How does the saying go? “Do as I say, not as I do” or the other way around? We all know that children learn by example. They learn by what they see. But we are also verbal beings. We have the gift of communication. And communication can be such a great asset when used the right way.
Now, let’s talk about “trust.” Why is trust important? We know that our children trust us because of how we act around them, how we treat them, and because, let’s face it, most of us are creatures of habit, so they learn our predictabilities.
Talking about trust with our children is very important. Why? Because by talking, discussing, studying, and brainstorming about it, we can do so many awesome things like: come to conclusions, be on the same page, DEFINE TERMS (such a big problem when miscommunication happens), learn together, grow together, and practice together.
Here you will see a lesson and several trust principles with activities that you can easily employ in your homeschools. You can make them as simple or as complex as you and your children want. These lessons are geared toward ages 3-6 (approximately), but all of them can be easily adapted and expanded on. I hope you like them and find them helpful, especially the FREE PRINTABLE!
The memory verse that I chose is Romans 15:13a because it is such a positive prayer and verse to learn and take to heart. It reads, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him.” I have made a free printable for you with this verse so you can easily keep it in a visible place for you to not only use during this Bible lesson, but also to memorize as a family.
Lesson (Part 1)
The story of Joseph in the Bible is amazing and rich with Godly principles to live by. For the first part of the lesson, read Genesis 37. I like the NIV (New International Version) because it is easier for children to understand. Joseph’s parents were Jacob and Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel very much, and because Joseph was her son and because they waited so long to have a child together, Jacob loved Joseph more than his other brothers. His father took good care of him and gave him gifts. He wanted what was best for him.
Play two simple trust games. Parents and children participate. In game #1, set a small obstacle course in the living room (like a maze with pillows and other soft objects). Parents will blindfold one child at a time and guide him or her through the maze. Parents can do this by holding the child’s hand or by using their voices or both. For smaller children, I would use both. If you don’t want to do the maze, then make it simpler. Blindfold the child and give him a cup. Guide him to the table where he can safely place the cup on top of it.
In game #2, play the typical “trust game” where the child stands about 2 feet from the parent (front to back). The child then lets go and “falls” backward. The parent catches her by the armpits. The first few times, the child will probably want to step back to “catch” herself, but the point is to trust that the parent will catch her and keep her from falling.
Lesson (Part 2)
Continue on with Joseph’s story. Read Genesis 39 (NIV is recommended, but any version will be great). Discuss the hardships Joseph went through and how he continued to faithfully trust God. Draw or write thoughts on the printable card.
Make a simple craft. On a piece of paper, write “I will trust God is with me in hard times, too.” You can write a similar message if you would like. Get a few short strands of yarn, thread, or ribbon (about 6-8 inches each) and have the children tangle them up into a blob (see above). Glue onto the paper. Discuss how sometimes we make wrong choices and get into messes or sometimes trouble just happens and we feel like that wad of knotted threads. But God is faithful!
Lesson (Part 3)
Read Genesis chapters 40 and 41. Then talk about Joseph interpreting dreams in prison and how that helped him get sent to Pharaoh to interpret two very important dreams (that were warnings). Not only was Joseph put in charge of this very important job, but he was made second in the entire Kingdom of Egypt. God gave him the courage to carry out God’s plans for him and for millions of people who would’ve died had Joseph not known that a famine was coming and that they needed to be prepared.
Personalize it! Take an encouraging verse or chapter and change all the names and pronouns to each family member’s name. Here is my example:
The Lord is (Tanya)’s Shepherd. (Tanya) will not be in need.
He makes (Tanya) lie down in green pastures. He leads (Tanya) beside still waters.
He restores (Tanya)’s soul. He leads (Tanya) in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though (Tanya) walks through the valley of the shadow of death, (Tanya) will fear no evil, for You are with (Tanya).
Your rod and your staff comfort (Tanya). You prepare a feast for (Tanya) in the presence of (Tanya)’s enemies. You anoint (Tanya)’s head with oil. (Tanya)’s cup runs over!
Surely, goodness and mercy will follow (Tanya) all the days of (Tanya)’s life. And (Tanya) will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
You can try the memory verse or any other verse that your family likes. Write it down on the printable sheet if you’d like.
I have made two sets of printables for you. Both are the same, but one trust printables set (SMALL), fits all 4 cards on one letter size sheet. See below. These would be good to print for your older children and teens, since they will most likely be writing down their thoughts and personal insights.
The second set of trust printables (LARGE), have one card per letter-sized sheet of paper. I suggest these for younger children. Print the large ones because they will most likely be drawing their own impressions of what that sentence means to them.
I really hope you enjoyed these three activities and that you will do them with your family. We made one each day for three days, but if your family is engaged in it and you have the time, then do all three in one sitting!
My family found these activities to be fun and helpful, and I hope your family does too!