Monday, May 9, 2011

Some Unlikely Characters

If your kids are anything like mine, they are very familiar with "Bible characters." Abraham, Joseph, Peter, King David, Ruth, Paul....these are names we know well at our house.

But the Bible includes a few characters that we had never learned about. They are tucked away in the book of Proverbs. For the last few months, the girls and I have been studying one of these characters. His name?

The sluggard.

Proverbs has many verses about him. We get to know Mr. Sluggard through these verses. All we did is read a verse each day, talk about it, and then they illustrated it in their journals. (You can click on the pictures to make them larger.)

From Little Bit's journal:
How long will you lie there O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
The neighbors have come to stare in amazement that the sluggard is still in bed---forever!

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
This diligent man is mowing his yard while his lovely wife brings him a drink. On the left, the sluggard is wondering why he doesn't have a pretty wife to bring him a drink.

So what does he do about it? Why he lays in bed and dreams about the things he would like to have.
 These next ones are from Sweetheart's journal:
The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
I think this is the first one we did as it was so easy to understand.

Sorry, this one is blurry.
 The verse, "like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to they eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him" was harder for them to understand. The point is, he's irritating. I had them dip their finger in vinegar and rub it on their teeth. We talked about the smoke in our eyes while camping. Then Sweetheart drew the above picture of the sluggard hired to do a job and the boss coming back to check his work. On the left, she illustrated the vinegar and smoke references.

Her take on the diligent man versus the sluggard. Mr. Diligent married the woman of his dreams.

Mr. Sluggard just sits at home and dreams of a wife.

They have really gotten to know the sluggard through this. I believe that's why he's included in Proverbs---if you get to know him--you'll recognize him when you see him in real life. He's become part of our daily language.

Me: "Girls, let's pick up all this stuff in the living room. We don't want your dad to come home to this."
Little Bit: "Yeah, he'll think the sluggard has been here!"

They have pointed out things that look "like the sluggard did it" (done lazily and not well). We have said, "Let's __________, because we don't want to be like the sluggard!"

He is a warning in scripture against laziness. He's a good character to get to know.

There are others in Proverbs. The "strange woman", "the fool", etc. We'll be studying those as well. I believe that by getting to know these characters, our children (and ourselves) are guarded against becoming like them.

You should try it! Study the sluggard with your children. You can make it as simple as drawing in a journal. We had to google a few things--such as a "stone wall" so that they could understand what to draw when the sluggard's wall fell down. It was so simple to do but has made an impact on their lives.

Here are the sluggard verses for you to study with your family.


  1. Oh, that's really good, Brenda.

  2. Fabulous Brenda, love the creative flair w/ the journals... precious!

  3. I love that idea! I think it's hilarious that the theme of "work hard, find a wife" is repeated in their drawings, lol!

  4. Yeah, I'm not sure why that is....but I have to say "don't marry a slacker" is a good message for them to get!! :)

  5. Love your idea about studying the "characters" in Proverbs! I will definitely be using this idea...Mr. Sluggard has been visiting my house a lot lately!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)