“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” (Philippians 2:14)
We’ve talked about us complaining. We’ve talked about our children complaining. Let’s talk about what we and our children are going to put on if we’re going to put off complaining.
Here’s a short lesson to do with your children.
- Read Philippians 2:14 together.
- Discuss what murmurings and disputings are. Give some examples from your own life. In what ways are you tempted to murmur and dispute? Write a word to describe each situation on separate pieces of paper, and put them all in a paper bag.
- Then ask your children to give you some examples of how they murmur and dispute. Write these examples on pieces of paper and add them to your paper bag.
- Read Philippians 2:14 aloud again and ask them how many things they are supposed to do without murmurings and disputings. How many things in your bag should you do without complaints?
- Talk with your children about putting off complaining. (Read Colossians 3:9-10 together if you want, to help explain the concept of putting off and putting on.)
- Ask them what they think they should put on in place of murmuring and disputing. Write down their ideas.
- Then read 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Ask your children to tell you how many things they are supposed to give thanks for. (Everything!)
- Review what you just learned in Philippians 2:14. How many things are they supposed to do without murmuring and disputing? (All things!)
- All those things that you wrote down and put into your paper bag are not only things we shouldn’t complain about. They’re also things we are commanded to give thanks for! We are supposed to put off complaining and put on giving of thanks!
- Take a slip of paper out of your bag. Read what it says. Then talk about what you can give thanks for in this particular situation. For instance, if it says “schoolwork”, what can we be thankful for about schoolwork? Write down ideas on a new slip of paper and set it aside.
- Read each piece of paper in the bag and discuss how you can put on thankfulness for each situation. Write these ideas down on new slips of paper and put them aside. When you have emptied the bag, take all your new pieces of paper about thankfulness and place them in the bag instead. Now you have put on thankfulness!
- Stop and pray for God to help you all put off grumbling and put on thankfulness.
- Then, the next time someone (including yourself) grumbles, stop and verbally give thanks instead. Put off murmuring and disputing, and put on thankfulness!
Just like you probably have to remind your children to put on their coats or hats on a cold winter day, you will also need to remind your children many times to put on thankfulness in place of grumbling. Don’t be discouraged! Little by little, if you’re faithful and you bathe your efforts in prayer, their (and your) hearts will start to change. Thankfulness is God’s will for our lives. He will help us put it on!
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)