HAVING FUN WHILE LEARNING WISDOM
Our grandchildren are ages fourteen, fifteen and seventeen. They are becoming quite astute in evaluating choices and the character qualities of people that will either be a blessing or a danger to them. One thing we did toward this end has proven to be very effective.
Teens, in particular, and most young people do not believe anything they are told is valid unless they have experienced it themselves. This belief can lead them into a lot of trouble before they actually learn what is truth and what is deception. So we wondered how we could give them the learning experiences without the devastating consequences. The Lord gave us a fun idea where they could live out various choices in life vicariously. MOVIE NIGHT!
So we carefully chose movies to watch each week. We also planned questions to ask after the movie was over. So big pillows, soft blankets and popcorn in hand we settled down to a good story. Afterwards questions were discussed like 1) Who was your favorite character and why? 2) Which character was most like you? 3) Which man or woman of two choices that the hero or heroine had would have made the best choice for a life mate? 4) What were their strengths and weaknesses and how do you know that? 5) What were the long-term effects of their choices on others?
As the kids identified with the movie character they also seemed to live the blessings or consequences of their choices and learned wisdom through these experiences. They are pretty good at recognizing a person who is selfish, seductive, deceitful, truthful, giving, sacrificial and dependable. Are they being judgmental? NO! Judgement involves condemnation and consequences. But they are learning to be very wise fruit inspectors which God tells us to be. Knowing good fruit versus rotten fruit can be a life saver.
We also use audio books on the lives of famous missionaries and saints. We discuss their applications of Biblical truth, their personality and character traits and what they could have
applied from God's word that they missed when under attack. The kids learn that it takes a lot of boldness, courage, humility and perseverance to follow Jesus. But they are also vicariously experiencing the miracles and intervention that Jesus brings to those whose hearts are wholly His. We point out the character flaws as well as strengths so that they see these people were only amazing because they were fully committed to obeying Jesus and not because they were different from each of us in strength. We have taken turns between male and female heroes of the faith and their lives have been a challenge and encouragement to us all.
See, it can be fun to learn deep and sustaining truths of life and faith!