Is. 54:13 All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.
Well, you’ve made it to week 3! My hope and prayer is that you are beginning to see the fruit of some of the seeds you are sowing in the hearts of your children. Don’t forget to pray that God waters and nourishes the seeds.
This week is all about Peace. Again, you will notice that we begin by talking about God as the source of peace, and that Jesus brought us peace by His death on the cross. Love, Joy, and Peace have these in common.
A motto for this week can be: “Without Grace There is No Peace!“
The week will begin by defining peace and reading scriptures about how God is our Peace. Then you will present the Gospel again, by talking about how God’s just wrath was satisfied by Jesus’ death on the cross. We now have peace with God because the sin debt has been paid in full. Next, we will talk about how as Christians, we are warriors on a battlefield, and how Satan wants to make our minds a place of worry and stress. You will discover how God can bring peace to an anxious and worried mind. (I have to admit, day three really excites me! Make sure you don’t skip it!). Next, you will talk with your kids about how obeying God (and you) will lead to peace and that when we sin, we step out of the safety and security God’s peace brings. Finally, you will round out the week by encouraging your kids to be peacemakers at their school, church, and with their brothers/sisters.
PARENT OVERVIEW FOR THIS WEEK:
Need to print this outline? Go here.
DAY ONE: God is the Source and Giver of Peace
- Have a piece of poster board, or just a regular sheet of paper with two columns
- At the beginning of the week, look at the definition of peace listed in the outline for day one. Write these words on sheets of paper and hang them up all around the house. Let them stay there for the entire week. For example, you might hang “safety” on the front door, and “security” on the kitchen refrigerator. You can also hang up other synonyms for peace. It would be good to choose one to hang in each child’s room.
DAY TWO: Peace Comes Through Jesus’ Death on the Cross: Without Grace There is No Peace
- On this day you will use the well-known peace sign to make a point that the peace Jesus brings is different from the world’s. Use the example I give to draw your own.
DAY THREE: Peace of the Mind: The Battlefield of the Mind and The Armor of God
- Today’s activity is going to be especially fun for young boys, but girls can join in the action too! Teenagers won’t want to act out a battle scene with toys, but there is plenty of content that they need to hear and talk about. If you have teens, make sure you read through the day first, and pick out what you feel is important for them to know about peace of the mind. They are the age group that will struggle with worry, anxiety, and insecurity the most. DON’T SKIP THIS DAY!!
- You will need action figures or dolls OR your child can draw a battle scene on paper
- Print out the diagram of a soldier with the armor of God labelled (use this for ANY age).
- Choose a listed scripture on the printouts page to memorize with your family.
DAY FOUR: Peace Comes With Obedience
- Use this printout of the Circle of Blessing or draw it on your own.
- You will also need a storybook Bible for toddlers/preschoolers if you have them because you are going to read the story of Jonah as a family.
DAY FIVE: Being a Peacemaker
- Sheets of paper and pens for optional writing
FRUIT OF THE WEEK: Grapes
EVERY MORNING THIS WEEK GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH:
“Grace and peace to you through Jesus Christ” AND/OR “Shalom”
DAY ONE: GOD IS THE SOURCE AND GIVER OF PEACE
Verse for the day: Psalm 29:11 “The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.”
Song to Sing: “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”
- Using a piece of poster board, or just an 8.5×11 sheet of paper, make two columns.
- Ask your children to define “peace” and give you examples or words that describe peace. Write them in one column.
- Then ask them to come up with words and examples that would be the opposite of peace and list them in the other column.
- Talk about the two lists–drawing any comparisons with what you notice in your own family. If your kids are too young to come up with the lists, you can do it and then explain the words you have listed.
- Next, introduce the Hebrew word for peace: Shalom and practice saying it together.
- Share this definition (pick the words that will make the most sense to your kiddos): “peace, calm, safety, well-being; wholeness; peace can have a focus of security, safety which can bring feelings of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment.”
- Ask your kids: Have there been times when you haven’t felt peaceful? Talk about those times together.
