The focus of this family time is to use five easy steps to teach our children that God loved the people of Nineveh. Even though we sin and run away from God, he still loves us and wants to forgive us
Learn the Memory Verse together and say it throughout the week to help your family remember and apply what they have learned.
Play “ Man Overboard”
- Say: “We are going to play a game. This room is a ship and it is in a storm. You can move anywhere you like, pretending to be in the storm, but when I call out, ‘Man overboard!’ everyone has to stop moving and freeze. Anyone who moves is out and comes to sit near me.”
- Call out other instructions and descriptions; e.g., “The wind is getting worse!” “The ship is tipping to the right!” “Hit the deck!” etc.
- Toward the end of the allocated time, ask everyone to sit back down and say: “In our story today we have a ship, a storm, and a man overboard. Let’s worship and then we will learn more!”
STEP 2. WORSHIP!
- Sing and have fun while worshiping then pray. Take a moment here to thank God for your family and your time together!!
Read Page 160-169 in the Jesus Storybook Bible
STEP 4. DISCUSSION!
Use these questions and points to have a conversation with your children about the Bible story.
- Why did God want Jonah to go to Nineveh?
- Did God love the people of Nineveh?
- Why didn’t Jonah want to go to Nineveh?
- Did Jonah love the people of Nineveh?
- What did he do instead of going to Nineveh?
- What happened on the boat?
- What did the sailors try to do about the storm?
- What did Jonah know had to be done about the storm?
- Who sent the big fish to swallow Jonah?
- How many days were he inside the fish?
- What happened after three days?
- What did Jonah do then?
- What message did Jonah give to the people in Nineveh?
- Did the people in Nineveh listen to Jonah?
Say: “How many days did Jonah spend inside the fish? Correct, three. How does that connect to Jesus? Yes, just as Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish three days, so Jesus was in the tomb for three days before he rose from the dead.”
Say: “But unlike Jonah, who did not love the people of Nineveh and did not want God to forgive them, Jesus loves people and wants to forgive them.”
STEP 5. Pray!
- Pray aloud, thanking God that Jesus loved and obeyed even though it meant he would die. Ask God to forgive you and the children when you have not obeyed him. Ask him to help you and the children to love and obey him even when it is costly.