Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Disrespect: What Container Are You?

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23:26

We're working through attitudes of disrespect at my house.
As we do, I've been praying and thinking and coming up with all sorts of scenarios to teach disrespect and its effects.
I borrowed this idea from the book The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.

Disrespect is a heart issue.
And to drive the poit home, you'll need to round up the usual suspects:

Pitchers or measuring cups
various liquids (milk, vinegar, water, food colouring, syrup)
and several pieces of paper with the words Heart and Mouth printed on them

Explain to your children that the "belly" of the pitcher is like our heart.
The spout--where the liquid pours out--is like our heart.

Next, show the various containers and ask:
If milk is in this container, what will pour out of it? (milk)
If water is in this container, what will pour out of it? (Water)
Go through several liquids showing how what is in the container is what will come out of the container.
Next, ask if kindness  is in the heart of this container, what will flow out of it's mouth? (kindness!)
Give your children a taste of the sweet syrup or honey.

Now, take the pitcher of water and add red food colouring.
Explain that the red food colouring represents angry thoughts.
Then ask, if anger is in this heart, what will come out of its mouth? (anger)

next, add vinegar to the container that held milk.
Have your children examine how the milk curdles.
Explain that the vinegar is bitterness.
Ask, if bitterness is in this heart, what will come out of the mouth? 

Talk about forgiveness and repentance.
How coming to Jesus and confessing our sins allows us to be washed and made whole again.
We're a clean container...
free to have good things come out again.

Together make some juice from frozen concentrate together.
Cut the frozen block into sections.
Put each piece in with the name of love, joy, peace, etc. attached.
Add water-kindness
then pour the juice into cups and discuss what it tastes like.

Once everyone's had some to drink, we added oil to the juice.
We talked about how the juice didn't look the same, but it tasted awful.
This is a great way to show that sometimes our hearts SLOWLY turn bitter.
Keep adding odd things until your juice is no longer the colour, taste or smell of what it once was.
Great discussion follows.

Some Mediated Questions to use:
Do you notice what is happening when we add something new to the liquid?
How long does it take to turn a different colour?
How often did we have to add bitter things in order to turn the sweet juice into a gross tasting drink?
How much did we have to add?
Can you give me an example of where this has happened in your life?
Can you find a way to make the container clean again?
What would happen if....
...we never cleaned the container?
...if we only added oil, but never vinegar-could we still drink it?

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