Family faith-sharing tip:
Whenever you and your family face hardships because of your decision to follow Jesus, help them to see the ways God is protecting you and giving you peace and hope. Help your children to know that Jesus will always be their friend and that He understands what it’s like to be bullied, teased, and hurt.
- Psalms 31:20; 32:7
- When we’re Christians, we can sometimes be bullied, teased, and hurt because of what we believe. But whatever happens to us, we know that God loves us and that He will take care of us, even when life is difficult.
- Play-Doh®, clay, or similar firm substance
- A plate
- A clear glass dome or large glass bowl
- Adhesive labels, or paper and adhesive tape
- Pen and paper
- Long strips of colored paper and scissors
- Glue or stapler
What you do:
- Talk about bullying or read the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37:12-36. If appropriate, you could tell a story of a time when you were bullied or treated badly.
- Give the youngest person a large piece of Play-Doh®. Ask them to shape it into a heart and put it on a plate.
- Pass the heart around the circle. The person who holds the heart has to describe a different way in which people might bully, tease, and hurt someone for being a Christian. Then have them “hurt” the heart by pinching the dough, poking it, tearing it, etc.
- Pass the heart around twice. By the end it will look quite hurt and messy.
- Read aloud Psalms 34:18; 147:3; Isaiah 61:1 and ask the youngest person to remold the heart to make it better again, just as Jesus makes our hurt and broken hearts whole again.
- Give everyone some Play-Doh® and have them make a small heart.
- Put the hearts on a plate and cover them with a glass dome or bowl, so you can see the hearts but they are protected.
- The hearts are safe because there is an invisible protection around them, just as we are safe because God puts His loving and invisible protection around us.
- Look for Bible verses that promise God’s care and protection. Write them on slips of paper and stick them in the glass bowl.
- Have each person choose a verse to memorize, which will help them feel protected and safe whenever anyone tries to tease or bully them. Practice saying your verses to one another. Keep them where they can be read often. Remember that God is always with you and that He always loves you, no matter what other people do and say.
- Make a chain prayer to pray for people who are being bullied, hurt, and imprisoned for following Jesus.
- Cut strips of colored paper 8 inches (20 cm) long, and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide.
- Write prayers, relevant Bible promises, names of people, etc., on the strips.
- Loop one strip into a circle and secure the ends with tape or staples. Loop other strips through each other to make a colorful chain of prayers.