Turn a household chore into a salvation insight with this idea. You can find 80+ more ideas like this one in my book Faith-Filled Moments!
Recruit your child to help do the laundry…and learn about God’s forgiveness in the process.
Supplies: dirty laundry, stain removal stick or spray, laundry soap, washer and dyer.
Next time your child dribbles food on a good shirt, skids the knees of her new pants in the grass, or “accidentally” draws on her PJs, capture the moment as a spiritual learning opportunity and hussle down to the laundry room together. Review with your child the instructions on your stain removal spray or stick, then invite her to assist you in treating the stain. Launder the garment according to the instructions. Then, when the garment is done drying, look at it together to assess if the stain has been removed.
The Message’s rendering of God’s forgiveness in Psalm 51 paints a perfect word picture for young kids: “Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.…Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life” (51:2-3, 7). This is what we long for when we’re guilty. We want to be cleaned up, but we feel permanently stained, like our sin is unforgivable. Yet God’s grace is sufficient to cover our sin and purify us from our unrighteousness.
As your child applies the stain remover to the garment, read Psalm 51:1-3, 7 from The Message aloud. Say something like, “Let’s imagine the stain on this shirt is just like the sin in our hearts. Let’s see if we can clean it off.” When you check the garment after cleaning it, the stain should be completely removed. Talk again about the Bible verse and say, “Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of all our sins. When we ask Jesus to forgive us, he completely forgives us. It’s like those sins are totally gone. They’re cleaned right up!”
But if the stain hasn’t been successfully removed, turn the point around this way: “When we sin, we can try really hard to clean ourselves up. But we can’t get rid of our sin nature; we can’t make ourselves clean on our own. When we ask God to forgive us for something, he can wash away those sins. God completely forgives us and washes us new.”)
Then next time your child has done something wrong and you need to say, “I forgive you and God forgives you,” you can also remind her of that cleaned up piece of laundry. Re-read Psalm 51:1-3, 7 as you share your words of forgiveness. She’ll get it! She’ll remember that dirty-then-clean sock and know, deep in her heart, that she’s fully and completely forgiven.
You may want to ask your child questions like…
- How are sins like stains and dirty laundry?
- Re-read Psalm 51:1-3 and 7, then ask: Can you relate to this? Have you ever felt like the psalmist does here? When? Why?
- Are sins permanent stains? Or can they be “cleaned off”? Explain.
- How do we “get” forgiveness from God?