the person you care about and building a closer relationship with each other. That’s what God wants from each of us. He wants us to choose His better things.
SELF-CONTROL: Giving Up My Way for God's Way
MEMORY VERSE: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls." Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Spiritual Self-Control Means Choosing God's Better Things
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 was doing. 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.
- Read Luke 10:38-40. Compare and contrast Mary and Martha? Who showed spiritual self-control and how?
- Was Jesus upset with Martha? How did He respond to her gently?
- What are some of the things Jesus gave up so we could experience God’s better things?
- How can you show spiritual self-control this week and choose God’s better things over the things of this world?
- Does having spiritual self-control mean you can get out of doing chores and homework? Why not?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: What Are God's "Better Things?"
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 better!
Friend: Personal Time With God
As we have learned, spiritual self-control means choosing God’s better things. 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 staying home from a friends house to spend time with God. It will be important to have constant communication about this with your family and, as parents, to model in front of them how you are choosing to spend time with God over other things as well.
Counselor: What are Distractions?
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.
Coach: Morning Prayer
In the morning, before your day starts, get your family together and pray over each other asking God to keep you focused on Him and His better things.
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.
Next week we are continuing the month of January with the godly character trait of SELF-CONTROL. We will be learning about how our physical self-control helps us to honor God with our bodies.
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