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!”
(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.