I never thought it would be so hard to be a Christian and a mom. Before I was a wife and mother I read my Bible until it fell apart. Spending time with God was like breathing. Now…well now I have 4 kids. By the time they all go to bed my brain feels like mush and my prayers sound a lot like apologies. So today I’m drinking my daily cup of mom guilt while I try to teach my kids about the vine and the branches and what it means to abide in Jesus.
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For the longest time I didn’t even try to teach my kids the Bible. How on earth was I supposed to explain confusing, complicated Bible stories to my toddlers who have an attention span of 2 minutes? But once I finally started, it was awesome. Teaching toddlers about God is so much fun.
Do I drop the ball for months at a time? Yes.
Do I sometimes feel like I’m not getting through to my kids? Yes.
But God has shown me over and over that He is faithful to grow the seeds we are planting in their hearts. Just this week my 6 year old told me she prays for her teachers and classmates every night before she goes to sleep. I was floored. And my 2 year old started praising God every time she eats a pear because He made something so yummy for her tummy. (I didn’t even know she understood who God was!)
With every cup of mom-guilt I drink, Jesus hands me a cup of His grace.
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The Vine and the Branches Bible Lesson
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)
What You’ll Need:
- Branches/sticks, each roughly 10 to 12 inches long and not too thin.
- Different colored yarn cut into 12 inch pieces.
Begin by reading the verse out loud. Here are some questions you can use to start the conversation.
What happens to a branch when it breaks off of a tree?
Can fruit grow on a dead branch?
Jesus said when we abide in Him we are like branches attached to a vine. We will bear fruit, God will be glorified, and we will be filled with joy.
What does it mean to abide?
A simple way to describe what it means to abide is this: to make our home somewhere. Where we live. You can talk about your home and what makes your home different from other places.
How do we abide in Jesus?
John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (ESV)
What are His commandments?
John 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Depending on the age of your kids, keep this as simple as you want. For toddlers and preschoolers you might just focus on the main idea of staying connected to God like a branch connects to a tree. For older children you can delve into some of the deeper questions. This lesson works well in a Sunday school class with kids of different ages.
Tie the pieces of yarn together to make one long string. Then tie one end of the yarn to one end of the stick. Wrap the entire stick in yarn and tie it at the end.
This activity is great for developing fine motor skills in preschoolers. Our two year old had trouble figuring out how to wrap the stick, so she held each end of the stick and rolled the yarn onto hers. It works well either way.
As your kids are wrapping their branches with brightly colored yarn, talk about Jesus’s words. I am always amazed to see God working in my kids hearts as we talk. My 5 year old asked, “Can we hook back onto God if we break off?” Oh my heart! I love these sweet opportunities to share the Gospel with my kids.
I adore how these yarn wrapped branches turned out. To me they capture a little of what it means to abide in Jesus. The dead branches are made beautiful when wrapped in the colorful yarn just as we are adorned with joy when we abide in Jesus’ grace and love.
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