How Can a Childhood Game Remind Us to Pursue Godly Behavior?  

How Can a Childhood Game Remind Us to Pursue Godly Behavior?   

Before the blog post … I have EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!

I’m delighted to introduce my beautiful book cover! I absolutely love it and hope you do, too. I can’t wait to see it wrapped around the words God led me to write.

Bold Vision Books, my fantastic publisher, will release the book in late August 2023!

Watch for A Place at His Table: God’s Daily Gifts to Satisfy Your Heart, a 40-day devotional.

And now, let’s focus on

How Can a Childhood Game Remind Us to Pursue Godly Behavior?  

When I read 1 Timothy 6 last week, the childhood game Red Light, Green Light popped into my mind. Paul’s words in this letter instructed the Ephesian church pastor, Timothy, and they teach us today. From this passage we learn to stop and go—stop certain behaviors and go forward with others.

My childhood friends on Summer Hill Drive and I played Red Light, Green Light under the streetlights on warm evenings. We stood in a horizontal line while the leader walked a distance away and counted aloud with her back to us.  

We’d run forward as she counted until she said, “Red light.” The object was to assume the role of leader by arriving at her location first.  She’d count, “One, two, three, four … red light!” Then she’d spin around to see if anyone was still moving.

When we stopped on the call of “red light,” we stayed secure in our advanced location. If she caught us moving, she sent us back to the starting line. She could count to three or further, so we ran fast and listened carefully.

Stop and go on cue were the winning strategy words.

Our loving parents also spoke in stop and go language to teach us. We made progress toward healthy adulthood when we stopped one behavior, pivoted, and moved toward better conduct.  

  • “Stop talking on the phone and finish your homework.”
  • “Stop running in the house and go clean your room.”
  • “Stop watching TV. Go outside to get some sunshine and exercise.”

Even as adults, we sometimes hear directions, such as “Stop eating cholesterol-laden foods and choose more fruits and vegetables.”

How can the childhood game of Red Light, Green Light and the directions we hear from medical professionals remind us of Paul’s teachings?

Although a Christian’s relationship with God remains secure, the Bible teaches us many stop and go lessons.

Although a Christian’s relationship with God remains secure, the Bible teaches us many stop and go lessons. Click To Tweet

One of the blessings of the Christian faith includes the assurance God accepts us based on a personal relationship with Christ, not on our daily performance or lifetime achievements.

Still, because we love God and want to serve Him, we pay attention to the Bible’s stop and go lessons.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

Paul instructed Timothy and urged him to identify and guard against false teaching (1 Timothy 6:3-5) and an unhealthy craving for money (vv. 8-10). He encouraged Timothy and all believers to stop those behaviors—to “flee those things” (v. 11).

Paul’s inspired words tell us to “Fight the good fight of the faith” (v. 12) against those sins.  

When we fight against something because of our love for God, we flee. We pivot quickly and run in the opposite direction with a better goal in mind.  

After telling Timothy (and us) which behaviors to avoid, Paul gave the green light. His list of behaviors and attributes help us move toward a goal of godliness.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:11-12 ESV

When we pursue a goal, we want to remove hindrances, fix our eyes on the finish line, and use the tools God gives us “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10 ESV).

This week I plan to pray this verse.

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.”

Psalm 25:4 ESV

When I read my Bible, I want to pay close attention to the stop and go instructions I read—the behaviors and attitudes I need to flee and the actions God promises to work into my life. Perhaps you’d like to join me.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3 ESV

Your Turn

Please share your thoughts on how Christians can pursue the qualities listed in verse 11 above. Thank you for contributing your ideas.

Here’s another announcement: Book winners!

As I promised in the last post, I drew names from the readers who left a comment.  

Congratulations to these two winners!

Peggy Ellis won a copy of Katherine Pasour’s book, Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle.

Yvonne Morgan won a copy of Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart by Marilyn Nutter and April White.

I highly recommend both books, as well as the others I included in the last post.

May 9, 2023 post on

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35 thoughts on “How Can a Childhood Game Remind Us to Pursue Godly Behavior?  

  1. What a great analogy that I can apply to my life. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thanks, Deanna, for your encouraging words. I’m glad you found the post helpful.

  2. Excellent analogy, Jeannie! I played that game but must admit I never connected it with Timothy. Thanks for the book–Katherine certainly lives her words.

    • I didn’t connect the game to biblical instruction either, Peggy—until recently. I pray the analogy helps us notice the “stop and go” parts of Scripture. However, I’m grateful God’s acceptance of us does not depend on our conduct.

  3. Oops! Jeannie, I neglected to tell you how much I admire your bookcover! It’s beautiful!

  4. Love your book cover!

    As I read your article today, I was remind that when I was a child someone at church called this process of fleeing the things that would ensnare us as “tennis shoe theology.”

  5. Evelyn Mason Wells

    First: Congratulations on picking the most beautiful book cover I’ve ever seen; it is beautiful!!!

    What a wonderful Bible study you have written for today! It went right along with my study this morning and gave me further encouragement. Thank you, Jeannie. I’m so proud of you.

    For Christians to stay on track, I believe we must monitor what entertainment we choose. That includes the things we read, the movies/television shows we watch, the music we listen to, and the way we dress, and especially the way we treat others. I believe we can honor God in these things.

