Welcome to Family Faith and Fun Fridays. As the week winds down and I anticipate more family time over the weekend, I often ask God for one good idea that will enable me to bring the Word to life and bring our family together. Usually, the activity overflows out of something the Lord has been teaching me through His Word during the week. I’d like to invite you to join me and my family in the adventure. Sometimes I’ll post things we’ve tried; other times I’ll post an idea in the works. If you’ve got thoughts to add or suggestions on how to adapt or improve the activity, please don’t hesitate to comment. Enjoy!
Philippians 4:8: The Thought Sorter
As I mentioned last Friday, I'm trying to be more deliberate about hiding God's Word in my heart. As I do, I'm inviting my children to join me in the journey. This month we are memorizing Philippians 4:8. For me, this verse is where the rubber meets the road. It is the "how to" of the mental battle that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. If I want to win the war the Enemy is waging on my life, my best defense begins in my mind. I need a filter that will sift the thoughts that weaken my faith and taint my soul from the ones that grow me strong in Christ. Philippians 4:8 is that sieve, or in kid-friendly language, the thought sorter.
"Dear brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right; whatever is lovely, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable; if anything be excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
In order to illustrate the concept of a mental sieve, I took small slips of paper and wrote on them the words that Philippians 4:8 lists as the kinds of thoughts we should have. I also wrote opposites of those words, such as "lying, critical, raunchy, disrespectful..." Then I got out our baby shape sorter and taped the "good words" onto the accompanying shapes. I taped the 'bad words" onto a set of blocks and balls that were too big to fit through the baby sorter.
I told the kids that Philippians 4:8 can help us to "sort" our thoughts if we will let it. Then each child picked a shape from the bowl, read the word taped onto it and tried to fit it into the baby sorter. The words from Phil 4:8 fit; the others didn't.
A few days later, I wrote several "thoughts" on slips of paper. Things like, "I can't do this," "My brother is so stupid," and "Her clothes look dumb." Others read, "This is hard, but I can do it with Jesus' help," "I'm lucky to have a brother to play with," and "She has a pretty smile." I put all the slips of paper in a bowl and we passed it around the supper table one night. Each child took a turn pulling out a "thought" and determining whether it would pass through the Philippians 4:8 sorter. I was humbled as I realized so many of my daily thoughts DO NOT. I'm so glad that the Lord has instructed me to teach my children His word so that He can refine their mommy in the process!
I am a lover of Jesus Christ, a seeker of abundant life, and a freelance writer and speaker. I’ve got a handful of children, a home full of laughter and a life full of noise. I’m the frequent hostess of kitchen-floor dance contests, meal time talk-a-thons and dirty laundry campaigns. I love the sound of my children’s laughter, the feeling of my husband’s hand in mine, and the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. I make my home in the Midwest where tulips bloom and neighbors smile. While my laundry baskets are NEVER empty, my soul sometimes is. When all is said and done, I don’t want my minivan to be the only thing crammed to capacity. I want a soul that’s filled to the brim, too. I want to live the life Jesus dreamed for me when he declared, "I have come that (you) may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). As I do, I hope to splatter my world with joy and leave puddles of faith in my wake.