Introduction To This Family Devotion
In this series of 10 family devotions, we'll be exploring how marriage is a metaphor that symbolizes our relationship with God. We'll dive into how God's relationship with the Israelites was described as a marriage and how our relationship as Christians is also described as a marriage.
The Bible begins by telling us a story of the first marriage between Adam and Eve. It culminates with the Great Wedding Feast when Jesus returns. The Church is described as the Bride of Christ and Jesus is described as the Groom.
During all of these lessons, we'll keep in kid-friendly, focused on the gospel, and full of biblical truth. Each lesson will include a Scripture reference, a brief summary of the main idea of the lesson that day, discussion questions, a gospel truth, and a journal assignment.
I hope you will join me in using these lessons to teach your kids about their own relationship with God.
Devotion 1: The Divine Design of Marriage
Scripture: Genesis 2:21-24
Summary: Marriage was created by God to help us understand more about our relationship with God. It is a relationship that requires devotion, commitment and exclusivity. It's also a relationship that brings great joy and fulfillment.
- What makes a marriage good or joyful?
- What makes a marriage bad or difficult?
- What can we learn about our own relationship with God from this passage?
Gospel Truth: Just like a husband and wife love each other, God wants our relationship with Him to be a special relationship filled with love.
Journal: In your journal, draw two faces. The first face represents God and how you think he feels about His relationship with you. The second face represents you and how you feel about your relationship with God. Do you have a happy relationship with God? Is God sad because of sin in your life? Is your face looking away from God because you don't have a relationship with Him?
Devotion 2: God's Chosen Bride - Israel
Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Jeremiah 2:2
Summary: God wants to have a relationship with us. We don't have to do anything special to earn this privilege. God chose Israel to be His special people. Their relationship was happy.
- Why did God choose Israel?
- How do you think Israel felt when God chose them?
- What can we learn about God's love from this passage?
Gospel Truth: We don't have to be special or worthy to receive God's love. In fact, God wants to have a relationship with you, no matter who you are.
Journal: In your journal, draw a picture of someone who is weak. Then draw a heart around the person to remind yourself that God loves us even when we are weak.
Devotion 3: Faithless To God
Scripture: Exodus 32:12-16; Judges 2:11-13
Summary: Sometimes we're tempted to hang out with bad influences. God warned Israel about this too! Unfortunately, their hearts were sinful like ours and they continued to sin against God.
- How did God try to keep Israel safe from bad influences?
- What are some things that might lead our hearts away from God today?
Gospel Truth: All of us are sinners. We have all turned away from God. We need forgiveness for our sins, but we also need a new heart. Only God can provide both of these things.
Journal: In your journal, draw a picture of a person. Then surround the person with items representing things in the world that can have a bad influence on us.
Devotion 4: Hope For A Restored Relationship
Scripture: Isaiah 62:4-5; Jeremiah 3:12-13
Summary: Even though Israel was faithful towards God, God still loved them and wanted to restore their relationship. He promised that their relationship would be restored. But they needed to confess their sin and repent in order to initiate a new relationship.
- How do you feel when someone sins against you?
- Is it easy or hard to forgive someone who hurts you?
- What does it mean to repent?
Gospel Truth: Even though we have all sinned against God, we still have hope in Christ if we will confess our sins, repent and receive Christ.
Journal: In your journal, write or draw about a time in your life when you asked for forgiveness and repented.
Devotion 5: Welcoming the Divine Bridegroom
Scripture: John 3:28-30
Summary: When Jesus came, it was like a groom coming for his bride. John was super happy about this!
- Why was John so happy when Jesus came?
- What did John mean when he said that Jesus must increase and John must decrease?
Gospel Truth: Jesus is the one sent by God to restore our broken relationship with God. Through faith in Christ, our broken relationship with God can be restored.
Journal: In your journal, draw a picture or write about a way you can make Jesus greater in your life.
Devotion 6: The Jewish Betrothal Process
Scripture: John 14:1-2
Summary: Our relationship with God mirrors the Jewish betrothal process.
- Betrothal stage - Legally binding relationship. Stage of preparation and anticipation of the marriage.
- Wedding Procession - The formal beginning of the marriage. The husband comes for the bride, often at an unanticipated time and returns her to his father's home for the wedding feast.
- Wedding Feast - A 7 day celebration of the wedding where friends and family join in the celebration and joy of the bride and groom.
- Consummation - The relationship officially transitions from the betrothal stage to the marriage stage and the bride and groom begin their marriage relationship together.
- How do you think each of the 4 steps relate to our relationship with Jesus?
- How do you feel about the future? Are you excited about the wedding? Nervous? Scared?
Gospel Truth: Jesus is our groom and the church is the bride. He is preparing a place for us and will one day return to live with us forever in His Kingdom.
Journal: In your journal, draw a face that shows how you feel about Jesus returning. For example, a smiley face would mean you are ready. A neutral face would mean you aren't sure if you are ready. A sad or scared face would mean you aren't ready. Why do you feel the way you do?
Devotion 7: Faithful Devotion to Christ
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:1-3
Summary: Just like how brides and grooms promise to stay true to each other, we should stay true to Jesus. He wants us to be pure.
- How can we stay loyal to Jesus?
- What are some things that might distract us from Jesus?
Gospel Truth: The world is full of temptations. In order to stay faithful to Jesus, we must separate ourselves from things that tempt us to sin against Him.
Journal: In your journal, write or draw about a distraction that you need to remove from your life. How can you make sure this distraction doesn't lead you into sin.
Devotion 8: Waiting with Vigilance
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13
Summary: Sometimes, waiting can be hard. But just like brides wait for grooms, we wait for Jesus!
- How can we be ready for Jesus' return?
- What will happen to us if we aren't ready for Jesus' return?
- What are some ways we might get lazy or "drowsy" while we wait for Jesus' return? And how can we fight against that temptation?
Gospel Truth: Jesus will return one day and those who are ready will be invited into His Kingdom, but those who aren't will be doomed to hell.
Journal: In your journal, draw or write about something you believe God wants you to do while you wait for His return.
Devotion 9: Clothed in Christ's Righteousness
Scripture: Matthew 22:1-10
Summary: God invites us to a big party, but we need to wear special clothes – Jesus's goodness!
- Why couldn't the man in the story stay at the party?
- How do we "put on" Jesus's special clothes?
Gospel Truth: We can't stand in God's presence with our own righteousness. We need to be clothed with the righteousness of God.
Journal: In your journal, draw a scene of a man being thrown out of a party.
Devotion 10: Inviting Others to the Grand Feast
Scripture: Revelation 19:6-9; Revelation 7:9
Summary: There's a big party in heaven and we're all invited! Let's learn how we can invite our friends too!
- How can we share the good news about Jesus with others?
- Why is it important to tell others about Jesus?
Gospel Truth: God has sent us on a mission to invite others to have a relationship with Jesus.
Journal: In your journal, write or draw ways you could meet people in order to tell them about Jesus.