Failing to resist temptation will leave a child open to sin. Let’s face it—children are naturally impulsive. Kids need to have the spiritual skill set necessary to be victorious continuously. These object lessons will demonstrate the importance of resisting temptation and show kids how to do it.
We recommend using these visuals in conjunction with the scripture reference James 4:7 (NIV), “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Alternately, you could use the Lord’s Prayer example in Matthew 6:13 (NIV), “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
The story of Jesus resisting Satan with scripture is a powerful image for children. It may help to review the temptation of Christ starting in Matthew 4:1.
Temptation Object Lessons from Francis Chan
Object Lesson: Tug of War
You’ll need a big rope and a handkerchief for this visual aid. Tie the large handkerchief to the center area of the rope. Have two volunteers hold each end of the rope. If the rope is too long then have them hold it about 6 to 8 feet from the center. Also, dress the volunteers one in a black shirt and one in a white shirt.
Have the volunteers pull and tug on the rope so the children can watch for a few seconds. Explain to kids that the person in the white shirt is a Christian; trying to do the right things and make the right choices. Point out that the person in the black shirt is the enemy, the tempter who is constantly pulling on us to make the wrong choices.
Show the handkerchief to the children and tell them that hankie represents any temptation. It may the temptation to tell a lie or steal some sweets. It can big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter if it is temptation. Tell the kids to watch the tug of war.
Talk to the volunteers about the tug of war before you begin. Explain that you want the tug of war to remain equal with no one winning. After a while tell the class that you know a way that the Christian can win. You might kid around a little and say, “A Superman cape!” or “A magic spell!”
Introduce kids to scriptures that will fight back the enemy’s tug of war. Demonstrate the child winning the fight by using scripture.
Tell kids that temptation happens to everyone. Temptation isn’t sin yet, but it is what makes sin be born. Tell kids that they need a temptation toolbox to help them be strong. Set a toolbox on a demonstration table. Open it towards you so the kids can’t see what’s in it. In the toolbox place temptation-fighting scriptures on slips of paper. Place these papers inside the temptation tool box.
Invite kids to ask you what scriptures will be good for fighting specific temptations. Tell kids they should say them out loud so the enemy can hear!