God Made Me To Love – Genesis 37
Loving others means sharing.
It’s fun to ask young kids what they want to be when they grow up. At some point in time, every young boy wants to be a fireman or superhero and girls usually love the idea of being a princess or something equally as glamorous. One time my grandson and I were talking about what he wanted to be when he asked me the same thought provoking question, “Grandma, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
I laughed and then replied, “I’m still trying to figure that out.” Like most people, I’ve been many things so far in my life and I still wear many hats. I’m a mom, grandma, wife, aunt, daughter, teacher, writer, reader, gardener, housekeeper and well the list goes on and on. In my younger years, I struggled with the question of identity … Who did God create me to be and what was His plan for my life? What was my purpose? Now I find myself more and more just being thankful that God did indeed create me and that He gives me opportunities everyday to love Him and love others. You see, I’ve learned that what we do, career wise, is not near so important as who we are and who our lives touch in this world. Yes, we should reach for our dreams – whatever they may be. We have talents and abilities that we can use to provide for ourselves, our families and help others, but when all is said and done, what will matter most is how we lived our lives.
Here’s some questions to ask ourselves on life’s journey: Am I kind to others? Am I listening to understand or just so that I can answer back? Am I genuinely loving and caring for others? Am I sincerely trying to understand those who are different from me or am I judging them? Whatever career path you and I may take; whatever fame and fortune we may reach for; each one of us has the opportunity to do good things. You have people in your family unique to you and I have people in my family unique to me. I will come in contact with people that you will never encounter and vice versa. We all have unique experiences, but we all have the capacity to give love and receive love.
Being who God wants us to be is less about what we do and more about who we are in His eyes. It’s about letting God transform us and use us to love others everyday. So whether you are a graduating senior, a child dreaming of what you might want to be someday or maybe, like me, a grandmother who is “still trying to figure it out”, keep dreaming. You were made for a reason. You were made to love and care as only you can.
In light of recent racial incidents in our country, which hopefully has saddened us all, perhaps now more than ever, it’s time to love and care for others. Let’s remember, we were made for a reason. That reason is to love God and love people. What are we doing to love? What are we doing to show that we care? What are we doing to understand? I don’t know what that looks like for you, but for me, I want to try to listen more and judge less. I want to love those in my very diverse family and group of friends. Many of my students are from different countries and cultures, I want to learn more about them. It’s a small beginning, but it’s a beginning.
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
Dear God, Never let me forget that you created me for a reason. I was created to know and love you. To live in relationship with you and with others. Continue to give me dreams that only you can accomplish in me and when I do reach those dreams, let me not be arrogant, but rather let me bless others and praise and honor you. You are amazing God! Thank you for creating me and loving me. Lord, I ask that my children learn to dream BIG dreams too. Show us ways of using our dreams to encourage others and do the good things that you plan for us. Let us live with purpose – to love you and love others so that our world might be a better place and so that others will know of your love and grace. Amen
ENCOURAGING KIDS TO DREAM BIG
- Talk about what they want to accomplish or do and listen. It’s okay to encourage their dreams even if those dreams seem silly to you or never happen.
- Let your kids know that God did create them for a reason and that He has something good for them to do.
- Provide them with time to create without imposing a lot of boundaries. Safe boundaries of course, but without telling them exactly what the finished product should be.
- Listen and dream as a family.
CREATING DREAMS AS A FAMILY
- Talk about your own dreams and celebrate when you reach a goal as well as when your kids reach a goal.
- Brainstorm something that your whole family can work towards together such as a fun family vacation or outing or maybe even something you can all enjoy at home such as that backyard swimming pool, a new game system or new bikes so that you can ride together.
- Consider others when dreaming. Is there a cause that your whole family can get on board with? How can you raise money towards that cause? What will you need to do? How can you make it happen? Plan the steps and chart your progress.
- If you are a busy family, you may feel like you don’t have time to dream, but dream time is important! Schedule some dream time into your schedule. Ask your kids to come up with ideas too. Make a family bucket list and put down all ideas regardless of how silly they may seem.
- Don’t forget to dream of ways you can love and care for others in your dreaming.
- Ask God what dreams He has for you and how you can bless others with those dreams and the talents and abilities He has given your family.
What Can You Do With Your Child?
SHARE A STORY: Joseph Has Big Dreams – Psalm 37
REVIEW: This month we’ve been talking about some of the things God made. He made the world and everything in it. God made animals, God made the moon and the sun, God made plants and animals. God made people. He made your family and He made someone very special, YOU! You are very special to God. He loves you so much and He did a very good job when He made you. God made you to belong to Him and to be part of His family. God made you so that you can love and praise Him. God also gives you BIG dreams. He will help you to be everything He wants you to be. God gave our Bible hero, Joseph, BIG dreams. Let’s listen and find out more.
STORY: This story is about Joseph. Joseph grew up in a big family. Guess how many brothers he had? He had eleven brothers. (Count to 11 with the child.) That’s a lot! One day Joseph’s dad made him a beautiful colorful coat. (Pretend to put on coat.) Joseph knew His dad loved him. (Give self a hug.) He also knew that God loved him, (Point upwards.) but his brothers didn’t like him.
The brothers didn’t like Joseph’s BIG dreams. They didn’t like that their dad gave Joseph a beautiful, colorful new coat and they didn’t get one. They thought Joseph’s dreams were silly, (Say, “Silly dreams!”) but God gave Joseph his dreams and God would help Joseph be who He wanted him to be. He had a very special plan (or job) for him. Later Joseph would help his family. Later Joseph would even be kind and help his brothers who didn’t like him. God planned for Joseph to grow up and help his family in a big way.
Did you know that God has a special plan for you too? He does. He made you so that you can do many things. God made you, He loves you and He has something that you can do. He made you for a special reason. You can trust God to help you just like He helped Joseph. You can trust God to help you be all He made you to be and like Joseph, you can be kind and helpful even when someone is not kind to you. Just trust God to help you!
MEMORIZE: Psalm 139:14 NIrV – (Hold hands as though holding a book.)
How you – (Point upwards.)
Made me – (Point to self.)
Is amazing – (Hold up closed fists then open hands wide.)
And wonderful – (Jump up and down with hands in the air.)
You did such a good job when you made the world and when you made me. Thank you for all the beautiful colors. Thank you for my mind and my hands and feet. I trust you to help me because you are always with me. Amen
THE MAIN IDEA
KNOW: God has something for me to do.
TALK ABOUT: What do you want to do or be when you grow up?
ASK: Who made you? God made me for a reason.
AND DO: I can trust God to help me.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
- Play out different roles with your child this week – follow his/her lead. Be a fireman, baker, dancer or whatever you wish…. Dream BIG!
- Encourage your child as he/she is learning new things. Let him/her know when they do a good job.
- Encourage your child to love others and be kind. Notice when he/she does something kind. Catch your child doing good.