Kidside Children's Lesson

Introduction: This week we are going to walk into some challenging territory as we talk about family dynamics. Pray that you can express feelings in a way that builds up rather than tearing down. A big part of this story is the unhealthy relationships within the family that God chose to be the ancestors of Jesus. Abraham and Sarah had struggles in their marriage, especially when it came to their son. Isaac, the son of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah had twin sons that were very deceitful and cruel to one another. Isaac’s younger son Jacob develops a strong reputation as a trickster, and when Jacob grows up and begins his own family, dysfunction abounds. This is the family we will be discussing today.

Read Genesis 37:1-11

Discussion questions to spend time with as a family (or small group):

1. Parents: Take some time to consider the beauty you see in each of your children. We are all gifted differently. Take the time to address each child and spouse and speak of one of their greatest traits or gifts.
2. Children: Comparison is a real struggle for humans whether young or old. Really take the time to consider this question and your answer. What trait or ability do you see in a sibling or friend that you wish you had? Talk about how that makes you feel. Does this feeling ever lead you to feeling frustrated, jealous, or sad?
3. Take a moment to consider the family dynamics in Joseph’s story? What feelings do you think his brothers had about him? How could Joseph have handled things differently to make the relationship better with his siblings? How could Jacob have parented his family more successfully?

Read Genesis 37:12-36

1. Just so you know, there is much more to Joseph’s story than just this chapter. But this chapter of his story certainly does not end well. What can you relate this story to in your own life, or in the world around us? Consider the attempts of Reuben to try to appease and rescue. Think about the compromise found by Judah to sell his brother rather than kill him. Also, reflect on the mob mentality demonstrated by his brothers as a group. They almost worked each other up enough to kill their own brother. Can you think of a time when a crowd influenced you to do something that you normally would never consider doing?
2. Many bad things happen to Joseph through his life, but as we read on we discover that God never abandoned Joseph. God did not make these bad things happen to Joseph. God did walk through them with Joseph, and Joseph walked with God. In the coming week remember God’s frequent promise, “I will be with you always.” How can remembering God is always with us help us when bad things happen?
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