What’s Eating Grandpa Anole? (Part 1)

THEME

Community- Building: How do I love my enemies?

MEMORY VERSE

Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Matthew 5:38-39

You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.

NOTES

It's easy to love someone who loves you back; or someone who thinks like you do; or someone you like. But then there are the people you don't like; those you disagree with; those who have hurt you; people who just are not nice to you or to anyone else. What do you do with them? How do you treat them? We can have a variety of reactions to these people: we can get revenge, we can ignore them, we can despise them in our hearts even while we are nice to them in person. We have lots of ways to get around Jesus' command to love them.

Loving our enemies means forgiveness, it means absorbing a hurt even when it is undeserved, it means recognizing that person as a fellow image bearer of God and treating them that way. One pastor said recently that the way to true freedom is forgiveness and release-forgiving the hurts and releasing myself and the person who hurt me to Christ. This is a real challenge for many of us. It requires a humble spirit and a love for Christ that overrides the hurts we experience.

This kind of spirit and love starts in our homes. When we practice humility and forgiveness there, it becomes a habit that blesses our interactions with people inside and outside the house-at work, school, and everywhere else. Do you demonstrate this toward your children? Is it a part of the family values that you practice everyday?


JUST THE FACTS

How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What’s the name of Liz’s new video game?
A. Jackhammer Hero.

Q. What do they do to try to cheer up Grandpa Anole?
A. Make a stew with Granny for Grandpa, help with landscaping chores.

Q. Why are the kids so concerned about Grandpa?
A. Because there seems to be two Grandpas-one is grumpy and the other is the nice Grandpa they are used to.

Q. What is the real reason there are “two Grandpas?”
A. Grandpa Anole has a twin brother names Johnny who is a crabby old lizard.

GOOD QUESTION

This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.

Q.
Why is important to God that we love our enemies?
A.
Because that's what God does. Without Jesus we are enemies of God. See Romans 5: 8 and 10. But God gave us Jesus to make us right with God. When we deal lovingly with those who want to hurt us, or who have hurt us, we show them love that is like God's love. How can we tell others about God's love for them if we don't demonstrate it?

SO WHAT?

Is there someone who is your enemy? How can you show love to that person today?
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