Self-control is a response of the character of God.
Key Question: When do you lose control? The best way to discover how you should respond with self-control in a situation is to imagine the moments when you most feel like losing control. We pray that our preteens not only start to identify the areas of their life where they have a tendency to struggle, but also create a plan for how to rely on God to help them.
We start with a word picture Solomon writes in Proverbs 25:28. Solomon uses the idea of giant city walls keeping people safe as a way to show the importance of living with self-control. Kids will discover that having protection, like city walls, is the perfect way to help gain self-control.
Bottom Line: Doing what you should can keep you safe. When you choose to do what you should, instead of doing what you want, you keep yourself out of danger. We hope kids discover the value of relying on God for self-control even when it’s difficult.
Key Question: What can you do to keep your cool? Just because you know that you should keep your cool, doesn’t mean you know how to do it. We want kids to figure out the ways they can keep calm during stressful situations.
Next, we look at Proverbs 16:32, where Solomon uses the idea of a fighting warrior to help us understand that, regardless of the situation, being patient and keeping our cool is always the wise choice.
Bottom Line: Think before you lose your temper. God can give us the strength we need to pause and think about the consequences of our actions. Rather than letting our anger get the better of us, God can help us show patience and keep the situation under control.
Key Question: Why are your words so important? Preteens are at the phase when they’re not always thinking before they speak. We hope that they will get the chance to see that their words have power to hurt or help. God can help them make the wise choice with their words even when they might be upset.
In week three, we discover more about self-control in Proverbs 12:18. Solomon talks about the power of our words. We want kids to learn that when they choose the right words in a difficult situation they can actually bring healing to the situation rather than destruction.
Bottom Line: Choose your words carefully. We want kids to think about the words they use throughout different situations, because our words can help point others to Jesus.
Key Question: How do you know when to stop? We start our small group discussion with a question that will help preteens create boundaries for how they spend their time. We don’t always know it’s time to stop until it’s too late. We pray that our preteens become more self-aware about the times when they need to trust God to help them stop.
We close out the month with another one of Solomon’s vivid word pictures in Proverbs 25:16 and find out what happens when we indulge and eat too much. But this proverb isn’t just about how much we eat. Kids will learn that too much of anything, even if it’s a good thing, can have serious consequences.
Bottom Line: Know when to stop. Knowing when to stop isn’t always easy for kids. A lot of times it’s a parent or teacher who helps them know it’s time to stop what they’re doing and take a break. We hope that kids start to see that stopping something—even if it’s fun—can be the wisest choice. We also want them to know they don’t need to do this on their own. God will help them know when to stop.