Have you ever looked at someone and made a snap judgement? Do you wish people looked at you and could see who you really are?
These are two questions we should discuss with our children. Why not do it at the dinner table?
Recently, we did this TIME (The Intentional Mealtime Experience) activity after dinner:
Earlier in the day Brian made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (recipe HERE). Unbeknownst to the kids, he added black beans instead of chocolate chips to 3 of the cookies. We put them in a tin and set them aside until after dinner.
After we ate, we opened our Bibles to 1 Samuel 9. I helped our 8 year-old find this passage. The older kids found it on their own.
Note: Everyone has a Bible and we all have the same version (ESV). It’s great practice for kids to find things in their Bibles, so we recommend getting actual Bibles. We do, on occasion, allow the kids to use digital devices, but also believe that knowing where books of the Bible are and being able to write notes and underline in them are very useful skills.
Brian gave a little background information. He said something like this: “Remember that Israel was God’s nation. He loved them and wanted to be their king. But the people wanted a human king like the other countries around them had. So God gave them a king. He gave them Saul. Let’s read how Saul is described.”
Have a child read 1 Samuel 9:2. This talks about Saul’s handsome looks and impressive height.
Then say something like this: “So Saul looked impressive, but he didn’t obey the Lord. And God wanted someone who was obedient. So let’s look at who God chose to lead his people.”
Look up 1 Samuel 16 and read verses 1-13 and discover how God chose David. God looked at David’s heart, not at his outward appearance. It’s interesting that David was handsome, but God did not focus on just that (you’ll be able to see this in the reading).
Talk around the table about this concept. Ask questions like this:
Do you ever make judgements about people because of appearance?
Do others make judgements about you because of your appearance?
What does it mean to you that God sees your heart instead of your outward looks?
Serve the cookies and see if the kids notice the black beans. We had fun with this! The cookies look (somewhat) the same, but looks can be deceiving. Talk about how the black beans look like chocolate chips from a distance, but really are a strange thing to put in a sweet cookie.
We ended up daring the kids to eat the black bean cookies. If they did, they got a small drink from Starbucks. By golly, all three kids took the dare and ate the cookies! But they also enjoyed the chocolate chips ones, too!
Off to Starbucks we go. But at least we will know God is looking at our heart-not our outward appearance.