Today is the 28th installment of 30 days of resources for your family to use to grow together. Each of our daily activities will have the following pieces:
- PLAY TOGETHER: An opportunity to have fun and do something together instead of watching Netflix.
- TALK TOGETHER: Around the dinner table or just two of you sitting on the back porch, take turns asking these questions to learn more about the other.
- ORIENT TOGETHER: In time of need we have an opportunity to renew our vision for Jesus, and pray for His work in our life and world.
We hope these resources are helpful to you as a family. Feel free to share with others as well!
Cooking Together – What’s your favorite restaurant or take out meal? Try to find a copycat recipe and recreate it at home. Try a new recipe, or just cook your favorite meal together. Turn on some music, everyone pitch in, and create something delicious! Bonus points for eating outside if the weather is nice.
- What do you think of when you hear the word anxiety?
- Tell about a time that a good word made you glad – a funny text, a kind compliment, something that made your day.
- Take a minute to check in on your extended family and friends and send them a kind, encouraging note just to say you’re thinking about them. It just takes a few seconds and it could really make someone’s day a lot brighter!
Read Proverbs 12:25 together:
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
We’ve all been dealing with some level of anxiety or fear in the past few weeks. For some, it’s a low-level background hum that’s noticeable but allows things to go on normally. For others, it can be crippling – constant anxiety from reading or watching the news, wondering what new announcement will be coming next, or worrying about family or friends who are in the frontlines of healthcare or other essential jobs in the public. It seems like anxiety and worry are everywhere now.
The next part of the verse says that anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down. The King James Version speaks of “heaviness” in the heart. And a Bible study resource called the Matthew Henry Commentary talks about having a “load of care, fear, and sorrow.” The weight of anxiety, fear, and worry can literally feel crushing, like a heavy load, a heavy burden on our shoulders. Do you ever feel that weight? Like a tension in your shoulders, a tightness of breath?
So that was the first part of the verse – the heavy stuff, literally. Now for the good news.
In Matthew 11, Jesus says “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” It’s often hard to remember and focus on those words in the middle of feeling fearful and anxious, but if we can just breathe that in and ask God to help us remember, ask Him to help us give up those heavy burdens to Him, then we can find rest for our souls. Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He carries the weight for us because of His great love for His children.
The second half of Proverbs 12:25 says, “a good word makes him glad.” Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, “That’s a good word!” in response to an encouraging message or Bible verse? What does that mean – what’s a good word? Literally, a good word could be something kind or encouraging, an uplifting message. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Think about the words you’ve spoken today. Have you used good words, gracious words, to those around you? We’re all quarantining at home now, we’re around our family all day long, and even in the best of times they can sometimes get on our last nerve. In times of stress and anxiety, it’s tempting to lash out at those closest to us. They become easy targets – sometimes the only target nearby! But think of how important it is to speak lovingly and kindly to each other during times like this, now more than ever? Do you care for yourself and those around you with your words?
Beyond the meaning of a good and gracious word being something that’s spoken to someone else, there’s another Biblical meaning. The book of John opens with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jesus is The Word, capital W. The Gospel, the story of God’s rescue plan for us through the death of His son Jesus, is the ultimate Good Word. It makes hearts glad that are burdened and heavy laden.
How can you speak a good word into someone’s life? How can you share the Good Word of the Gospel? How can you lift the burden off of someone else’s heart by giving them a good word to make them glad?
Today’s Family Resource for Growing Together is written by Leah Hinds, a youth worker in Lexington, SC.