Do you think your kids face obstacles where discernment is necessary? Our need for discernment – seeking God’s direction before acting – starts early and ages with us. Whether it’s deciding whether or not to obey parents, cheat on a test, watch a movie that we know our parents wouldn’t allow at home, or deciding which college to choose, which job to take, how to point our kids to Christ, we will never run out of opportunities to seek God’s direction. This week, we talk about a critical step in that process – stopping and praying before you act.
MEMORY VERSE: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
In the book of Daniel, we learn about a king named King Nebuchadnezzar who had a dream that bothered him so much he couldn’t sleep. He asked all his “wise men” and magicians to tell him what the dream meant. And then he threw them a curve ball when he told them to also tell him what his dream was. They were like, uhhh, king, are you crazy? No one can do that!!! This made King Nebuchadnezzar really mad. So mad that he decided all of the “wise men” should be killed. When the king’s commander showed up to kill Daniel and his buddies, Daniel asked king for more time. The king agreed, and Daniel headed home to his friends. Daniel and his friends sought God’s direction by praying. They used the “think-time” the king gave them to ask God what to do. God heard their prayers, and He answered by showing Daniel what King Neb’s dream was and what it meant. Daniel agreed with the other “wise men” and magicians that telling the king his dream is impossible for any man, but not for God! Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was and what it meant, and God got all the glory!
READ DANIEL 2:1-28
How did Daniel respond with discernment? (He stoped and learned more about the situation from Arioch, and he asked the king for more time before giving an answer.)
Look at verse 18. What did Daniel ask his friends to do? (He asked them to pray to God for wisdom and mercy because he knew only God could help them.)
Look at Daniel's prayer in verses 20-23. Why is God's direction always best? (God has all wisdom and power. He is in control of everything. He gives wisdom and knowledge, reveals mysteries, and sees things we can't see.)
When Daniel finally went to see the king, did he boast in his own wisdom or give the praise to God? (Daniel said that no man could explain the king's dream. God gave the dream to the king and only He knew what it meant. However, God told Daniel what it meant so he could tell the king what was going to happen.)
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Parents, share with your kids a time when you were faced with a decision and you took time to stop and pray before you made your choice. What happened? Have you ever decided or said something without stopping to think about it? What do you wish you could have done differently? Share with your kids why discernment matters in your own life.
Use a map to get to your next destination (even if you already know where you’re going…it’s a good illustration for your kids). Talk about how God’s Word is our road map for life. Just as a map guides us from point A to point B, the Bible is able to guide us in any situation we face. Our memory verse this month, Proverbs 3:5-6, reminds us that we can trust in the Lord and He will show us which path to take.
When you stop and pray, you can take time to ask God for His path. When you seek God’s direction, He can help you can make wise choices instead of acting foolishly. Talk about times you may need to make decisions and use discernment tomorrow. Stop and pray before bed that you will seek His will instead of depending on your own understanding.
This week, make a game out of memorizing this month’s verse, Proverbs 3:5-6. All you need is a ball or something to toss or roll to your kids. Let one person start and say the first word of the verse and then toss the ball to the next person who will then say the next word, and so on. Continue until you complete the whole verse. Time yourself to see how fast you can do it but you have to start over if you drop the ball!
Thank God for teaching us to use discernment. Ask Him to help you remember to stop and pray before you act. Thank Him for teaching us to make wise decisions and for being trustworthy!
Next week we will continue the October godly character trait, DISCERNMENT. We will learn to ask and listen when you don't know what to do.
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