This week’s practical parenting idea is a creative one found from a blog called “Domestic Kingdom.” It’s author, Gloria Furman, wrote about how she recently taught her children about the relationship between obedience and the heart by stapling (or more accurately, tying) apples to a dead tree stump in their backyard. You can read the whole entry by going here: Fruit Stapling
One lesson we can learn from Gloria’s article is to be on the lookout for creative ways we can teach our children using object lessons. As she points out, Jesus Himself used a lot of parables and visual imagery to teach his disciples.
Seeing helps with remembering. So, particularly as you read through the gospels, and as you read of Jesus telling stories and using imagery (whether of fruit or seeds or vines or sunrises or lamps or lights or leaven or fire or …), think through how you might be able to use that same imagery to teach your children. And you might find them to be helpful visual memories for yourself too!
Take Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:25-26, for example:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Perhaps you could put down some plates for lunch or dinner that are pristine on the bottom but just coated with food on the top (and cups that are filthy on the inside, but sparkly clean on the outside)– and see their reaction. After their shock wears off, you could give them clean plates and cups of course; and then read that passage with them and ask questions to help them see the foolishness of trying to make ourselves look good outside while our insides are full of ugly sin. (Always keep your children’s age and ability to understand abstract ideas in mind though. Make sure you’re not gonna find your three year old jamming soap down his mouth after dinner to try to clean his “inside” out.)