“Yes, Mum”--“Yes Dad!”
“Do I have to?” “No! I don’t WANT to!” I’m sure it wasn’t only in our household that these whinging, whining and arguing was common. I knew it was time to teach my children a Scripture—Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.Honour thy father and thy mother, this is the first commandment with a promise, that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
I wrote the verse onto a small card and placed it on the window-sill above my kitchen sink so I could look at it as I worked.I began to thank God for a tune to this Scripture to help teach it more easily to the children. It wasn’t long before a bright little tune played over and over in my mind and I quickly played it through on the piano a few times to make sure I remembered it.Now it was time to write the verse out on a large piece of cardboard, and think of a story to tell the children.
The story caught the attention of Andrea, Jonny and Michelle as they sat in the lounge room eating their afternoon tea on that Monday afternoon. ‘Children,” I began, “I have a special story to tell you today about Christine and Jason.” When I explained that Christine and Jason were the exact same ages as Andrea and Jonny, they immediately looked up at me with great interest.
My story continued. “Both Christine and Jason were very naughty children. When Mum asked them to make their beds and tidy up their rooms there was a chorus of “Oooh! Do I have to?”Poor Mum was so tired of listening to their complaining and arguing she decided it was easier to do the jobs herself. However, she was not happy with Christine and Jason as they were very disobedient children.
One day Christine invited her friend Emma to come and play. Emma was horrified by Christine’s rudeness and disobedience to her mother. Emma, who loved Jesus, asked Christine and Jason if they would come to Sunday school with her the next Sunday.
That Sunday, during the lesson, the Sunday school teacher happened to be speaking about Ephesians 6:1-3. Poor Christine felt very embarrassed and guilty and when the lesson was finished, she began to cry loudly. Emma took her to the teacher. “I’m nasty and horrible!” Christine wailed, “I’m not obedient at all!”
Jason was trying hard not to cry, but he too looked very upset. The teacher suggested that Christine and Jason tell Jesus how sorry they were and ask his forgiveness. After a short prayer she then suggested they go home and tell their mother that they were very sorry for being so disobedient.
She also suggested that Christine and Jason say, “Yes, Mum” or “Yes, Dad” each time they were asked to do something. They would then learn to be obedient the way God wanted them to.
Imagine Mum’s surprise and delight when the children arrived home and she heard a chorus of “Yes, Mum” when she asked them both to help set the table for lunch. She was even more thrilled when Dad came home from work and asked Jason to tidy up their toys. “Yes, Dad” he replied.
Mum and Dad looked at each other with big smiles on their faces.They were so happy to have obedient children!”
As I concluded the story I realised Andrea, Jonny and Michelle had been listening so intently that they were obviously identifying with Christine and Jason and remembering the times they had argued and complained themselves.
It was now time to teach Ephesians 6:1-3 as a song, and, as I played it through to them on the piano, I was thrilled to find they picked up the tune almost immediately and could probably have quoted it back to me by the conclusion of our first session.
For the next four afternoons our Scripture times consisted of various activities to reinforce the obedience. The format for teaching this Scripture became the format we used every week for each new Scripture I taught the children.
Sing the new Scripture
Quiz on Monday’s story
Sing with percussion instruments
Do-to-dot activity sheet for each child, consisting of the Scripture written in dots, which needed to be joined. I displayed their work on the fridge or notice board for the week.
Sing the new Scripture
Activity sheet for each child with the Scripture written in double lines. Each child coloured the Scripture and I displayed them in a prominent place. I gave stamps or stickers to encourage them.
Quiz about Monday’s story
Quote the Scripture
Sing the Scripture
Verse Time diary. I gave exercise books to the children in which they wrote the Scripture and drew their own picture. Each child received a gold star to show that they knew the verse and were putting it into practice
It wasn’t long before "Yes, Mum!” or “Yes, Dad” became more common than arguing. It was an absolute delight to visit another family or to be in town and hear a little voice say, “Yes, Mum” in the cutest way when I gave an instruction. Our children became known as obedient children, and there was so much more peace in our family!
Riverside, Tasmania, Australia
Ph: (03) 63 273442
Janine has produced five CHILDREN ARISE CDs of Scriptures to song for children. Contact her for purchasing. Ephesians 6:2-3 is recorded on CHILDREN ARISE, Volume 1.
Reprinted from PARENTS ARISE by Jan Targett.