Along the Way Back-to-School
As the kids head back to school later this month, there are many new experiences and re-visitng of some familiar experiences. In both, there are opportunities to talk about the things of God as we are charged to do in Deuteronomy 6:6-7:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Here are some ideas for how we can use the back-to-school time to talk about faith and point our families to God:
- New Teacher-For the most part, a new school year brings with it a new teacher. A new person to both learn from and learn about. A new authority-figure. And a new start. God is all about new starts. His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23). He gives us unending forgiveness and keeps wiping our slate clean over and over again so that we can start fresh. Talk about what having a new start from God means to you and how that new start can be used as an opportunity.
- New Class-In a new class or a new grade, some might know one student, and some might not. Sometimes that can cause anxiety and feelings of wondering where one “fits.” This is a great time to discuss true identity and that we are God’s because He claimed us through baptism (Is. 43:1). Talk together about all the groups, formal or informal that you are in. Talk about how that can lead to sometimes feel included or excluded from other groups. Talk about how you are in God’s family and always fit there no matter how you fit anywhere else.
- Lunchbox-When a lunch gets packed there’s lots of decisions to make. Turkey or ham? Cheese or no cheese? Carrots or celery or both? Maybe cucumbers instead? An apple or an orange? How will it all fit without getting smooshed? How will it stay cool but not freeze? Even in the lunchroom—to trade or not to trade? Which item sounds better? Thinking about how we weigh our “lunchbox decisions” can also help us think about how we weigh our decisions in daily life. Talk about how we make decisions, what factors go into them and what makes some decisions sound better than others. Talk about how the Holy Spirit guides us in making our daily decisions and how we can see that as a blessing.
- Field Trips-School field trips feel like the most exciting days of the year to students—a break from the classroom, a chance to learn in a different setting (sometimes when they don’t realize they are learning at all!), and the experience itself of wherever the class is going. Talk about places you are excited to go as a family or with your class/work. What makes you most excited about those places? Talk about how right now we are not with God and the excitement that we someday all get to be with Him. Talk about what that might be like.
As your family transitions back into a school routine, challenge yourselves to think about ways to see God at work and talk about what He’s up to on a regular basis.
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