What are some things you said you would never do before you had kids that now (or back when you had kids in the house) you've ended up doing? If you don't have any kids, how do you fill in this blank: If I have kids I'll never ____________?
Why do you think you ended up changing your mind? Is parenting harder or easier than you thought before you had kids?
*If your group is largely made up of people without kids, take a poll to see if your group intends to have kids one day or isn't planning on having kids. If you have members who intend to have kids eventually, be sure to orient some of the questions in a way that makes sense for them. If your members never intend to have kids, steer them toward their stewardship of the children over whom they have relational influence.
Parents, we said on Sunday, "You are God’s plan for your kids."
- How does that make you feel?
- What does it make you second guess? What does it inspire you to do more of? Less of?
- Have you ever been tempted to push the responsibility for your kids' faith onto someone else's shoulders? Why do you think that's so easy?
- If your children are grown, what do you think God's doing through you (or might want to do through you) now to reach your children for Him?
- If you don't have kids, what could you be doing in the lives of children close to you to lead them into a growing relationship with Christ?
What could we be doing, practically speaking, to "impress" God's will on our kids' hearts? Make a list of ways to both model healthy faith/obedience and ways to make God's will stick in our kids' minds.
Think back to your own childhood. Did your parents do anything to help connect you to God?
- What do you remember as being especially powerful/helpful/memorable?
- What didn't work so well?
Consider this guidance for parents from Deuteronomy:
Talk about them [God's commandments] when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
- What would it look like for you to live this out in your daily routine?
- Do you need to make something to display in your home? How do you tie God's commands as symbols on your hands?
- When you had kids at home what did you do to practically execute this command?
Read Deuteronomy 6:20-25
If the Israelites were to tell their children the Exodus story, the origin story of their nation and their faith, what story do we tell our kids? Why is it important to tell it?
Have members share prayer requests for themselves as parents. Ask "What one way would you like to be a better parent?" and pray for God to step in and enable that. This question applies to parents of children and parents of adults.
If members are not parents, have them answer the question, "What one way can I be an example of love to a young person I'm close to?" Pray they'd be equipped and emboldened to do that.
How about a craft night for your small group?! Taking a cue from Deuteronomy, make something for your house that prominently features God's command: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
How about some good old fashioned adult coloring? Get your printable page here (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0RweH-3RyI0NmV3TUlFTVRUN1k/edit).
You might also try chalkboard art. Grab some cheap chalkboards at Hobby Lobby (less than $2 a piece) and some chalk. Bring to group and make signs like these. It doesn't take an artist. Also, it's chalk. Easy to start over. ;)