Monday, June 2, 2014

Thank God for Mothers by Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Thank God for Mothers
Scripture Reference: I Samuel 1:11
Related Scripture Reference:  I Samuel 1-2; Proverbs 31:10-30
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objectives: To help children understand how important mothers are and to encourage them to thank God for their mothers. 

Say: Today we will learn the story of Hannah and her son Samuel. Hannah was upset because she couldn’t have a child. In Hannah’s day, it was very important for a woman to have children, especially a son who could carry on the family name. God intervened and gave Hannah the son she wanted so badly. 

Say: (Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. O LORD…, if you will…give me a son, then I will give him back to you. (I Samuel 1:11 NLT)

Reflection: As we learn about how important mothers are, we also have to remember that not all children have mothers and some have mothers who don’t love or care for them. Some children don’t have moms because they were killed in tragic accidents or because they died from diseases. But there are some children whose moms are alive but who left them with dads or grandparents. Let children answer the following questions: 

How would you feel if you didn’t have a mom?
Do you know any children whose mom died or whose mom doesn’t live with them? How do you think they feel?
What are some things you think a mom should do?
What are some things you could do for your mom?
What can moms do to show their children they want them to love and serve God?

Bible Story Time: 
Be prepared to tell the children the story of Hannah and Samuel’s birth:

Long ago in the land of Israel, there was a man named Elkanah. He had a wife named Hannah. Every year, he and his wife would travel to the town of Shiloh where they would worship God. And every year at this time—and even during the year, Elkanah would pray for his wife. You see, she couldn’t have children. In this time period, it was very important for a woman to be able to have children—especially sons. Sons would marry and have children, and in this way carry on their family name. 

Hannah cried a lot because she couldn’t have children. This made her husband sad, but there was nothing he could do about it except pray and ask God to give her a child. This went on for many years, but still she had no baby. One time, however, when they went and Hannah was praying for a child as she always did, the priest spoke to her and told her God would answer her request. Hannah had promised God if he gave her a son she would give him back to him so he could work in God’s house in Shiloh. 

When Hannah heard what the priest said, she was very happy, but she also wondered whether what he said would come true. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Hannah noticed her stomach getting larger. Soon, she felt something moving around in her stomach. The promise the priest made her had come true. She was pregnant. A baby was living inside her. She hoped it would be a son. 

Shortly, the time came for Hannah to give birth. The baby was a boy. She named him Samuel which meant “I asked the Lord for him.” But Hannah hadn’t forgotten the promise she made to God. When Samuel was old enough, she took him back to God’s house and presented him to the priest named Eli. Giving her son away after she had waited so long for him must have been very difficult for Hannah, but she had promised God and she intended to keep her promise. 

Samuel served in God’s house with Eli. His mother didn’t forget him though. Every year, she made him a new coat and took it when she and her family went to God’s house to worship. When Samuel got a little older, God called him to be a prophet and judge. He would later anoint the first two kings of Israel. But he also preached to the people and reminded them to be obedient to God. Hannah was a good mother. She loved and provided for her son, and she wanted him to serve God. 

Ask: What does this story teach us about moms? Moms should love their children, provide for their children, want their children to love and serve God, love the dads of their children, and love God. (For further pictures of a good wife and mom, consult Proverbs 31: 10-30)

Activity Break: 

Game: Make a Corsage for Mom
Give children tissue paper and pipe cleaners to make into paper corsages.

Here's how. Place two sheets of tissue paper together and fold back and forth as if making a paper fan. Grasp the papers in the middle and twist a pipe cleaner around both sheets. Fluff into a flower. Let the children award their moms the corsage they’ve made.

Let’s sing a song to remind us how important moms are.

Mother's Care
(To the tune of "Here we go round the Mulberry Bush".)

This is the way Mother combs my hair, ("Comb" hair)
combs my hair, combs my hair;
This the way Mother combs my hair.
Mother cares for me.

This the way Mother fixes my food, 
(Make "bowl" with one arm "stir" with other hand)
Fixes my food, fixes my food;
This is the way Mother fixes my food.
Mother cares for me.

This is the way Mother gives me a hug, (Hug self)
Gives me a hug, gives me a hug;
This is the way Mother gives me a hug.
Mother cares for me.

This is the way Mother reads to me, (Make open book with hands.)
Reads to me, reads to me;
This the way Mother reads to me.
Mother cares for me.

This is the way Mother prays with me, (Fold hands in prayer.)
Prays with me, prays with me;
This is the way Mother prays with me.
Mother cares for me.

Wrap Up: 
Let children draw and color a picture of Samuel and his mom Hannah. 

Take Away:
Let each child tell one thing they learned about moms from the story of Hannah and Samuel. 

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