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5th Grade: God is One

 

Blueprint Big Idea

God is a powerful example of unity and wholeness as Father, Son and Holy Spirit reside as one. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” This Jewish declaration was intended to teach us there is only one God, and interestingly the word “one” doesn’t mean singleness, but unity. This is the same word is used in Genesis 2:24 where husband and wife are “one” flesh. This important concept of unity and wholeness comes at a time in your child’s life when the concept of unity and wholeness will have a big impact on all of their relationships. For this reason, it is a great time to focus on their five aspects: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. Integrating their five aspects will help them understand the importance of being whole, why making good choices is important and how their decisions and actions will impact them completely. This is also an important time show them how to have healthy friendships and why unity is key in all of their relationships. Students in 5th grade care about their friendships and need guidance to be successful. They also are beginning to change physically, as well as in other aspects so it is an exciting time for sure. The five blueprints below will help you navigate these new relationship waters!

 
 
 

Your child’s relationships

Your son or daughter is sensing their own sexuality (male or female nature) now more than ever. They are also noticing the opposite sex, but generally don’t want to be too close and are more comfortable with their own sex. This is normal and part of identifying with their own sex. You can help them by affirming their friendships and reminding them to be kind to everyone, including the opposite sex. Don’t encourage boyfriends or girlfriends but rather having friends in general and being a good friend. At this age it is important to be “active” to bring the body to the forefront in their thinking and unify their thoughts about their body as a part of who they are. Integrating their body is key to future success in living with sexual integrity. You can help by planning physical activities for your family such as hiking, skiing, swimming, camping, bike riding, etc. After all, kids who are healthy and physically active do better in school and in life. It is especially important at this age so they gain some confidence in what they can do physically and some competency in activities. We are a fairly athletic family, so we always had our kids in team sports, but didn’t’ let sports take over our lives. We had a ping pong table, foosball table, badminton, croquet and other equipment at home that didn’t require a team or lots of money to help them gain hand eye coordination and then of course bicycles, scooters, hiking, swimming and skiing lessons. We bought second hand equipment just to give them a taste of each sport. Three of our kids ended up being college athletes, but more importantly they learned to integrate their mind, body and soul.

 
Blueprint Truth #1
 

GOD IS A UNION: FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.

- Genesis 1:26a

Biblical Background

God is three persons, in one God-head. God is a communion, or union, of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we see this represented in Genesis 1:26a, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” God is the first and most complete example of unity in a relationship. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” In His communication, Jesus made it clear that He and the Father were one and His actions continually revealed how important their unity was to His mission. John 17:22 says, “That they (His followers) may be one, just as we are one.” Unity is an important principle in Scripture, especially in relationships. Ephesians 4:2-6 says, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” This is such a great declaration for unity!

 

Application

The Trinity, three distinct persons in one God-head, is not an easy mystery to understand but your child can learn about the Trinity with your help. Along with this important truth, now is an important time in their life for you to help them learn that when we are unified in any relationship, we are happy and successful. Let’s be honest, even pirates will succeed if they are in agreement! Fundraising for a cause or playing on a team can help them learn teamwork and unity with friends. God has a unified picture in mind for your family so for your family to function best, you need to be one. How are you doing? I think this is such a challenge in a busy world! Dad and Mom, your unity with God, then each other are your top priorities, followed by unity and closeness with your kids. If you are a single parent, your unity with God comes first, then your children. Creating unity as a family can be as simple as having dinner together most nights and going to church on Sunday. Research on both of these activities is clear in their effectiveness in building unity, overall health and even future sexual decision making. Working together on a project, ministering to someone, having people in your home, playing together, taking trips and special vacations together, and even watching quality movies are all good unity builders. One of the greatest deterrents to unity is overuse of technology. If you and your kids are often in front of screens, rather than interacting face to face, it will diminish the “real” unity in your home. We are made to be whole and so our best bonding experiences are in person activities where we engage our whole being. Have fun!

 
 
Blueprint Truth #2
 

WE ARE DESIGNED TO LIVE AS WHOLE PEOPLE

And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. 

