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Family Devotional

Have you ever seen something that was too horrible to watch? In Attack at the Arena, Beth and Patrick are dropped into the middle of a terrible situation. After arriving in ancient Rome through the Imagination Station, the cousins find themselves in trouble and at odds with Rome’s cruel idea of entertainment. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

An elephant reared back. Its front legs came down on two men. Beth feared the  slaves were badly hurt or even dead.

“Bravo! That’s more like it!” a man in the crowd shouted. The people stood up and cheered.

Beth hid her face.

“What is wrong with you, bird girl?” Honorius asked.

“I can’t look,” Beth said. Her hands were in front of her face.

Beth knew she should not be watching the awful scene in front of her.

Step 1

Discuss with your children why Beth was covering her eyes. Ask something like “Should Beth or Honorius be watching the people and animals suffer?” “Would God approve our watching people and animals being hurt just for fun?” or “Does God care about what we watch?”

Family Devotions

Step 2

Read the first part of Psalm 101:3 to see what God’s Word says about what we watch.

I will set before my eyes no vile thing. (niv)

God not only wants us to avoid watching vile—that means evil or bad—things but also to watch things that are good. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote this:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, niv)

Step 3

Discuss with your children about what sorts of things are not praiseworthy and how they can avoid watching or thinking about those things. Mention not watching certain movies or TV shows, not thinking evil things about other people, but thinking about good things. To help your children think of good and praiseworthy things, see activities 1 and 2.

Activity # 1:  Good-Things Scavenger Hunt

Have your children search around your house for pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy items, including beautiful flowers, family photographs, stuffed animals, and other small items. Place all the items on a table. After discussing each good and lovely thing, give each child some small item that represents these types of things to remind them; it could be a small cookie, a magnet, a sticker, or something that they will recognize as good.

Activity #2:  Good-Things Finger Painting

Gather

·        finger paints

·        white paper

·        newspaper

·        refrigerator magnets

Step 1

Cover a table with the newspaper and set up a white sheet of paper for each child to color on. Set the finger paints in the middle of the table to share. Sit with your children and talk about things that are lovely and praiseworthy.

Step 2

Finger Painting

Have your children paint items or ideas that are good and praiseworthy. Ideas include thinking and speaking well about others, watching pure movies and TV shows, items from nature, or anything else that the Bible says is good!

Step 3

Hang up the finished artwork as visual reminders of God’s desire for us to watch and think about lovely and admirable things.