Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are.
Key Question: How does it make you feel when you’re overlooked? This is an important question for preteens to discuss as they are learning to navigate the complexity of friendships. When it comes to honor, remembering what it’s like when you feel dishonor can help you remember to show honor. When kids understand how they feel in these situations, they can start to see how they’re actions may make others feel the same way.
We kick off November in 1 Samuel 17 with a key person in God’s One Big Story: David. Being overlooked is something that David knew all too well. From being the last person considered the next king of Israel to having people question if he should face Goliath. But God chose him and helped him defeat the mighty Goliath.
Bottom Line: Honor others by giving them a chance. From pick-up games at recess to group projects in the classroom, many kids know what it’s like to be overlooked and not given a chance. But what if our kids saw each other as valuable no matter what and learned to give others a chance? This could be a game-changer for kids feeling left out. We pray that kids will start to see what everyone should be honored.
Key Question: What are the best ways to honor your friends? Preteens are learning how to be friends with all sorts of people, from those they like to those they “have to like.” It can be difficult knowing how to navigate this new phase of relationships. We pray that the discussion this week will give them practical ideas for how to honor the people in their lives.
In week 2, we continue David’s story and his friendship with Jonathan. Throughout 1 Samuel 19-20 we discover that Jonathan should have been next in line for the throne, but instead he understood God’s plans for David. Jonathan, in an ultimate act of honor and loyalty, gave David his robe, his sword, and his bow. In return, David makes a unique promise to look out for Jonathan and his family, even though they could be a threat to his kingdom.
Bottom Line: Honor others by putting them first. Kids can be very ego-centric where life is all about them all the time. In this phase of life, they can hardly help it. But at some point, kids should understand that putting others first is important. This is what Jesus did for us, and we can show others His love by doing the same.
Key Question: Why do promises matter so much? Preteens live in a world where promises are a dime a dozen. It seems like everyone is making a promise about something, but often these promises aren’t kept. We hope that our preteens start to understand that their promises matter when it comes to building trust and showing honor to others.
We pick up David’s story in 2 Samuel 9:1-13. Time has passed, and David is now officially the new king of Israel. The only person left in Jonathan’s family was a man named Mephibosheth. David didn’t owe Mephibosheth anything. But he made a promise and he honored Jonathan and Mephibosheth by not only making good on that promise, but also going above and beyond to welcome Mephibosheth into his own family.
Bottom Line: Honor others by keep your promises. When we keep the promises we make to others, we show others that we can be trusted. On top of that, keeping our promises to others can make them feel like they have value, that they were worth our time and energy to keep the commitment we made. We pray kids start to see that the promise they keep can be a powerful way to show others honor.
Key Question: How do you honor God? Preteens might think that the only way to honor God is by singing worship songs in church. And while that is important, honoring God is so much more than singing songs. We can worship God with the way we live, how we treat others, work hard in school, and give God credit for the amazing things He’s done for us.
We finish the month looking at another person who knew something about honor. In Daniel 6 we learn that Daniel was known for faithfully praying to God. And when the leaders tried to trap him and have him killed, Daniel honored God in spite of what could happen to him. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, but God shut the lion’s mouths and rescued Daniel.
Bottom Line: Honor God by giving Him credit. Honoring others begins with the way we honor God. God has done so much in our lives from sending Jesus to save us to the fact that we have breath in our lungs to live another day. Everything we have comes from God, and we can honor Him by giving Him credit. We pray that kids will start to notice all of the ways God helps them and in return, learn how to honor Him.