- Genesis 1:28

Biblical Background

God created people to be whole, unified and life-giving like Him. In Genesis 1:28, it says, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” God intended for Adam and Eve to produce fruit in all aspects of their being. They were designed male and female (their sex) with five aspects: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. God’s intent for them was to express their male and female nature in all five of these aspects and thus represent God’s nature and expand the Kingdom of God. This is one reason our sex is so important, it helps us be image bearers of our King. We are created to live in agreement with our design as male and female, through all five aspects and of course we add to this our unique personalities, gifts, talents and purpose. This “sexual integrity”, or sexual wholeness, was the original intent for Adam and Eve’s design and their relationships and this is God’s intent for us as well. Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.” God intends for us to be whole or complete so we can “be” who He made us to be. James 1:4 says, “Let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The word perfect here also means whole.

 

Application

At this pivotal age, your son or daughter needs to learn that sex is not an act. Sex means being male or female, which was determined biologically when they were conceived. Of course, sex can be expressed physically, but that is only one expression through one aspect of their whole being. Your son or daughter also needs to know that God designed them to be healthy and whole. Wholeness, and our desire to live whole impacts us daily in big and little ways. One way to emphasize this with your son or daughter is to ask, “How do you feel if the last puzzle piece is missing, or if you miss the last part of a movie?” Try ordering a pizza for them and take one piece out and see how they react. It feels strange not to have completion, in part, because we were made for wholeness! When we feel incomplete, it reminds us that our Creator made us with a longing that ultimately only He can fill. However, learning to live whole or complete in our human relations helps us live according to His intentional design. Being whole just feels better! One activity we did around January in the Abbott household to remind our kids they are a whole person, was to set yearly goals. We started this when the kids were very young so we would have them list (or tell us and we wrote it) their goals for growth in all five aspects. I remember the year one of our boys wanted to move boxes for someone (somehow this was appealing at the time) and he wanted to learn to make cookies (he did both). Often, throughout the year one of the kids would declare, “I reached one of my goals!” This practice created an environment of goal setting that has paid off as the kids have become adults and are self-motivated. All kids are different, so goal setting may not appeal to some of them, but it still teaches an integrated approach to life. One of our adult married daughters is really motivated by goal setting and continues to achieve in business with surprising and successful milestones that continue to amaze her family, so it may influence one of your kids as well. Goal setting is also an important deterrent to bad decision making because there is an “investment” in their own future plans. The ability to think about the future is not typical for kids or teens, but it can be learned, and research shows it makes a difference in sexual choices.

 

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Blueprint Truth #3
 

GOD CREATED US MALE AND FEMALE, ON PURPOSE!

And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 

- Genesis 1:27

Biblical Background

In the beginning God created mankind. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” Man is the only created being with an essence linked to God’s image! Then, in Genesis 1:27, it says, “In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” God intentionally designed mankind with two distinct sexual natures, male and female to reflect Him and show different aspects of His nature. What an amazing idea! Men and women are equal, but distinctly different so they may be able to accomplish the same tasks, but will likely manage the process differently. This is good because God does not need redundancy in His Kingdom, but unique capabilities that function together in power. When God made Adam and Eve, He gave them dominion over everything as vice regents on His behalf. Dominion includes the idea of power and it’s important to note that both Adam and Eve had power in their design and dignity in who they were, prior to marriage. This shows us that men and women can, and should be whole and healthy, living in agreement with their unique design in both singleness and marriage. If marriage occurs, then God’s intentional design of men and women as a powerful plan for wholeness, completion, unity and relationship continues. He brings the woman and man together in Genesis 2:24 for the first marriage, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” In God’s “reality,” one plus one makes one. This natural outcome of male and female relationships does not mean we must all be married (statistically though, marriage is the norm), but it shows a natural progression to a unified, whole relationship that is a holy picture of Christ and the church.

 

Application

Have you noticed how “naturally” our male and female relationships move toward unity, or oneness? Why do you think boys and girls notice each other or “like” each other? There is a natural draw, because there is a supernatural plan. This is not an accident, and it is in fact, a positive, powerful prescription. Of course, wise adults want to help young ones postpone this “oneness” until the kids become mature young adults who are whole and integrated. To help your son or daughter prepare for any future relationship, the healthiest thing they can do is practice “being” whole and living with integrity in all five of their aspects as they mature. Both of these truths are key to their success throughout their whole life. A key to unlock the power of being who God made us to “be” someone unique is to embrace and express our male or female nature. Sex is not just an act, it is being male and female. Many of us have grown up believing sex was just physical, but it is so much more. It is our male or female nature, expressed in all five aspects of our being: physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual. When we integrate our sexuality (male or female nature) successfully in all five aspects, we are living with sexual integrity. Therefore, your key job as a parent is to validate your child’s sex and help them understand their body, their brain and fertility design, their boy or girl tendencies, their unique personality and their gifting. Their individual package is powerful, and once they gain confidence in who they are, they will also gain competence in what they can do. The sky’s the limit!

