Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Family Devotion - from Proverbs 1:7-9

This family devotion guide was prepared to replace the normal evening worship service at Tulsa Bible Church with a family time around God’s word.  This is a collection of truths and activities so that you may choose what works best for your family.

I. Opening Prayer
    (Optional Warm Up Activity)

II. Scripture Reading

III. Lessons From Proverbs 1:7-9

    (Optional Hymns and Songs)

IV. Closing Prayer Time


A few tips:
· Make your preparation simple.  If you will thoughtfully read through the lesson ahead of time, you should be adequately prepared.
· Just the act of having a family devotion or worship time says something to your kids about what is important.  It can be a challenge to make family devotions an enjoyable and profitable time, but it will never happen if you don’t try.
· Plan a time when everybody can participate.  Make sure they know not to make other plans for that time.  Keep it short. Keep it simple.
· Let the children interrupt and ask questions at the right times. This is not just a sermon. Let everybody ask, speak, tell, share, and participate. You want to know what they are thinking and whether they understand.
· Include everyone, even the young ones. While it may seem easier to have a quiet time with just the older ones, it is so important to include your little ones in this family time.  As they grow and mature, they will learn to sit quietly during the devotion time.
· It’s important to remember their ages.  If you have small children, you are probably not going to have a deep teaching time.  Try to include different approaches that are age appropriate.
· Let them be children. They’re fidgety. They’re impatient. They’re children. Try to keep a semblance of order during this time together, but be realistic and patient.  Yelling at them to be quiet and sit still defeats the purpose.
· Turn off all electronics. I know this may seem like a given, but it needs to be mentioned.

I. Prayer:
· The leader (probably dad) should start your time by asking God to bless your time together. 
· You might also want to encourage the family to take turns thanking God for something they appreciate about Mom.

(Optional Warm Up Activity)
Starting with the youngest, let each family member tell something that they have learned from their mother.  (Parents, don’t forget to share something, too.)

III. Scripture Reading*: 
Proverbs 1:1-10 (esv)
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge
and discretion to the young--
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance--
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
9 They will be a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.

* You might want to introduce the reading time by pointing out the reminder in verse five.
* If your children are old enough, you might want them to take turns reading a verse each.  It is usually helpful for each to state the verse number when they read, especially if some are using different versions.
* The EasyEnglish Bible is based on a vocabulary of 1,200 words and may be a helpful tool for younger children. (

IV. Lessons from Proverbs 1:7-9: 
· You will probably want to reread verses 7-9.
· You will notice that there is not a script to read.  Instead, there are six suggested points to choose from.  The leader should explain the observation in their own words.  There are Scriptures that can be read to further illustrate and explain each point.  Each observation has two or three questions that you can use to generate discussion.
· There is probably more here than you can do in one setting.  You should choose how many depending on the age of the children and how much time you can spend.  Choose the ones that you think are especially appropriate for your family.

1.  Observation: Parents teaching their children is Solomon’s first application after stating that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  Parents are the first and primary teachers of this foundational truth.      
Discussion Starters: 
· What is the “fear of the Lord?”
· Why is it especially important for the parents to teach this?
· How do parents teach children the fear of the Lord?

2.  Observation: There is a father (a man) and a mother (a woman).  God has ordained that both a father and mother are important parts of a family. 
Discussion starters:
· Who is better, the dad or the mom?  Why are both important?
· What special contributions does the mother make to a family?

3.  Observation: Mothers are important teachers regardless of your family’s school choice.  Moms should be women of the Word.  Husbands should encourage their wives (and children) to spend time the Word and lead by example. 
Discussion starters:
· When do moms teach their children?
· Why is it important for a mom to know what the Bible says?
· What can each family member do to help mom have time to study the Word?

4.  Observation: Children are learners.  Children, you should listen to and honor your mother. Don’t forsake your mother’s wise counsel. 
Discussion starters:
· In what ways are moms specially qualified to teach their children?
· What kinds of things do mom’s teach their children?
· Where do moms get their wisdom?

5.  Observation:  There are promises of reward for those who listen. 
The Word: Proverbs 1.9; Ephesians 6:1-3 (It is interesting to notice that the Greek word for “obey” is the Greek word for hear with a prefix.)
Discussion starters:
· Why a  mother’s teachings better than a “good luck” charm around your neck?
· Can you think of ways that things your mother taught you have helped you?

6.  Observation: Wise children bring joy to their mom.  Children who follow the godly teaching of their mother will not follow the wrong crowd but will praise their mother. 
The Word: Proverbs 1:9-15; 31:28-29
Discussion starters:
· Why do children who listen make their mother rejoice?
· What are some ways that praising your mom show you are wise?
· What are things you can do and say to show your appreciation to your mom?

(Optional Hymns and Songs)
· “Trust and Obey” 
· “Count Your Many Blessings”
· Ask your mom for one of her favorites.

IV. Closing:
1. Each child should “rise up” in turn and express their appreciation for their mother.  (The parents should also praise their mothers as an example.)
2. The father should take a few minutes to praise his wife, his children’s mother, and close in prayer. If the father is not available, mom or an oldest child can close in prayer.
Bible Trivia about Mothers
1. Who lived in Jericho and became King David’s great-grandmother? (Joshua 6:25; Matthew 1:5-6)
2. Whose daughters were given a share of the inheritance in the promised land even though they had no brothers?  (Numbers 27)
3. Who promised to give her first child to the Lord?  (1 Samuel 1:9-11)
4. Who put her baby in a basket in a river?  (Exodus 1; 2:1–11; 6:20)
5. Whose mother taught him what a virtuous wife was like?  (Proverbs 31:1)
6. Whose son, a king, bowed down to her and had a chair brought for her to sit in? (2 Kings 2:19)
7. Who tried to kill all her grandchildren?  (II Kings 8:26)
8. Whose son was the most wicked of the kings of Judah, but later humbled himself greatly before the Lord?  (2 Kings 12:1; 2 Chronicles 33:1-2, 12-13)
9. Whose son jumped in her womb when Jesus’ mother came into the room?  (Luke 1:5–80)
10. Which grandmother did Paul say had genuine faith?  (2 Timothy 1:4-5)
Q: Why is a computer so smart?
A: It listens to its motherboard.
“If at first, you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your mother told you.”
A mom was teaching her 4-year-old son to zip up his jacket.
“The secret,” she explained, “is getting the little straight piece all the way into the little slot before you pull up the zipper.”
Her son looked up at her and said, “Mom, why does that have to be a secret?”
A question about mother’s logic: 
Q: What is the theological basis for mom’s explanation, “Cause I’m your mother!” 

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