GOD VIEW: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN OBEDIENCE AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY. OBEDIENCE IS TRUSTING WHO’S IN CHARGE BY DOING WHAT YOU’RE ASKED TO DO.
Key Question: Why is the Bible important? Maybe they’ve seen the Bible sitting on a shelf at home. Maybe they have one of their own. Or maybe they have no idea what a Bible is. Preteens are all over the map when it comes to understanding why they should take the time to dig into the Bible. As we kick off a school year of going through the Bible, we’re starting with a key question to help them realize how the Bible can impact their world.
We start the month by helping kids understand the importance of the Bible. In Psalm 119:105 we read that God’s Word can guide us in the way we should go. The Bible is made up of 66 books that include history and wisdom, letters and parables, even poems and promises that make up God’s One Big Story. When we dig into the Bible, we find out about God’s plan to rescue the world through Jesus.
Bottom Line: When you learn about God, it’s easier to follow Him. Throughout the month, we’ll help kids learn that obedience and trust go hand-in-hand. The more you know an adult, the more likely you’ll do what they ask. The same is true about God. The more you know Him, the easier it is to do what God asks you to do. We’ll help kids learn how they can discover more about God as they read the Bible.
Key Question: What is at stake if you don’t obey? When you disobey there are often consequences— some natural, others handed to you from a leader. Kids probably realize they get in trouble if they disobey, but as preteens they are ready to understand the disobedience also breaks down trust you’ve built with those who are in charge. When we obey, we build trust. We want kids to realize why obedience matters.
We start our journey through the Bible in Genesis 3:1-23. God created Adam and Eve to take care of His perfect world. God gave them one simple rule to obey: Don’t eat from that tree. But ultimately, they didn’t trust God and did what they wanted to do. They broke the one rule, and when they did, it changed the course of history.
Bottom Line: Trust and obey, even when you think your way is better. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, you’ll face a moment when you don’t want to do what you’ve been asked to do. This is especially true when you have a better way in mind. We hope kids start figuring out why doing what they’re asked to do is more important than doing their own thing. Our leaders are wise and they may know things that we don’t. We should trust them and follow their directions.
Key Question: What is the hardest thing about following somebody? Preteens are starting to realize that some people are easy to follow, while following others can be difficult. We want to give them a chance to be honest with how they’re feeling about following people who are in charge. We pray they’ll figure out the best way to respond when they don’t want to follow someone.
Next we head to Genesis 6-8 to the familiar story of Noah. God saw how the people on earth were choosing to live life on their terms rather than His. God grieved this world and sent a flood to wipe everything out. But Noah was faithful to God, so God instructed Noah to build a giant ark. People must have thought he was crazy, but God honored Noah’s obedience and saved him, his family, and lots and lots of animals.
Bottom Line: Trust and obey even when others don’t. Kids will face times when they feel like the only one doing what’s right. Rather than give in and follow the crowd, we pray kids discover ways they can follow their leaders even when they’re the only one obeying.
Key Question: What do you think your leaders know that you don’t? As kids grow up, they may start to question their leaders—especially when
it comes to figuring out why the need to obey them. But what if the people in charge of us know something that we don’t? What if what they know about the future makes following them even more important? We hope that our kids start to think about their leaders, what they know and why that matters when it comes to obeying them.
In Genesis 12-21 we discover how God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation. He tells Abram to pack up his family and move. Abraham wasn’t exactly sure how things would all play out, but he obeyed, trusting that God would keep His promise. God made a covenant with Abraham. And through many ups and downs, God stayed faithful to Abraham and gave him reminders along the way that He would stay true to His promise.
Bottom Line: Trust and obey even if you don’t know how it will work out. For kids, sometimes they’ll face moments of obedience where they don’t know if the outcome will be worth doing what they’re told. It could mean needing to move to a new school and having a good attitude or finding out you have allergies and suddenly not being able to eat your favorite meal anymore. We can trust that God has a plan for our lives and will care for us along the way.