Create a “temptation in the garden of Eden” experience for your children by forbidding them from trying one type of fruit.
Discussion point: Adam and Eve’s story shows the importance of resisting temptation and peer pressure.
You will need small bowls and a variety of sliced fruit, with each type of fruit presented in a different bowl.
Call your children together for snack time. Give them each a small plastic bowl and invite them to select fruit for a snack. Let them know, however, that one bowl of fruit is “forbidden” and they cannot choose from that bowl. (The forbidden fruit may be a favourite, or an unfamiliar fruit.)
As your children go off to fill their bowls, this is your cue to leave. Let your children know that you are leaving for a few minutes to start a load of laundry, use the washroom etc., but will return shortly to pray and eat with them. Give them a minute or two to collect their snack.
Watch your children from a distance, unseen. On your return, invite your children to enjoy their snacks as you talk through the discussion questions:
Questions for discussion
- Did you think it was strange that I asked you not to eat any of the ________? (Name the fruit that was off limits.)
- Were you tempted to sneak a taste of the forbidden fruit?
- Would it have been harder to obey if I had put out your favourite cookies and asked you not to eat them?
- Imagine that a friendly furry creature suddenly appeared and told you to eat the forbidden fruit because it would give you “mommy power” or “daddy power” – the power to decide when to go to bed, how much TV to watch, when to do chores, and what to eat for dessert and snacks. Would you still have resisted temptation?
- What Bible story does this remind you of? (Briefly review the story in Genesis 3.)
- Does God want you to obey your parents at all times, or only when the request seems reasonable?
- In the Bible story of Adam and Eve, it was a snake who talked them into disobeying God. Who in your life might tempt you to disobey God, or your parents?
- What should Eve have told the snake?
- Who can help you when you are tempted?
- What can you say to friends who try to convince you to do wrong?
In life, sometimes it will be easy to say no to temptation and at other times it will be much harder. Temptation can be even more difficult to resist when another person is trying to convince you that the sin isn’t really wrong. This is what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. A snake tempted Eve, but you may have friends who try to get you to go along with them in doing something wrong.
It’s good to have a plan in place ahead of time so you know what to say and how to avoid giving in to peer pressure. The first thing you should do is ask God to give you strength and wisdom so you can make the right choice. The prayer doesn't need to be long. It can be as simple as God, please help me make a righteous choice. You can also practice what to say to your friends. Here are some ideas.
- You can go ahead and do what you want, but I’m going to make my own choice.
- You may be comfortable doing that, but I’m not.
- This is my body and I’ll do what I believe is right for me.
- You make your choice and I’ll make mine.
- Sorry, I just can't go along with that. Let’s ________ instead (suggest an alternative activity).
- I’m not sure if I am allowed to do that. I’ll have to check with my parents first.
- God is watching and that’s not something I want Him to see me doing.
Genesis 3:1 “
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’ ”
I Corinthians 10:13 “
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”