Coming from a large family, I know firsthand how skilled siblings are at comparing, especially when it‘s to their advantage. “His piece of cake is bigger than mine!”… “Why does she get to stay up later than I do?” As parents, you can use your children’s natural tendency to pick up on differences to foster a heart of gratitude and develop a habit of intercession for others. Gather everyone together by the front door for this home tour activity. Feel free to adjust the other locations for your situation.
You can use your child’s natural tendency to see differences to foster gratitude and a habit of prayer. @weavefamily
Front door: Open the door and take a deep breath. Thank God for the fresh, clean air that you breathe every day.Pray for families who live in places where the air is so polluted that breathing in and out can causes health problems.
Furnace/thermostat/fireplace: Thank God for the warm, dry home that He has given you.Pray for homeless families and street children without shelter.
Kitchen: Open up the food cupboards or pantry. Thank God for the variety of healthy foods He provides for you each day. Pray for children who do not have enough food and go hungry some or most of the time.
Kitchen: Stand by the sink.Thank God for providing clean water for drinking, bathing, and washing your clothes.Pray for children who must walk several miles to fetch water for their family–water that may be polluted.
Office/Kitchen/Bedroom: Stand where you usually do homework.Thank God for your teachers and a safe place to learn.Pray for children who do not have the chance to go to school.
Bathroom: Stand where you keep medicine.Thank God for medicine and doctors who help you get well and for vaccines that keep you from getting serious diseases.Pray for families who do not have the healthcare or medicine they need.
Playroom/Bedroom: Stand where you keep your toys. Thank God for giving you free time to play with your friends.Pray for children around the world who work long hours to help provide for their family.
Bedroom: Open the closet. Thank God for providing the clothes you need.Pray for families without adequate clothing to protect them and keep them warm.
Family photo: Stand in a circle holding hands.Thank God for parents who love and care for you.Pray for orphaned children around the world whose parents have died because of war, natural disasters, or disease.
Bookshelf/bedside table where you keep your Bibles: Hold your Bible. Thank God for the chance to hear about Jesus and have the Bible in your own language.Pray for families who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus.
End your tour by sitting around the table. Break out the popcorn, ice cream, or another favorite family treat. Process the activity with these questions: What are you most grateful for? Compared to the lives of many children around the world, how would you describe your life? How can our family continue to pray for children around the world?
I’m not saying that you’ll never hear another, “How come he got six pieces of candy?” but ongoing discussions of this kind will give your children a greater appreciation for all the ways in which God has blessed them and a sensitivity to the needs of others.
This article was originally posted on Weave (weavefamily.org) on May 15, 2014. Weave exists to align the hearts of families with God’s global purposes by equipping them to define, embrace, and live out their unique role in advancing the Kingdom, growing to their fullest potential in Christ. See their website for more articles like this, and for activities for your family to engage with and learn about God’s global purposes.