I love summer because there’s more free time to build relationships with our children through fun activities! How about also using some of that free time to help develop godly character in your children by talking about the Fruit of the Spirit?
I’m super excited to share some lessons on building godly character that were written by my dear friend, Kris Hage. I’ll be sharing one of her character building articles each week through the summer with fun activities to incorporate into your week.
This week we’ll focus on PEACE, something we all need in this time of uncertainty with the pandemic and civil unrest that we’ve been experiencing. God promises us peace that passes all understanding as we seek Him and His strength. What a great truth to teach our children! Developing the faith to rest in God in ALL circumstances will benefit them throughout their life.
This article on peace is reprinted with permission of Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators. It originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of The Paper MACHE (now called Homeschool Now Minnesota). Visit MACHE.org.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23, 25
What comes to your mind when you think of peace? Sitting by a calm lake at sunset? Your children playing together nicely or being away at their grandparents’ house? No war among nations? A bird sheltered in the rocks during a raging storm? Some night at dinner, share as a family and see what peace means to your children. You may gain some helpful insights.
Jesus is our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He brings us PEACE WITH GOD since he took the punishment we deserve on the cross of Calvary. He brings us the PEACE OF GOD after we accept his gracious gift, thanking him for giving us his righteousness, since we have none of our own (Isaiah 61:10, Romans 3:10-12).
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Exploring God’s Word
Having peace with God is the most important truth you can share with your children. Their souls are eternal, and they will live forever with God in heaven or separated from God in hell. Sharing God’s Word and praying for their salvation must be top priority every day.
The apostles knew this as they wrote letters to their spiritual children in the New Testament churches. Paul, Peter, and John all began with “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” followed by clear explanation of the gospel.
This is also the focus of our Christmas celebration. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. Luke 2:10-14
That holy baby grew up to be our Savior, since “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace…” Isaiah 53:5. Believing in him brings us peace and hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
The result of peace with God is the daily peace of God to carry us through life until we spend eternity with our Savior. God promises in Isaiah 26:3 to keep us in perfect peace if our minds are stayed on him, trusting in him. It is a peace that the world cannot give us. Jesus told his disciples that it was his perfect peace that he was leaving with them in John 14:27. In his sermon on the Mount of Olives, he gave a blessing to those who were peacemakers on earth (Matthew 5:9). Wise people make peace, for James tells us that the wisdom from God is first pure, then peaceable (James 3:17-18). This peace from God is beyond our understanding, especially when we pour out our hearts in prayer to God, thanking him for everything. He promises to guard our hearts and our minds in his peace, no matter what the circumstances, in those precious verses of Philippians 4:6-7.
Putting It Into Practice
A Book without Words
A wonderful aid for explaining the gospel to children is the Wordless Book, published by Child Evangelism Fellowship. You may purchase one from them or make your own with one sheet each of construction paper in this order: green (for the cover), gold, black, red, and white. Fold the pages in half and staple in the middle to make each child his own box. Green reminds us we need to grow spiritually after God saves us; gold speaks of our eternal home in heaven. The black page pictures our dark, sinful hearts that must be changed by the blood of Jesus Christ (the red page). Then God says our hearts will be whiter than snow.
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Have you ever wondered how Daniel in Daniel chapter 6 was so peaceful, putting up no fight nor showing great anxiety when the king commanded he be thrown to the lions? Because of the amazing drama that occurs once Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den, we often miss the background reason for his peace. The key is in verse 10:
“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” (Italics mine)
Read this incredible example of the peace of Philippians 4:6-7 with your children. They may enjoy making Daniel and some hungry lions in a den while you read, with just some construction paper or a whole story layout from Debbie Jackson on biblefunforkids.com
Use the following verses where God commands us to live in peace with others as a morning devotion, where the children look up the scriptures and read them aloud, or as the Sword Drill game we learned in our lesson on Joy (PaperMACHE Summer 2018 issue or the Fruit of the Spirit Series ~ JOY)
Romans 12:18, Psalm 34:14, Ephesians 4:1-3, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Colossians 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:22
Jesus is the Sweetest Name
Prince of Peace is only one of Jesus’ many names in the Bible. Since Christmas is such a busy time, why not plan early and let your children enjoy making some Christmas ornaments over the summer – you can use them for decoration as well as a reminder of who our precious Savior is. You can purchase inexpensive wooden shapes (stars, circles, etc.) at your favorite craft store or save some frozen juice can lids. Print the desired names on cardstock, by hand or on the computer; glue them on the ornaments and decorate; glue a ribbon to the back for hanging.
Some names to consider: Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Light of the world, the Way-Truth-Life, Great Shepherd, Emmanuel, Son of Man, Messiah, Bread of Life, I AM, the Word…
 All scriptures taken from the English Standard Version.
 For an impressive study, see Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:3, 2 Cor. 1:2, Gal. 1:3, Eph. 1:2, Phil. 1:2, Col. 1:2, 1 Thess. 1:1, 2 Thess. 1:2, 1 Tim. 1:2, 2 Tim. 1:2, Titus 1:4, Philemon vs. 3, 1 Peter 1:2, 2 Peter 1:2, Rev. 1:4.
 See cefpress.com for Wordless Book with explanation of colors in a leaflet “How to Lead a Child to Christ” and demo of the song that goes with the colors.
 Wonderful Names of our Wonderful Lord by Charles Hurlburt & T.C. Horton is a great resource for Bible names of the Lord, complete with scripture references.
Download a free lesson on PEACE from Growing the Fruit of the Spirit ~ A Guide for Family Bible Time
Interested in purchasing Growing the Fruit of the Spirit? Click HERE
Please share some ideas for how you teach your children about finding peace in the comments!