Eat the filling and put the two chocolate cookies back together. Is this an Oreo?
No! Without the filling the cookie is no longer an Oreo. It does have the delicious cookies from the ends still, each stamped with the word “Oreo,” but the lack of the middle changes everything!
As parents and teachers we want children to have strong values and live good lives. We want the little ones to grow up able to change the world for good. Parents want what is best for their children! It is clear in Deuteronomy 6 that the calling to be a mom or a dad is God given and a beautiful responsibility.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
We want our children to have strong values and know that without Jesus at the center of our lives, something will be missing. Good values could lead to a happy life. Jesus being the center leads to eternal life.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” The Bible in Romans 10:9-10 ESV
Children are wonderfully curious! They want to know what things are. They ask why and how things work, giving moms and dads many opportunities to answer questions. This Oreo Object Lesson is for parents to use to talk about the Gospel centered life.
Oreo Object Lesson
1. Show your child a few Oreo cookies. Depending on the age and needs of your child, you may want him or her to eat one now or wait until after you talk.
2. Eat the filling of an Oreo.
3. Put the two chocolate cookies back together.
4. Showing your child the reassembled, empty sandwich cookie, ask: Is this an Oreo?
5. Let your child respond.
If she says no, ask: Why not? Why do you say that? (she will probably say, because it has no filling/stuffing)
If she says yes, ask: How it is still an Oreo? (point out that there is no filling)
6. Based on your child’s reply, respond to their thoughts.
7. Ask, How is an Oreo that has no filling like a life without Jesus?
8. Respond based on your child’s response. Right, we can have good, strong values and help other people but those actions don’t make us Christians. A Christian is a follower of Jesus, filled with His Holy Spirit. An Oreo cookie isn’t an Oreo without the stuff in the middle! A person isn’t a Christian without receiving Jesus as Savior!
9. Share Bible verses with your child, such as Romans 10:9-10 and ask: How can someone be saved from their sin (wrong thoughts, wrong actions, missing God’s standard of perfection)? How can we live with Jesus and the Gospel as the focus?
10. Based on their response share the Gospel and continue the conversation with your child. An Oreo cookie isn’t an Oreo without the stuff in the middle! A person isn’t a Christian without receiving Jesus as Savior, even when a life looks good from the outside.
Matthew 19:13-15 is a great passage! Children were brought to Jesus but the disciples rebuked them. “but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.” (Matthew 19:14-15 ESV) Jesus wants the children to come to Him, the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these!
This Oreo Object Lesson is just one way to bring up living for Jesus and the Gospel centered life with your child. An Oreo cookie isn’t an Oreo without the stuff in the middle! A person isn’t a Christian without receiving Jesus as Savior.
Children ask questions and you, as mom or dad, have the wonderful calling to answer! Deuteronomy 6:20-25 speaks of what the Israelite parents were to reply when their children wondered about the meaning of the testimonies and statues and rules. We were slaves and the Lord brought us out, parents were to begin explaining. When sharing the Gospel (the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus), share your own story, your testimony. We are saved now because the Lord brought us out of slavery to sin and into His freedom. How did you learn about Jesus, the cross, and the empty grave? How has this changed your life? How does it affect your life now? You don’t have to figure out how to be a perfect person or spotless parent before sharing your testimony. Your honesty and heart for the Gospel matter.
You have been chosen by God to raise your children!
Keep up the beautiful work!
What are ways your family conversations have been turned to focus on the Lord?
What tips do you have for being open to conversations like these as Christian parents, caregivers, and teachers?