From about Year 7, children are beginning to think independently of what their parents or other significant adults have taught them about values, ideas and foundational beliefs. The adolescent years can be a wonderful opportunity for building into the lives of young people. Parents, teachers and youth group leaders can take hold of this limited time to guide and listen to their youth, ask them questions to stimulate their thinking and help them come to learn good and practise worthwhile life skills.
The Peacemaker: Student Edition by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson is an excellent tool to help teens consider what conflict is, how they currently respond, how they could respond, the reasons behind responses to conflict and how they can choose to deal with conflicts in a way that will help them flourish and grow – in spite of what others do.
The book unashamedly presents the biblical response to peacemaking as the best response to conflicts but doesn’t provide “pie in the sky” or “pat” answers. It gets young people to reflect on situations and what God’s Word has to say on these, and provides practical strategies to everyday issues and conflicts faced by teens like bullying, parent/child disagreements, friendship issues and many others.
The twelve chapters and discussion questions at the end of the book provide an excellent basis for individual study or group discussion. If you are a parent, teacher, youth group leader or just love building into teenagers, consider buying The Peacemaker: Student Edition and going through it with your teen or group of teens!