FHE: Proverbs 15:1

April 11, 2009 | 10 comments
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I’m taking a break from the Gospel Fundamentals FHEs this week; if you’re really clever, you’ll be able to reverse engineer what kind of problems are plaguing the Smith household this week.

–Tell the story of 1 Kings 19:9-13. I plan on using my flannel board, but you could retell the story using this guy as Elijah, a cave made out of brown paper (or real rocks), a great wind (provided by your children breathing hard), an earthquake (your kids shaking the table), a fire (real if you are brave, orange and yellow paper if you aren’t), and a small piece of cloth (or paper) for Elijah to wrap around him. The point you want to make is that the Lord didn’t choose to use something big (wind, earthquake, fire) to talk to Elijah, but rather a still, small voice. Point out that when we use a still, small voice, we are doing what the Lord does.

–Print Proverbs 15:1 (“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”) out and discuss what it means. Explain that a soft answer is like the Lord’s still, small voice. It can stop wrath (=anger). Grievous words are words that make people grieve. (“Show me what your face looks like when you are sad. That’s grieving. Grievous words are words that make you feel that way. Those aren’t the kind of words the Lord uses, and so they aren’t kind of words we should use, either.”) Stir up means to make bigger, so if you use grievous words, you make the problem bigger. If you use soft words, you make the problem smaller.

–Beforehand, you will need to make a sign for each family member. Use a popsicle stick or pencil. Tape a little sign to the top (notecards work well if you have them). On one side, write A SOFT ANSWER. On the other side, write GRIEVOUS WORDS.

–Give each person her sign. Now you can role play. One family member will speak to the other using either a soft answer or grievous words. Everyone will hold up their signs to indicate which kind of words were used. (Then you can talk about how you would feel if someone said those words to you: calmer or more angry?) I am sure you can think of your own examples, but here’s some to get you started:

(1) Someone is kicking your chair.
“Will you please stop kicking my chair?”
“STOP KICKING MY CHAIR OR I’M GOING TO HIT YOU!!”

(2) “Where’s my new Garfield comic?”
“HOW SHOULD I KNOW WHERE YOUR STUPID THING IS?”
“I don’t know.”

(3) “Will you please clear off the table?”
“BUT I DIDN’T MAKE THAT MESS!”
“OK.”

(4) Someone is singing.
“STOP SINGING THAT STUPID SONG! YOU ARE MAKING ME CRAZY!”
“Will you please stop singing?”

I think you get the idea.

10 Responses to FHE: Proverbs 15:1

  1. Ardis Parshall on April 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

    You’ve had earthquakes at your house? whirlwinds? fires? Oh, now wait a minute …

    I like the way your lessons always seem to give your kids a chance to act out in a controlled way — shaking the table, pulling faces, shouting, even — and not just sitting there where the lessons can roll right off their backs.

  2. Julie M. Smith on April 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Ardis, you are funny!

    And thanks.

  3. Frank McIntyre on April 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    very nice. we’ll give it a try.

  4. Kylie on April 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Perfect, Julie. We’ll use this, since it seems that our house has been hit by the same earthquake/whirlwind as your house. And all this BEFORE the Easter sugar rush. Yikes.

  5. Seth R. on April 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    FHE for us consists of a bunch of Primary songs (one per kid), a prayer, and then I read the kids a story from the New Testament for beginning readers. My 6 year old and 4 year old daughters sit to each side of me and my 2 year old son sits on my lap (usually only for half the story – but sometimes for the whole thing). They’re always enthralled and perfectly happy with it.

    Then we have pudding or something.

    My oldest daughter gets on our case when we forget to have it.

    FHE is a piece of cake around here.

  6. Alison Moore Smith on April 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    if you’re really clever, you’ll be able to reverse engineer what kind of problems are plaguing the Smith household this week.

    All I can do is applaud.

  7. Julie M. Smith on April 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Aw man, here I thought I was all clever and original in linking the still, small voice to the soft answer, but:

    “It was said of old that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” ( Prov. 15:1.) We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention. To me there has always been something significant in the description of the prophet Elijah’s contest with the priests of Baal. The scripture records that “a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks … but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: “And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” ( 1 Kgs. 19:11–12.) The voice of heaven is a still small voice; likewise, the voice of domestic peace is a quiet voice.

    –Gordon B. Hinckley, “‘Except the Lord Build the House …’,” Ensign, Jun 1971, 71f.

  8. Ardis Parshall on April 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Doesn’t 1971 predate your conversion? If nobody has said it in almost 40 years, it’s original again.

  9. Julie M. Smith on April 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    “Doesn’t 1971 predate your conversion?”

    Conversion? That predates my birth!

  10. Ardis Parshall on April 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Sorry. I forget how old I am sometimes. You young whippersnappers will know what that’s like … someday … some far distant day.