In continuing life lessons for my kids, I decided to focus on loneliness. For fun, I’m calling my lessons, “Tuesday Night Teachings“. They look forward to Tuesday nights and ask, “Are we going to have a Tuesday Night Teaching?” This one is called, “Life Lesson: Apples to Apples”.
We sat around the dinner table and took turns telling each other what we are thankful for. It was a pleasant sound to this mom’s ears to hear my kids talk about being thankful for people in their lives, including our family.
This conversation about being thankful for each other was a perfect lead-in to tonight’s lesson.
“Don’t leave the table just yet. I want to talk to you. I saw something on Facebook that made me really sad. A guy lost his pet cat and asked for help finding it. He said it was the only thing left in his life. It made me cry for him because he later found that his cat had gotten hit by a car. I thought about how lonely he must be without his pet – especially because he said that his cat was really the only thing left in his life.
There are a lot of lonely people in the world.”
Passing the bowl of apples around, I asked each person (including myself and husband) to pick the one that is the most appealing to them. There were six different apples in the bowl. Each of us grabbed the one that we wanted and then took turns telling why we picked that apple.
“Now let’s all take a bite of our apples.”
The kids giggled a bit. My oldest son joked about thinking he might have swallowed a part of the core.
Lining the apples up next to each other, I said,
“Look at that. They are all so different on the outside, but look at the inside. They are the same. People are a lot like apples. God created us to be unique in our skin color and size. We each have our own ‘flavor’ but on the inside we are the same.
Do you notice that there is one apple that wasn’t picked? That is how some people feel. For instance, some people are left out because of the way they look or the color of their skin or for other reasons. On the inside, they are just like you and me.”
I ended the lesson by talking with my kids about how loneliness is a big problem in our world but if we can get past what is on the outside of a person and look at the inside, maybe we can help each other not be so lonely.
I’m really hopeful that each little nugget of wisdom about God’s truth seeps into their pores; creating a future filled with a genuine love of others. God doesn’t ask us to necessarily like everyone but he does ask us to love one another.
This God-kind-of-love sets the lonely into families.
It sees us from the inside out.
This God-kind-of-love can change generations.
I believe that.
John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
(Life Lesson: Apples to Apples – what other ways have you used to teach children about loneliness?)