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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oo, Ah! Sock it to the Devil!

Last night I only had two little boys in Bible class.  Usually there are two little girls present, too, but they were gone last night.  I teach the 4's, 5's, and Kindergarteners...just on Wednesday nights.  Wednesday nights are a little different.  A little crazy.  We're all tired!  Some of us are cranky (not me :).

The lesson for last night was to be the story of Cain and Abel.  Because of teaching that lesson to children in years past, and knowing what could happen,  I expected a few questions and comments about families.  Both of the boys I had in class are currently living in at Tipton Home (a children's home), so they don't live with their biological parents.  The story of the "first" family God created is definitely worth teaching, but can bring up some hurt feelings for some of the little ones in different situations.  So I'm very careful with lessons such as this one and try to avoid any problems that might come up or that might make the children sad.

Last night there were a few of those problems.  Statements from one saying, "Not everyone has a mom and dad."  "I don't live with a real mom and dad."  "I live with people who take care of me."  Heartbreaking.  

One little boy in-particular has some obvious issues.  He always has a frown on his face and seems mad at the world.  Mad at the others in his class.  Mad at me. And mad at God.  And I think he is.  Heartbreaking.

After a little "what would you choose" game we played, and the little boys (especially the angry one) arguing about who got the answer right, we had to have a stern 'heart to heart' about self-control.  When it first began,  I had removed the angry one from the table, then moved him behind the table right by me. He knew I wasn't happy with his attitude, and I wasn't.  Of course, to the angry little boy, his anger and attitude problems are someone else's fault.  He blamed the other little boy for the problems.

The other little boy isn't angry.  He's really happy.  And busy.  And can't sit still.  And can't keep his hands off of anything.  And.......needs to be STILL! :)

I talked to the two little ones about self-control.  Very, very strongly about self-control.  I told them that when they didn't have self-control, they weren't doing what God wanted them to do, but were doing what the devil wanted them to do.  We went back and reviewed the lesson from the last week of the first sin - with Adam and Eve.  The little boys really listened to the self-control part.  The angry little boy said he wished he could "punch" the devil.  He looked surprised when I said he could and asked how.  I told him and the other one, that when you don't do what you're being tempted to do....when you're not doing what Satan would want....you are "socking it to the devil".  The other little boy remembered singing a song about that at VBS.  When you don't do what Satan wants you to do, you're "punching" the devil and choosing to follow God.  That seemed to make the angry little boy a little bit happier.  It was as if he finally realize he was able to control some things and that God really was on his side!!

I told the angry little boy how I would like to see his smile.  He said he didn't smile, but still seemed a little different.  I tried to tickle him, but he didn't really smile.  In a little bit something came up and the little angry boy answered correctly.  I gave him a hug as he sat next to me in his little chair.  HE SMILED! 

From that point on the rest of class was different.  The angry little boy was never angry-acting again.  He smiled a lot!  He laughed out loud!  He didn't even get mad when we were playing another game and the busy boy won the first few questions!  A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH!!!

A few questions into the game, the previously-angry little boy got stumped on the answer.  The sweetest thing ever happened.  The busy little boy, who happened to be winning at the time, leaned over and whispered the answer to the previously-angry little boy.  It was the correct answer and I praised the little one who shared the answer.  He didn't have to do that and in fact, I'm surprised he even wanted to help the other one after the way he had treated him.  But he did!

I asked the previously-angry little boy what he should say for the other one giving him the money.  He said thank you to him and smiled so BIG!!!  They laughed together, had fun together, and played the game without arguing and complaining!!!  YIPPEE!!!!!  Sooooooooo great to see that breakthrough!!!

As class ended, I told the two boys to remember what BIG word they had learned.  It's two words, actually.  SELF-CONTROL.  Perhaps the most important thing we can teach little ones.  But, when we teach them about this important word, we must relate it to God and Satan.  Because we may not can have self control on our own.  We may not even want to.  But with God on our side.....and realizing that Satan wants us to fail.....we can do anything!  God will help us have the self-control we never knew was possible to have!  We can "Sock it to the Devil",  just like the little song says!

As the two little boys houseparents picked them up, I bragged on their breakthroughs to them.  The previously-angry boy was excited and happy.  He was excited to share the new word he had learned and seemed excited and happy....like I had never seen him be before.  Even the houseparent (dad) seemed surprised!

I'm not sure how the next Bible class will be.  It will be a few weeks before we're back in the classroom  on Wednesday night because we have other events the next few weeks.  I'm thinking that things may go right back to the way the were, but hopefully not.  And if they do, we'll be talking about self-control again.  And then.....maybe.....as we go over it week after week.....it will really sink in.  That God IS on our side.  The He does want us to do good because He loves us.  That Satan does want us to fail and is happy when we do.  And that we can "Sock it to the Devil" - any old time!

Here's a link for the song, actually called "If You Love Jesus": http://missionbibleclass.org/songs/songs-i-p/if-you-love-jesus-song/
 
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