Here is a lesson in faithfulness that binds your kids together in one shirt. I absolutely loved this lesson in faithfulness, and the kids had a blast. Faithfulness is such an important lesson to teach kids, especially in a time where men’s words are no longer their bond. People don’t take their marriage vows seriously. If it doesn’t work for me or if I’m not feeling it anymore, it’s time to go. Is faithfulness history in our culture? I hope we can raise up a generation that says otherwise. I just did an amazing Bible Study by Kay Arthur called “Covenant.” If you have not done this study, I highly, highly, highly recommend it. It is such a faith building study where you see God’s covenant woven so intricately through thousands of years in the Bible. It gives hope in God’s gracious covenant promises to us. It shows so clearly God’s faithfulness to us despite our sin nature that turns from him. It definitely instilled in me the importance God puts on faithfulness and has deepened my own faith in a whole new way.
My husband said to me, I’m throwing this shirt away in the morning as he took it off to go to bed. It was an undershirt that had seen its last days. I was laying there in bed trying to brainstorm an idea for faithfulness when the shirt came back to mind, and it hit me. I love how God has given me extra inspiration with little nuggets along the way as I have developed this character development series. The next morning, I wrote “faithfulness shirt” on his old shirt. When Abby came home from school we did the activity.
I explained to the girls that faithfulness means sticking together. Times get hard. There are a lot of challenges you will face. Faithfulness is being willing to stand by someone’s side during the good, the bad, the challenging, the fun, the hard – even when we don’t feel like it. Sometimes, we feel like it might be easier alone. Sometimes we don’t want to stay loyal to a friend, family member or spouse. However, we are taught that, in love, we are to stick it out with people.
There is more grey area here. I had to explain to the kids that some relationships can become unhealthy. They may have friends that might start to make bad choices. I explained that there are some friends that we need to choose to love and pray for but not be close to because they might influence us apart from things that are good, right and pleasing to the Lord. There are healthy boundaries that need to be made in unhealthy relationships. However, our faithfulness to love and care for that person is still a call. We all know our own areas of weakness and what boundaries we need to make to stay healthy. For kids, it’s might be more black and white since they are often more easily influenced by their peers. Sometimes we adults use boundaries as excuses because we don’t want to love the hard people or we want an easy way out of a relationship. This takes a lot of discernment and prayer. There are times to protect yourself. In marriage, that time is if there is abuse or abandonment. In friendships, it may be someone using you in an unhealthy way or encouraging destruction or sin in your own life because of their behaviors. Each of you will have to make these tricky choices for yourselves while keeping in mind the love and grace God has shown us. We also need to remember that a faithful friend is hard to find and a jewel to keep. Become one!
OK – With faithfulness shirt in hand and lesson spoken, it was time for the visual. I set up an obstacle course. The first thing we did was run through the obstacle course solo. I led the way showing the course they should take. All three followed behind. I said, “That was pretty easy doing it by ourselves. Do you think it would be easier or harder with another person.” They decided it would be more challenging. So, we put the shirt on their heads to bind them together. Here was our course:
Crawling under the dining room table.
Weaving around the drums a couple of times.
Stepping over stools in a line.
Stepping over the pillow trail.
Climbing over the ottoman.
Driving the cars to the finish line.
Corban wanted to try it too, and he was all smiles…
…until he had to actually do the obstacle course, and then he was done. There were actually a couple times the girls weren’t sure they’d make it too. It was more challenging than it looks. There were a lot of laughs and smiles, but there were moments of frustration. They worked through the challenges together. I was there to help be a guide and an encourager. They wanted to run it a few times together. Corban stuck on his own. He is little, so I just let it go and let him have fun. It ended up being a wonderful lesson and experience together.