|"New Boots" by Laura Anne Miller 2012|
As did Sandi, I used cut-out pictures of various 'things' and asked if they were a Want or a Need in order to survive. My pictures included a yellow corvette, groceries, an XBox, a pair of pink & black polka dot rain boots, shoes, clothes, a Nintendo DS, a small home, an American girl doll, an electric car for kids, a mansion, and a heart to represent Love.
Of course we had to define the difference of a 'Want' and a 'Need.' I explained to the children that when I was in 5th grade I 'wanted' a pair of rain boots with pink polka dots. Some girl at my school had them. I never mentioned it to my mom - I think I knew that they were something too superficial to be in the budget. And since Christmas doesn't come at springtime, and my birthday is six days before Christmas, they were not something on my wishlist. (And, so you all don't run out to buy me a pair, I'm okay without them-- seriously, at 58 I'd look a little silly. )
So, as we went through the pictures - the boys wanted the corvette, the girls wanted the electric car, they all wanted the Nintendo. No one cared about my polka-dot rain boots. They also all wanted to live in the mansion. They did agree on the "Needs" - the clothes, the groceries, shoes, a regular house. But when it came to Love, most of the kids said it was a WANT, but not a NEED. So I said, let's vote. Who thinks Love is a want? Most of the hands went up. Okay - who thinks it is a Need? And before I could say anything a 4 year old girl* sitting in front of me interrupted and said,
"you neeeeeeed love, because that's how God comes in your heart."
Amazing. When my friend did this with her 'kidlets', a child in her group observed,
"you need love, because if we are not loved, we will not learn how to love other people."
And isn't this what Jesus did for us?
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:10-11
*not to be too prideful - but the little 4 year old was my granddaughter