“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:1-3
One of the many exciting activities here at Calvin Christian is an opportunity for all junior high students to have a time to meet in small groups of students, with a parent or staff member, and to think about how the gospel is relevant to their everyday lives. The goal for the sixth grade curriculum is to help students learn ways to avoid conflict and to resolve conflict in a biblical, Christ-centered way. Throughout the first semester our sixth graders have been going over how to respond biblically to bullying, and, for the rest of the year, they will be looking at peacemaking principles found in the Bible and how to apply them to their relationships and conflicts.
The curriculum will be based on The Peacemaker, a book written by Ken Sande. In The Peacemaker Ken Sande lays out what he calls the Four G’s: The four major principles from the Bible on how to be a peacemaker and resolve personal conflicts:
Glorify God: The ultimate goal for every christian is to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 3:17) and, by our conduct toward one another, bring glory to the God who made us and redeemed us (Isaiah 60:21).
Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye: Part of resolving conflict is having a willingness to be humble and honest about your own contributions to a conflict, apologize and ask for forgiveness (Matt 7:5).
Gently Restore: Once we have apologized for our contribution, we can then go to those who have sinned against us and gently show them their fault in order to win them over to Christ and restore the relationship (Matt 18:15, 2 Tim 2:24-26).
Go and be Reconciled: After apologizing and then showing our brother how they have sinned against us, we can then work toward restoring the relationship as we forgive one another, just as in Christ God forgave us (Eph 4:32).
This outline for conflict resolution is a radically different way to approach conflict and it will be a blessing to your student and your entire family, just as it has been a blessing to me. I would encourage parents to read The Peacemaker and to be talking to their children about biblical peacemaking as they learn these principles and how to apply them to the conflicts they find themselves in every day as we all continue to grow and build one another up in the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16).