This study guide focuses on the topic of peace, providing suggestions on how to increase peace in your family and how you can work to pursue peace with all.
Suggested studies and discussions that optimize lessons, concepts and activities from the Encourage, Equip & Inspire parenting manual are listed for a four-week period. Options are not listed in a daily order. Simply choose the options that best fit your family and schedule.
Ideas for specific ages
This age group can be notorious for temper tantrums. Strive to be aware of your preschooler’s barriers to peace—triggers and indicators that may lead to a challenging situation. Help your child learn to manage those triggers where possible. Stay calm and set the example as a peacemaker. Children this age are sponges: they are watching us closely to see how we handle situations, including their acts of defiance.
Our example, as always, continues to be crucial for this age. Let your grade-schooler see you working through a conflict peacefully with proper resolution skills. The Bible shows us clearly that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. People will have differing viewpoints on these and other matters. Show your children that it’s okay to discuss these matters respectfully, standing up for what is clearly right and wrong, but it’s not okay to mock and attack. Discuss real-life scenarios that require us to pursue peace as much as depends on us.
Open and honest communication is essential for true peace in relationships. As with grade-schoolers, model peace consistently through conflict resolution and communication skills that encourage dialogue. When a breakdown in a relationship happens, help your children identify why it happened, then seek solutions. Practice empathy and forgiveness, and when needed, help your children identify how and with whom to establish boundaries.
These are dynamic years of growth and development for your child. Friendships will develop and shift; some will become well-established for years to come, while others may end abruptly. Outside influences like jobs, education, and current events will constantly be impacting your teen. Be a safe zone for your child, a refuge in the storm. Encourage your teens to have a solid foundation in God’s Word and to develop a close relationship with God the Father. He is the God of peace.
☐ Read through the Shepherding the Heart study “Peace” Make it your personal Bible study focus, looking up and meditating on why each scripture reference has been included.
☐ Identify your barriers to peace. Write down a list of those barriers that you are personally struggling with. Write down a separate list of those barriers to peace that you are observing in your family, or any areas that can be improved upon.
☐ What practical coping methods for peace (as listed in the “Peace” lesson) can you begin implementing today? Write those down and get to work!
☐ Write out a definition of peace on poster board, card stock, or your choice of any paper, and display it. Young children might enjoy putting stickers on the poster each time you teach them something about peace.
☐ Write out one or two scriptures that inspire peace, either from the content of the “Peace” lesson—including the Guard and Guide Scriptures or the Further Recommended Reading section—or choose your own. Review the scriptures daily.
☐ Focus your prayers on asking God for help in being in harmony with Him and His will. Ask for His mercy and to show you how peace can be multiplied in your life.
☐ Continue in your prayers for peace. Ask God to soften your heart and the hearts of those in your family to be more receptive in becoming peacemakers. Pray for peace in the home.
☐ Each day this week, read one section of Psalm 119 (this long acrostic psalm is broken up into 22 sections based on the 22 Hebrew letters of the alphabet). Reflect on how you, like the psalmist, can keep God’s law with your whole heart.
☐ Study the People of the Bible lesson “Abigail, the Peacemaker." What traits made Abigail a peacemaker, especially when dealing with foolish and angry people? With your family, discuss words and actions that may calm an angry or tense situation.
☐ Choose one of the three following scriptures from the “Which Scriptures?” segment in the Memorizing Scripture section and do the activity with your child: Psalm 119:11 (page 9), Psalm 119:97 (page 11), Philippians 4:11 (page 17). If you have older children, encourage a dialogue about what the verse means, and discuss how it is relevant to the topic of peace and how we can apply it in our daily lives.
☐ Do some research on conflict resolution skills (you could start with a search for “conflict resolution” on LifeHopeandTruth.com). Actively practice these in the home in front of your children with members of the family and others you’re in regular contact with.
☐ Each day this week, read another section of Psalm 119. Reflect on how you are uplifted by God’s law.
☐ Continue in your prayers for peace. Pray for peace within your own country and community and for wisdom for those in governing positions, as instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-3.
☐ Study the People of the Bible lesson “Barnabas, Man of Encouragement.” How did Barnabas behave during a time when Christians were being regularly persecuted for their beliefs? With your family, discuss ways you can edify and encourage others, just like Barnabas.
☐ Write out Romans 14:19. In the “Peace” lesson, read the Guide and Guard scripture analysis on this verse and implement any ideas that may work for you and your family. Discuss the wisdom of avoiding contentious disputes.
☐ Discuss how every day we are fighting a spiritual battle. Download and print the “A for Armor of God” page from our “A to Z Bible Coloring Pages” in the Additional Resources section of our website. Once colored, display it in a prominent location.
☐ Download and print the “Copy and Clip Wraparound Templates” from the Additional Resources section on our website. Use the armor of God template on page 6 to create a teaching tool as you discuss Ephesians 6:11-17 with your children.
☐ Read through the Shepherding the Heart lesson “Peace” again. Implement any ideas you haven’t yet that you think would benefit your family. Assess your and your family’s progress.
☐ Continue in your prayers for peace. Pray for peace within God’s Church and for the ultimate peace that will exist under God’s Kingdom. By this point, you will likely notice how much more often and in how many ways you can be praying for God’s peace on a regular basis. Continue those prayers beyond this monthly study.
☐ This week, finish reading Psalm 119. Meditate on your love for God’s law.
☐ Reflect on why the armor of God described in Ephesians 6 is established with the gospel of peace. Discuss with your children why good footgear is important, especially for a soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3).
☐ Review our “Feast of Tabernacles” lesson in the Word of God section. Meditate on what true, lasting peace under Jesus Christ’s rule in God’s Kingdom will look like. What are some ways you can reflect it now?
☐ Create and present your child with a “Certificate of Peace” for completing this focused study on pursuing peace this month.
Further Your Study
Just how do you wage battle with peace? What are some common barriers to peace and what can you do about them? Learn the answers to these questions and how to actively pursue the peace of God within your family Read More >
Abigail the Peacemaker
During a dangerously tense moment between her brash and foolish husband, Nabal, and the anointed King of Israel, David, Abigail spoke and acted with wisdom and respect. She bravely forged a path of peace and saved hundreds of lives. Learn Read More >
Just where do you begin with memory scriptures? Choose from these 21 verses about God, His Word, and His instructions to get started. Creative interactions are included to help engage your children and reinforce the meaning of the scriptures. Read More >
Barnabas, Man of Encouragement
During the trials, persecutions, and growing pains of the early New Testament Church, the apostle Barnabas was there to uplift and motivate others. Be inspired by this story of generosity, humility, and faith. Read More >
A to Z Bible Coloring Pages
A is for Armor of God. B is for Bible. C is for Creation. Enjoy our coloring pages featuring biblical concepts or people in the Bible for each letter of the alphabet. Read More >
Copy and Clip Wraparound Templates
Create this engaging activity using yarn and some basic office supplies, and test your memory skills of Bible knowledge. You and your children will enjoy matching the 10 Commandments, the armor of God, and the 10 plagues of Egypt. Read More >
Feast of Tabernacles
This seven-day festival pictures the establishment of the Kingdom of God, beginning with the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth commonly called “the Millennium.” Review with your children the miraculous transformation of all creation that will occur Read More >