This is a guest post written by Vanessa Baker. It’s part of the ongoing series of activities for EACH chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible.
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In the Jesus Storybook Bible, the author covers the lives of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. Jacob is the son of Isaac and will continue the family line that God promised would change the world. Jacob loved Rachel for her beauty and rejected Leah for her lack of ascetics. The author focuses on Leah and her realization that she is “lovely because God loves her.”
This lesson is very applicable to us grown up readers too. I have a passion for this topic because I think as a nation we care WAY more about what’s on the outside than what God see’s on the inside. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:3-5a
“3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful.”
…pretty straight forward right?
I started by going to the craft store and buying two identical boxes but you can use whatever you have around the house.
I found some wrapping paper we had on hand and wrapped up the first box super neatly and nicely. This will represent Rachel in the lesson. (You can add specific things to the box that your child would like i.e. stickers of things they love etc.)
Inside I put… NOTHING. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to represent Rachel as having bad things in her.
Then I took a plain white box (Leah) and banged it up by rolled it around in the mud.
Inside I put a baby to represent Jesus (the first thing i could find was a 11-12 week in utero baby to size haha, but I would have preferred a nativity baby Jesus) and a beautiful cross to represent Jesus and hidden beauty. Get creative with what you put in your box for the story.
Then I put the boxes right next to each other and asked baby brother what they were. He’s almost 3, so I wasn’t sure how this would go.
After we established they were both gifts, I asked him which one he wanted and he went right for the pretty one! (Yes ! It worked!) He opened it and was disappointed and right away said, “Let’s open the other one!”
“A baby!”, he shouted. He shoved the pretty one aside and has been toting the plain one around all morning showing everyone what’s in his box.
If I were talking to older children, I would drag the anticipation out a bit and talk about what we expected to be in each box. Then after all is opened, I would talk about how just because something seems pretty or exciting to us when we look at it, doesn’t mean what we find inside will be the same. Looks can be deceiving.
The message we’re trying to get across to children (and to us too!) is; what other people think of us means nothing compared to what God thinks of us. If we believe in His Son and what He did for us, we KNOW God loves us and has a purpose for us not based on how beautiful or appealing to others we are on the outside.. but simply because of our hearts, attitudes, and ultimately because of His sovereignty.
Don’t forget to check back and read ALL the interactive activities for the Jesus Storybook Bible.