- Tell them: “One of the judges of the Israelites, named Gideon, actually built an altar/special place and named it “God is Peace”.
- God is our peace. You can find calm, rest, safety, and satisfaction in Him and Him alone.
- Read back over the list of words that describe peace and tell your kids that God provides all of these for us.
- Finish by reading Is. 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my promise of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you, and turn it into a prayer, “Lord thank you for your compassion for us. As your children you promise that even if the mountains should crumble or be taken away, your peace will not be taken away from us. No matter what happens around us, your peace is always available for us. Help us to turn to you for peace.“
DAY TWO: PEACE COMES THROUGH CHRIST’S WORK ON THE CROSS
Today’s Verse: Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
ACTIVITY: The true peace sign.
- In John 14:27, Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.“
- The peace that Jesus gives to those who follow Him is different from the peace the world gives.
- Ask your older children to compare/contrast what the world sees as peace and what God sees as peace. If you only have younger children, talk a little bit about how the world views peace and how it is different from the peace God gives. (You could even give examples about wars in other countries, where they may try to make peace but it just doesn’t work).
- Hold up the peace sign you or your child drew and then draw another circle, but this time put a cross in it.
- Say, “This is our peace sign. Only Jesus can give us true peace.”
- “Why do you think the cross is our peace sign?” Allow your kids to answer.
- “Did you know that the Bible says that before we came to believe in Christ that we were enemies of God? Colossians 1:21 says “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” Because we were born sinners and God is holy and just, we were outside of His family and were against Him.
- Remember Romans 3:23 and 6:23? All humans have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard and the punishment for our sin is death. We all deserve to be punished by God.
- BUT, Is. 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.“
- This means that Jesus took God’s punishment and wrath toward sin instead of us. For the moment that Jesus was on the cross, all our sin was put on Him, and God looked away from Him. That is why Jesus cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken/left me?” God and sin cannot co-exist and Jesus willingly took on our sin and experienced separation from God the Father in that moment so that we would no longer be enemies of God.
- Read all of this passage and then take some time to make sure your kids understand it:
Col. 1:19 “For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”
This is why the prophet Isaiah called Jesus the Prince of Peace:
Is. 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
And it is why the angels said to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
- Hopefully you have been greeting one another this week with “Grace and peace to you” so your family is familiar with the phrase. Say to your kids: “Did you know that several of the books and letters in the New Testament begin with the greeting: Grace and Peace to you? It is used in 12 of the NT books/letters. Paul, Peter, and John don’t say Peace and Grace to you because they know that without God’s Grace, there can’t be peace.
Grace and Peace: You can’t have peace until you have grace. Without grace there is no peace.
- Close with prayer and have your kids pray and thank God for His grace. Thank Jesus for taking God’s wrath and punishment so that we would no longer be God’s enemy, but His family. Thank Him for bringing peace.
(Another great passage to read and discuss if you have time later in the week, and especially if you have older kids/teens, is Ephesians Chapter 2. I will include the entire passage from the New Living Translation in the printouts for this week. This translation will immediately make sense to your kids, and give them deeper understanding of the peace Jesus purchased for us.)
DAY THREE: BRINGING PEACE TO THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND
Verse for the day: Is. 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
A note to parents: The content of today’s lesson is definitely geared toward older children, but there are verses that you can talk about with your younger child. Most children aged 3-6 have not yet encountered circumstances which cause worry or anxiety. Believe it or not, your 7-10 yr old may be experiencing anxiety, even if he/she doesn’t know how to express it. I know our oldest child had some experiences in her second grade year that brought worry and anxiety to her mind. If you have children aged 8-18 in your household, really spend some quality time discussing these verses and talking about the worries your child may be experiencing. Talk about your own worries and the thoughts that cause anxiety in your mind. Be open and honest about your insecurities. The mind is our battlefield. So today we are going to be using that metaphor to teach our children about peace of the mind. If you have sons, they will love this activity. Throughout the lesson, they are going to act out with their action figures different aspects of a battle. If you have girls, they could draw it out, or get some of their dolls and pretend one set of dolls is the enemy and the other set of dolls is God’s army. This activity should stick with your kids. If you have teens, just talk about the verses and concepts below without “acting out” a battle. You could still use the printout of the soldier when describing the armor of God. You can also choose between the two activities: either the battle field or the armor of God. You can also split it into two days if you want to.
