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!
Life Within God's Hedges
As I've been pondering my own hedges lately, I've been trying to think of a way that I can help my children celebrate the hedge of God's Word. As we strive to train them to use God's word as a plumb line for every decision, we want them to understand why life within the hedges of God's word is best. Honestly, as the world lives a free-for-all around them, children grounded in the Word may at times feel like God's way is restricting or "narrow." So I want to plant the seed of truth even now that says, "God's hedges are for my own protection! I'm safest within His boundaries." A few years ago we played this game to illustrate that simple truth and I think we'll try it again over the weekend, because I'm guessing a few of my youngest ones don't remember the lesson. Our driveway is clear of snow for now, so perhaps we'll bundle up and head outside to try this one. Or we'll use masking tape instead of chalk and we'll map out a playing course on the carpet in our basement as we celebrate God's glorious hedges of grace.
What you will need: Five “bases”- may be Frisbees, plastic lids, or cardboard cut outs; chalk or tape for marking boundaries, a stop watch ,and a Bible
What to do: Establish a “playing field” for the race you are about to hold. First set up the five bases within rather small boundaries- a rectangle just big enough to fit the bases inside and spread out from one another by 2-3 steps. (You may want to mark the boundaries with chalk if you are outside on the driveway or with carpet tape if you have an obstacle-free space inside). Tell your family that you are running a timed race. Each participant must stay within the established boundaries and touch the five bases once in order to complete the course. The person with the quickest time wins. Give each participant a chance to run the race and record his/her time.
Next, change the playing field by telling the kids you are going to move the “bases” OUTSIDE of the boundaries. Spread the bases out far from one another so that the race will invariably take longer. Repeat the race and record individual times again. Name a winner if you want.
After you’ve completed both races, ask, “What situation created a better chance of WINNING the competition- completing the race WITHIN the boundaries or OUTSIDE OF the boundaries?” (WITHIN)
Talk about how God's word establishes boundaries for our lives, just like the tape or chalk established boundaries in the game. For example, God asks us to RESPECT our parents (Ephesians 6:2), to be truthful, not to steal, etc (Read the ten commandments in Exodus 20 as an example of some of God’s boundaries; then brainstorm any others you can think of as a family). God has created boundaries because He wants us to live in victory. The boundaries are not intended to “wreck our fun”, but to help us do our best and “win.” God wrote the rules for life because He knows what it takes to be a champion! It can be hard to follow God’s rules sometimes, but with the Spirit's help, we can live in victory! Let’s remember that the boundaries of God’s Word are for our own good!
Wrapping up: Thank God for establishing boundaries for us and invite Him to grow in us a desire to live within His hedges of victory. Confess any “boundaries” that God has set and you have not obeyed. Ask for help to change!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!