    Thank you for sharing this great message!

    • Evelyn, I’m thrilled you love the cover, too. Isn’t God amazing—to align the verses I used with truth you were studying? Thank you for wise reminders about the choices we make.

  6. Beautiful analogy, Jeannie.
    That was a fun game and an enjoyable memory.
    I will join you in praying, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.”
    Your book cover is totally beautiful and inviting.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Connie, I’m glad you’re joining me. When I read a long psalm this morning, I saw one “stop” behavior repeated three times, and many “go toward” ways we need to follow. He answers when we seek. I’m delighted you like my book cover!

  7. First, a big congratulations on your upcoming book release! Second, I love this post. Who couldn’t relate to that old childhood game, Red Light Green Light? To best pursue the godly qualities Paul speaks of, I think we must view our earthly lives through an eternal lens. Our final destination.

    • Candyce, thank you for reminding us to view our lives through an eternal lens. This perspective guides our thinking and fuels our determination to serve God as He enables us. Thank you for celebrating my book. I’m SO excited!

  8. Your book cover is beautiful, Jeannie and I’m looking forward to its release. Please sign me up for your launch team so I can help spread the word! Loved your message today. Red Light, Green Light, when used so effectively by your analysis, shows us the pathway to many inspiring messages in Scripture to guide our pathway. Thank you for sharing Honoring God with My Body with Peggy. So kind of you.

  9. Katherine, thank you so much for volunteering to help me launch “A Place at His Table” and for celebrating with me. How kind! I was happy to share your wonderful book, and Peggy is grateful to have it. Like you, I’m grateful for the guidance God gives us in His Word.

  10. Jeannie, the book cover is lovely. I’m sure the words to be inside that you have labored over to reveal His Truths, are outstanding, as well. I am so proud of my friend!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you, Fran. Your comments on my posts mean so much. I’m glad you like the cover as much as I do. I’m grateful for God’s guidance and opportunities.

  11. “When we fight against something because of our love for God, we flee.” How true this is. I think this is the result of grace. God gives us grace and forgiveness and that creates in us the desire to avoid what is wrong. (I remember playing “red light green light” too.)

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post and I love the book cover. I can’t wait to read this beautiful book!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I agree, Barbara. God’s grace and forgiveness will our hearts with gratitude and a desire to please Him. Thank you for such encouraging words.

  12. Your words offer a wonderful balance of the grace of God and our responsibility to live according to His ways. I agree God’s Word is the most reliable way to know God’s red and green lights. Of course, His Spirit communicates with our spirit to lead us to apply the Word properly. Thank you, Jeannie!

    • Yes, Annie, and aren’t we thankful the Holy Spirit guides us? I’m glad you mentioned His grace and our responsibility. We make the choice to obey, but God enables and strengthens us. I’m grateful for your response.

  13. Love the book cover Jeannie, it’s beautiful. Love your analogy of the game and Paul’s words. That will be a good way to explain this scripture to a child. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m happy you like the book cover, Pam. I’m glad you mentioned the red light-green light analogy as a way to help children understand obedience to God . If we pair that teaching with the teachings of a relationship with Christ and God’s mercy and grace, children would learn life-long values. Appreciate your wise input!

  14. Beautiful book cover! Thank you for this inspiring message. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  15. I appreciate your kind comments, Melissa, and I’m glad you like the book cover as much as I do. Aren’t we grateful God’s Word draws us closer to Him and teaches us more about Him when we read it?

  16. Such a great analogy and application Ms. Jeannie. Sure enjoyed this post ma’am. I remember that game as a child too. And love your book cover. I can almost picture you in my mind when I look at it. “That’s a Ms. Jeannie book right there!” 🙂 Am so excited for your publishing adventure ma’am, and can’t wait to get hold of my copies.

    • J.D., I appreciate you sharing my joy . I’m grateful to our kind Lord for His blessings. The ideas God led me to write in this post have helped my Bible study this week. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  17. I was so excited to win a copy of Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart by Marilyn Nutter and April White. I’m taking it with me to read at Blue Ridge. Thank you Jeannie.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I’m glad you like it, Yvonne, and plan to read it at the conference. I’ve enjoyed my copy. Enjoy the BRMCWC.

  18. So excited for you and this amazing book! It is going to bless so many ♥️.

    For me to pursue the things of God and respond in a way that is pleasing to Him, I must have an active relationship with Him. I notice when I begin falling into bad habits and attitudes, there’s usually a connection between that and the lack of time I’ve spent in God’s Word/prayer. I’m so grateful for the reminder to be in the Word.

    • Thank you for sharing my excitement, Stacey. I’m grateful for this opportunity. I agree our prayer life and Bible study keep us on track, and I appreciate you mentioning that point.

  19. Jeannie, you’re so right — stop and go cues from God are all around us, we just need to quit running too fast to notice them. I’m sure I’ll remember your analogy when I’m stuck at a traffic light this week. 🙂

    Your book cover is lovely! Congratulations again on your devotional book and please let us know when you’re looking for launch team members.

  20. I remember that game. It was fun, and you’ve drawn a good lesson from it for living our lives as those who want to please our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Jeannie. Love your new book cover!

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