ACTIVITY: War Zone and the Armor of God
- If you have a boy, have him pull out his toys/legos/action figures and construct a battlefield on your living room floor. He can do this earlier in the day before you meet as a family. He will undoubtedly have a side with good guys and a side with bad guys.
- If you only have girls (as we do), you could have them draw a picture of a battlefield, using specific colors to set apart one side from the other or have them pull out their dolls and choose which side is the enemy and which side is God’s army.
- One side will be labeled : THE ENEMY (SATAN AND HIS FORCES)
- The other side: THE ARMY OF GOD (if your children are believers, remind them that they are warriors!)
- If you can, find a figure that represents Jesus, or have your daughters draw Jesus prominently on the army of God side. Explain that when Jesus died on the cross and rose again, God won the war. God already has the victory. Satan is already defeated.
- This is such an important concept for all of us to realize: THE WAR HAS BEEN WON!
- But, we do face battles everyday, and those battles take place in our minds. Our own thoughts and thoughts Satan plants in our mind can wage war with our peace.
- As children of God, we are warriors. We fight these battles but remember God the victor is on our side, and we have the victory in Christ Jesus.
- Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Explain what it means to your younger kids, and/or ask your older kids what the verse means.
- We are fighting a battle and waging war against Satan
- We are fighting against the false teachings, and human-made rules/philosophies that are lies and stand against the truth of scripture. Have your children name some of these false teachings. If they don’t know, take this opportunity to bring out some of the lies that permeate our culture today.
- Our weapons are supernatural.
- We have to take every thought captive. Have your children demonstrate what it is to take an enemy captive. Every thought that enters your mind, or every time you hear someone talk about what they think is true–we have to take that captive and see if it holds up to God’s standard of truth.
- Read Ephesians 6: 10-18
- Use the printout of the soldier to describe each piece of armor to your child.
- Point out that our enemy, Satan is constantly shooting darts/arrows into our mind. He wants us to doubt God and doubt His promises.
- Show your kids how faith and trust in God shields them from the arrows and how the helmet of salvation protects their minds.
- THIS IS KEY! It is the fact that we are saved, holy, redeemed children of God that keeps our mind at peace and free from the enemy’s flaming arrows and lies. If we really believe we are who God says we are, and He is who He says He is, our mind is protected and at peace (see Beth Moore’s Believing God for the entire “shield of faith”.)
- Finally, talk about the sword of the Spirit–THE BIBLE! Explain that knowing the Bible is the only weapon we are given to actually fight the enemy. The other parts of the armor protect us from the darts and arrows. The sword fights and defeats our enemy. We have to learn how to fight with the sword. We have to memorize and know God’s Word!
- “When Satan comes at you with a lie, you can speak out the truth against it and destroy that lie with the sword of truth”
For Teens and Older Children–In Conclusion: On the printouts section, I have listed several verses. Read them and decide which one you want to memorize as a family. Remember, we must learn to wield the Sword of the Spirit and memorizing scripture is the way to do it!
DAY FOUR: PEACE COMES WITH OBEDIENCE
Today’s Verse: Is. 32:17 “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”
ACTIVITY: Not Like Jonah!
- For toddlers and preschoolers, read the story of Jonah from your children’s Bible/Storybook. You could even act out the story with them.
- For older children/teens have them read the story of Jonah from the Bible. You don’t have to read all the chapters, but definitely include the part where Jonah disobeys God, and how God responds to that disobedience. Also read what happens when he obeys God, and how the violent people of Nineveh heed God’s warning change to a peaceful people.
- This next portion is taken from Ted Tripp’s book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”. Printout this wonderful example, or on a sheet of paper draw a circle. This is the circle of blessing. Draw a stick figure in the circle and write the words: peace, safety, joy.