 
 
Blueprint Truth #4
 

UNITY IS NECESSARY FOR GODLY RELATIONSHIPS

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. 

- Ephesians 4:15

Biblical Background

God is at work on behalf of all mankind to bring us in to unity with Himself and each other through the work of Christ. Ephesians 1:13 says, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.” As the body of Christ, we are called to walk in unity. I Corinthians 12:25 says, “That there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” The body of Christ, meaning the church worldwide, is a union of believers, who all represent God. Each individual is given particular gifts and opportunities to accomplish a greater work than they could do alone. I Corinthians 12:14 says, “For the body is not one member, but many.” Unity as a body of believers is the key to being like Christ. Philippians 2:2-7 says, “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

 

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Application

The Bible tells us that unity starts first with an attitude of humility, like Jesus had, and humility is key to becoming who God intends us to be. James 4:6b says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Helping your son or daughter be successful in their relationships requires this important foundation. Humility doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want confident or competent kids, but it means that while they learn various skills and have opportunities to excel, they need to treat others with respect and dignity. Your kids need your help to learn humility by treating all people appropriately and you will have to insist on it and model it. Why is this important at this age? Modesty is a form of humility and at this tender age, you kids need help socially making friends. Modesty (humility) says, “I don’t need to put too much of ‘me’ in front of you to get you to like me. I will let you know things about me in the natural, proper time.” Nobody responds well to immodesty, and examples of immodesty are bragging, wearing inappropriate clothes and sharing too much information on social networking websites (your 5th grader is too young for this anyway!). When kids are taught to be humble, they have healthier friendships and more people like them. Nobody likes to hear someone brag or wants to see someone in inappropriate, immodest clothing. What are these people saying with their behavior? NOTICE ME! LIKE ME! Sadly, it causes people to do just the opposite, and stay away. Unity is created by humility. When you are humble, it makes others want to know you and your accomplishments! Others will want to be your friend and protect you.

 

 
 
Blueprint Truth #5
 

WALKING IN LOVE CREATES TRUE UNITY

 

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 

- Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Biblical Background

Scripture clearly states the importance of love being a verb! I John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” The phrase, “God is love” means He is the source of love. I John 3:14 says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” These are very powerful words! I John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world.” Finally, in I John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (I John is an amazing book on love, life and light!)

 

Application

God’s love is so powerful, He equates it with life and the lack of love with death. Understanding love and its place in relationships needs to be a priority in your parenting. If you want your son or daughter to someday find “true love” that will last, they need to recognize “real love” now. Many of us have been disappointed by someone who said they would love us but didn’t, and those wounds go very deep. We can’t let this stop God from showing us His love so we can show it to our kids, and help them love others authentically. One way we can help our kids love others is to help them be life-giving. The verse above, I John 3:18 says not to love with words, but this doesn’t mean words don’t matter, because they do. It means actions matter as well. I have used a phrase with our kids since they were young and I still use it with adults, “I believe behavior.” Your actions show someone true love because sometimes words are easy but there is no follow through. Life-giving deeds are part of teaching love to your kids, including doing chores at home, serving others, going last in line, helping their coach, doing something nice for a friend and so on. Have them act loving with their body to cement the truth about love. Their body records this, and we want their body to “know” truth so it will be less tempted to lie in the future. Their actions need to be life-giving, but their speech needs to be filled with life-giving words as well. Teasing friends may seem fine, but have you noticed some so-called teasing is really a put down in disguise? This sarcastic humor isn’t good, and easily becomes a habit. Teach your kids that words, especially words that “define” someone, need to build up not bring the person down. In the verses above, we also learn that to love the world or lust after worldly things will be a distraction to real love. Your kids are becoming aware of fashion, cars, fame and more. Enjoying something is different than loving it. Lust is an obsessive “want”, but how does lust start? We all want our kids to have some nice things, but the challenge is how much is too much? Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself: 1. Does your child say thank you? 2. Do they seem grateful? 3. Do they seem satisfied, or is there always something more on their “list” of wants? 4. Are they generous or selfish? Lust is total selfishness. The boy or girl who cannot hear the word “NO” will become the teen who will not say no to themselves or other pleasures.

 
 

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