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1st Grade: God is Life

 

Blueprint Big Idea

Children are naturally pro-life, or “for” life. Just give your child an opportunity to care for an animal or tend to a plant and they rise to the occasion don’t they? Why? Because, like all of us, they are made to be life-giving! A powerful transaction takes place in your child’s life when they recognize life and its attributes. In fact, the sooner they can see life around them, the sooner they will sense the God, who is Life and from whom all life has its beginning. In a world that has so much death and negativity, we have the privilege of raising our children to be little ambassadors for the King of Life! It is never too early to teach your child how to be life-giving, and the first step in that process is helping them observe and experience life. The most powerful way to teach someone at any age to love life, is to reveal the truth about life and the five blueprints below will help you do just that!

 
 
 

Your child’s relationships

Learning to be a life-giving person starts with using appropriate speech. This is a good age to work on how your child communicates with you and others. In the beginning, God spoke all things in to being, and He has given us power when we speak. The Bible tells us our speech has the power of life and death, so it is never too early to train the tongue! Here’s an example of powerful words an adult might say joking to a child, “You were an accident” referring to a surprise pregnancy. You as a good parent would never intentionally harm your child, even with words. While this comment may seem funny or harmless, the truth is your child wasn’t an accident, regardless of your planning. In fact, if they were conceived things worked right! I have seen how one comment in a child’s life can cement a negative idea about their identity their parents never intended. All life comes from God and life is sacred to Him and no life, regardless of the story is ever an accident. The story you declare of your child’s life has a real impact on how your child views their identity and purpose so it’s good we all speak carefully. I understand wanting to be funny, I have done it as well. Let’s remember when we use language, we help frame the picture or image of life in our child’s mind and in the culture as well. We serve a God of Life so enjoy celebrating that reality with your kids by painting positive pictures with the words you speak!

 
Blueprint Truth #1
 

GOD IS LIFE, AND ALL OF CREATION FINDS ITS BEGINNING IN HIM

He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make.

- John 1:3

Biblical Background

Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For by Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers, rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things hold together.” God is the creator of the universe and all things begin in Him. In John 1:3 it says, “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being.” Genesis begins the creation story by revealing the earth as formless and void (Genesis 1:2), which shows the chaos that was present. Then God speaks as the universal voice of beginning, and all manner of light, life, day, night, land, plants and animals are created by the sound of His directive! Then God creates mankind, His crowning achievement! It is important to remember that when God brings forth life, He is committed to caring for that life and sustaining it so when God created man, He placed him in the Garden of Eden, the first culture of life. (Gen. 2:15) God put man in the life-giving environment He provided, and He expected Adam, the firstborn of all human beings to be a protector of that culture of life. He expects Adam to be a “husband” to the Garden of Eden, which means to tend to the life-giving culture and continue to protect, provide and be a priest in that setting. This is one of the many ways men reflect God’s nature and is part of manhood training. It isn’t too early to help little boys learn what men “do” and who they are to “be”!

 

Application

Your son or daughter will be excited to watch anything grow or come to life! If you can point out living things around the house or yard, it will awaken their awareness of life. Giving God credit helps cement the very important theology that all life comes from God. Here’s an example, when you are looking at plants, animals and other forms of living things say, “Honey, isn’t it amazing how God created such wonderful living things?” Additionally, teach your children to protect life by caring for it by feeding the pet, watering a plant, etc. Going on a nature walk is another fun way to see life. Outside play was a very important part of our children’s education. There is a sense of connectedness to God when we are in nature and it is far better to spend time in real places that have life, than for them to spend time in front of the screen. Their brains literally grow and change from experiences, so broaden their view of life by letting them experience whole person, life-giving settings and life-giving experiences.

 
 
Blueprint Truth #2
 

GOD IS THE AUTHOR AND GIVER OF LIFE

He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things. 

- Acts 17:25b

Biblical Background

Genesis chapter 1 tells the story of God speaking the whole creation into existence. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” God gave life to Adam, and later to Eve by handcrafting them and breathing “life” into them. It is the breath of life that causes us to be living beings, not just the material we are made of or the circumstances of our birth and God continues to be the giver of life today. His divine “passion for life” is transferred to people in a providential process called fertility in both men and women. Even with this amazing life-giving power in men and women, God is still the author of life, and it is necessary that the divine “breath” be given for life to exist. Acts 17:25b says, “Since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.” Isaiah 42:5 says, speaking of God, “...who gives breath to the people.” This Kingdom and earthly “reality” should cause us to value our lives even more and to allow God to take a lead role in all our “life” decisions.

 

Application

We sometimes mistakenly believe that we are somehow in charge of life. While we play an important role in His life “plan”, it is an awesome and humbling revelation to understand God is the author of all life! Every day we can be thankful just because we can breathe! What a precious truth to teach your children that all life originates from God. He is the author and the source. As you thank Him today for the gift of life you can tell your child you are grateful God gave them life! Even thanking God for life in your prayers with your kids will help cement this foundational truth. This reality also helps us explain the death of a loved one to our children because God is the King of a Kingdom of Life, so we can truthfully tell them that God is in charge of the complete life and death process and we can trust Him for that reason.

 

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Blueprint Truth #3
 

ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS TO GOD, BUT HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED

Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. 

