Sweet, soft hearts

Science with a twist

Compare hard lumps of brown sugar with soft lumps.

Discussion point: We need to let the Holy Spirit help us have soft hearts that are sensitive to others and adaptable to change.

To do this experiment, you will need some lumps of hardened brown sugar and a cookie tray for each child.

  • Have your children sit at a table with a lump of sugar on a tray in front of them. Allow them to feel the lump and try to squeeze or shape it. They may succeed in breaking the lump, but they will not be able to mould it. Liken this to when people have “hard hearts” and are stubborn toward God.
  • Finish day one of the experiment by having each child place their sugar in a zipper-lock plastic bag. Slice an apple and have each child to put an apple slice in the bag with their brown sugar.
  • Enjoy eating the rest of the apple slices – plain or dipped in more brown sugar – as you read Proverbs 28:14 and Zechariah 7:12 and review the discussion questions.
  • The next day, have your children open their bag of sugar and try the same experiment. This time the sugar will be soft and mouldable. Liken this to having soft hearts toward God. Pray together and ask God to give you hearts that are willing to be moulded by Him.
Questions for discussion
  • Why couldn’t you shape the hard sugar?
  • What does it mean to be “hard-hearted”?
  • In Zechariah 17:12, how did the people make God very angry?
  • What did the sugar absorb to make it soft again?
  • How can we make sure our hearts are soft?
  • What do you think God would say about your heart?
Key concepts

People with “hard hearts” are stubborn and unwilling to change. On the other hand, soft-hearted people are more sensitive and adaptable. When our hearts are hard, God may have to “break us” to get our attention and to change our attitudes. Life is much sweeter when we let the Holy Spirit soften our hearts to give us Christ-like attitudes.

Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 28:14 “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Zechariah 7:12  “They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts.