In the quest to follow and obey God, you may need to look at things with a different perspective. Take the commandment against idolatry, for example. God calls anything placed higher than Him a false idol -- extremely bad news. Give your child a few hands-on lessons to teach this concept and your youngster will be on the way to spiritual success.
Define False Idols
It can be confusing to try to understand the concept of false idols, even for big people! Basically, the Hampton Roads Church defines a false idol as anything that a person might put ahead of God. This could be something manmade or natural -- the result is the same. Have a heart-to-heart with your youngster to explain that anything that’s more important than God is a false idol that’s taking thoughts and energy away from the true God.
Idol Object Lesson
Talk about how God listens to people when they pray, always paying attention and hearing prayers. Make sure your little one gets the message that God loves her and will always hear her prayers. Now, show your little one an inanimate object -- a stick of wood, a brick, a large rock or even a statue would be perfect for this lesson. Ask your little one if she wants to pray to the stick or the statue when she feels happy or sad. Wait for her response. When you get confusion or she raises her eyebrows at you, smile and nod your head. Say, “Yeah, kind of silly, huh? Why would you want to pray to the stick? What could the stick do to help?” Well, obviously, the answer is nothing. Tell your child, “If we pray to false idols -- like a statue or something like that -- instead praying to God, two things can happen. One, prayers might not be heard, and two, this makes God sad."
Ask your youngster to go find his favorite toy and come sit with you on the couch. When he scampers up to you, clutching his teddy bear, have him sit close so you can talk about putting God first. Tell your little one, “I know you love Teddy very much and that he’s very special to you. God wants to be the most special in our lives, though. God wants us to put Him first, making sure that we say our prayers, study Bible stories, tell others about God and treat others with love. I know you don’t put Teddy before God, but if we have anything in our lives that we put before God, like toys and games, we need to fix this so God comes first.” Tell your little one that you’ll always help him do this as he grows and gets bigger.
Who is Like God?
Lead your little one in a discussion about God and His awesomeness. Ask your little one if there is anyone or anything on earth that is as great and all-powerful as God. If she says, “Mommy” or “Daddy,” smile and give her a big squeeze -- and then gently tell her that Mommy and Daddy are nothing compared to God. Page through some old magazines, looking for beautiful examples of God’s creation -- mountains, oceans, clouds, sun, stars, moon, animals, flowers and birds, for example. Help your little one cut out these pictures. As you look at each picture, explain that as beautiful and wonderful as all of these things are, nothing is as awesome as the God who created them. Help her glue her pictures onto a large sheet of poster board to create a collage.
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