- “When we obey God, we remain in the circle. Even though we may go through hard times and sad times, we can still have peace in our hearts when we obey Him. When we sin, we step outside the circle.”
- Draw a stick figure outside the circle and write the words: danger, painful consequences, unsafe, easily attacked by Satan, etc. or just use the above printout.
- “When we are outside the circle of blessing, we are putting ourselves in danger. As God’s children, He will convict us of sin and call us back into the circle–back into safety and into the joy and peace of walking with Him. Sometimes, God will discipline us in order to get us back in the circle.”
- “When you are outside the circle, you won’t have a peace in your heart. The Holy Spirit will give you an unrest–a “red flag” to say stop! Go back into the circle!”
- “When you disobey mommy and daddy, you are disobeying God. He knows when you have sinned, and you can’t run away from Him. Jonah thought he could, but God knew him and found him! God loves you so much, He will do what it takes to bring His child back to the circle of peace and blessing.”
- Read Heb. 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
- This might be a good time for you as a parent to share about times when you disobeyed God and how you felt inside. Also talk about the circumstances around you, and how God showed you that living outside the circle of blessing only brings stress, anxiety, pain, and danger.
- Close by reading the verse for the day and Isaiah 48:18: “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”
- Pray: “Lord, please teach us that obeying you leads to life and peace. We know as believers in Christ we are forgiven, but you desire obedience from us. It proves that we love you and that we are your followers. When we sin, please convict us and show us our wayward heart. Show us that no sin escapes your notice and we can’t hide it from you. Show us our sinful ways, discipline us, and help us to see how different life is when we live in the circle of blessing each day.”
SOME OPTIONAL VERSES THAT ARE GREAT FOR THIS LESSON:
Mal. 2:6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. (When we walk in obedience, we can have an amazing affect on other people to help them turn from sin).
Prov. 16:7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. (This might be very encouraging if your child is being bullied or treated unfairly at school).
Is. 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (Walking uprightly doesn’t mean we are perfect. It means that when we sin and God convicts us, we obey and get back into the circle of blessing.)
Is. 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (If you have older kids/teens who are struggling with an unbeliever who is making evil choices, or if they know about some of the wicked leaders in this world, this verse might be a good talking point.)
DAY FIVE: BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
“Be a peacemaker not a peacekeeper” Beth Moore
Verse for Today: Col. 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Psalm 34:14 “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
- Ask your children, “What does it mean for the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts?”
- “What would our home be like if we let Jesus’ peace rule and be in charge?”
- Have your kids think and write down some thoughts/answers to this question. Or, just discuss your answers together.
- Rom. 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. How could we do that for each other?
- Read the following two verses. Have older kids read them from their Bibles:
- Matt. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
- James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
- Did you know that peacemaking and peacekeeping are very different?
- Peacemakers: See a problem or sinful behavior and talk with the other person about it in truth and in love. They try to help the other person see their wayward way with gentleness and respect.
- Peacekeepers: Don’t warn people of their sin because they don’t want that other person to get mad at them or not like them.
- Peacemaking parents: Discipline their kids calmly even if it results in crying or having their kid mad at them, because peacemaking parents know that if their children go without a consequence for their sinful behavior, it will follow them into adulthood, and they will experience much more pain outside the circle of blessing. A great verse for this is: Prov. 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.”
- Peacekeeping parents: Avoid true discipline because they don’t want their child to be upset. They want their child to like them and not be upset with them. The end result is more pain and strife in the future and a break in the parental/child relationship.
- Now have your kids give examples of how they could make peace with their siblings. Let them discover if they are peacemakers or peacekeepers. Remind them that peacemaking isn’t yelling the truth at one another. Sure, Martha may have taken your doll, but speaking in anger back to her isn’t peacemaking. Remember, peacemakers SOW IN PEACE. They plant seeds of peace.
- Help your kids realize that they are planting seeds in each others’ hearts. If they sow seeds of peace, they will harvest righteousness and peace from their brother or sister. (This can apply to friends at school too!)
- Conclude with prayer, asking God to help you be true peacemakers. Is. 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”