My new book Faith-Filled Moments is releasing October 1, 2009 from Wesleyan Publishing House! It’s a collection of all sorts of ways parents like you can use games, recipes, outdoor experiences, crafts, science experiments, and more to help your child connect with God and love him more. So…I thought I’d give you a taste of what the content in the book is like. Here’s an idea for using a fun card game to help your child discover a life-changing truth. If you like this, you’ll love the 80+ unique moments that you’ll only find in my upcoming book.
Never, Ever Alone
Use the card game Old Maid to help your child understand that she always has a partner in life: God.
Supplies: children’s deck of Old Maid playing cards
The classic card game Old Maid can be played by kids as young as 3 or 4 years old…and it’s lots of fun! The basic idea of the game is to find a matching partner for each of your cards; there will always be one card left over at the end of the game—the Old Maid—and she doesn’t have a partner. (See the printed rules on your card deck for specific play instructions.)
In this game, each card has a partner, but the Old Maid is left alone. A very simple an obvious spiritual point can be made using this game: We are never like the Old Maid…we are never, ever alone! Share with your children the crucial truth that, when we have a relationship with Jesus, he is always with us. We are never alone in life; we always have a partner. You might say something like, “Even during times when you may feel lonely, you actually aren’t alone. God is with you!” You may want to share Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28:20, “Surely I am with you always.”
Also, take the opportunity to make this real to your child by calling attention to the present moment. You might say something like, “God is here, in this room, right now!” (Look around the room.) Continue by saying, “We can’t see him, but he is here with us. We can trust in his presence at every moment! We can talk to him at any time!” Set an example by saying something out loud to God in front of your kids, such as “God, we’re so glad you’re here with us. Thanks for being with us as we played this fun game!”
In his book The Practice of the Presence of God, the French monk Brother Lawrence talked about this important aspect of spiritual growth: fostering a constant awareness of God’s presence and having a “habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God.” One of the most important things you can do for your child is to instill in her a deep sense of God’s constant presence and help her begin the habit of having quiet conversations with God in her heart any time she’d like.
You may want to ask your child questions like…
- When have you felt lonely? Share an example.
- Isn’t it awesome to know that we’re never alone? What do you think about that?
- Did you know we can talk to God right now? He’s right here with us! What do you want to say to him?