- Genesis 1:26

Biblical Background

After God created Adam, the first man, He placed him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. He expected Adam to protect and care for this first “culture of life” (Genesis 2:15). After creating Eve, the first woman, God instructed both Adam and Eve to rule over the fish of the sea, birds of the sky and every living thing that moves on earth (Genesis 1:28) so God clearly placed man in charge of His creation before the fall (original sin). This important responsibility is still in place today, although it is much more difficult in a fallen world. In addition to this responsibility, man is the only living being that is created in God’s image. This truth sets him apart from all of creation. Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Man is unique because he is body, soul and spirit and has the ability to have relationships, to process thoughts, to reason and to reflect God’s nature in his actions as male and female beings. Animals are unique, special and loved by God. However, they do not compare to the apex of God’s creation - the unrepeatable, immortal soul called a human being, made in the image of God. People are the only part of His creation with an essence directly linked to His image.

 

Application

I think animals are amazing and I know children love to interact with animals. In fact, research shows children with pets are healthier and happier and so are their parents! One of the reasons is the therapeutic nature of the pet’s interaction with its owners if treated well. God made all of creation and as his people we are to steward it, so teaching your kids to protect and take care of pets and creation is wisdom. However, placing pets or any part of creation in the same “sacred” status as a human being is misunderstanding how God sees human life. Teaching your kids the truth about life includes elevating all human life in teachable moments. For instance, teaching them to greet grown-ups with a smile and a hand shake, giving grandma their chair and treating authorities with respect all help them frame a view of valuing and honoring people. Do not make your child the center of their world, but help them be other focused. I trust you have friendships with families of different races and nationalities to further cement God’s high view of all people, made in His image. Even the homeless man on the street deserves dignity so thank you for modeling this in front of your kids each time you interact with people everywhere!

 
 
Blueprint Truth #4
 

IN GOD ALONE IS ETERNAL LIFE

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever. 

- Psalm 16:11

Biblical Background

John 14:6 says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” After the fall of man, in Genesis 3, man died. Initially he died spiritually, and eventually he died physically. This reality has eternal ramifications for all mankind but God, the King of Life, did not design man for death, but for life. Now, with death as a result of sin, no human being can have a relationship with a Holy God without first dealing with his sin nature that enslaves him and separates Him from God. We have inherited a sinful nature from Adam (representing all mankind), not just actions but an intrinsic spiritual disease that needs restoration. Jesus, the second Adam, representing all mankind, is the perfect Savior and Redeemer that man needs in order to have eternal life with God. Romans 5:18-19 says, “So then, as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

 

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Application

We are all made for life, not death. You only need to have a loved one die and experience the shock of death to know this truth. God, through His Son Jesus Christ has made a way for us to have eternal life and your son or daughter will be glad to hear this great news! At this age talking to your kids about eternal things and having a relationship with God Himself will be an ongoing conversation. Obviously, equipping them to choose to accept the gift of eternal life for themselves is one key goal, but also having an eternal, Kingdom perspective on life will help you raise kids who don’t count on this life alone for all their joy. Life can be fun, but life away from God is no life at all. As a family, you can pray for loved ones and friends who do not know God yet and remind your kids that just because a person is not saved yet, does not mean God does not love them. He loves everyone made in His image and you can model this love by praying for them and loving them with the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit!

 

 
 
Blueprint Truth #5
 

GOD DESIGNED US TO BE “LIFE-GIVING”

 

May you be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

- Ephesians 3:19

 

Biblical Background

God’s purpose for our life has not changed. He has designed us to reflect Him, to love Him and to love others. He told Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply.” This meant the first couple were designed to be life-giving. We too are designed to be life-givers both physically as well as spiritually. We are to give the love and life of God to others so they may experience Christ Himself through us. Because Christ’s life is deposited in us through the Holy Spirit once we become a Christian, a follower of Christ, we should be giving life to those around us through our actions. Being “alive” in Christ gives us the ability to give life to others in such a way that they will want to know our Heavenly Father. In 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NAS) it says “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness’, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.” With God’s life in us, we can be overflowing with life to others. Psalm 36:9 (KJV) says, “For with Thee is the fountain of life.” There is a natural, noticeable proof of life in us and this life-giving gift is something your children can receive from God and then learn to give to others!

 

Application

Spiritual truth is refreshingly simple at times when it comes to what is real or genuine, because there is always proof. Your child can see life in a plant because it is obvious… they watch it grow! There are many ways to be life-giving that produce life: through our actions, our speech, our gentle love of those in need, our kindness to strangers, our respect for others and so on. Our behavior is like planting seeds of life or death. Teach your children how to plant seeds of life through their behavior and then look for proof in the results. For example, have them share their toys with their sibling. Ask them, “How do you think your brother felt getting to play with you and your toys?” Hopefully you will get a positive answer, but regardless, affirm the result that their sibling felt good, or happy. This is proof of life. You might also ask them how they felt, and they should feel good as well. If they don’t, fear not! Remember, parenting is an outside in job. You teach them to do the right thing and eventually their little heart will follow. Do not wait for them to “have a heart” for something good, it will take too long. It is always right, to do the right thing! If you are struggling to see any life in your child, remember they ultimately need life-giving salvation from their Heavenly Father in the work of Christ on the cross. They are spiritually dead in sin until that happens so they can “act” life-giving but when they have the Holy Spirit living in them, they will have a lot easier time of “being” life-giving.

 
 

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