Our world can be such an overwhelming place, and often because of this feeling we can get lost in the many details of our daily lives. I sometimes look around and wish I could find a simple way to just take a breath and focus on what’s truly important. It was one of these moments that led me to a common method used to find calm in the middle of life’s chaos. It’s a technique called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and it helps by letting you focus on the things near you in order to allow you to see more clearly what it is that’s truly important. Most of the time this technique would be used to reduce anxiety, calm your breathing, or simply to help oneself relax, but when I started thinking about the many times parents have asked me how they can share such an immense concept like the gospel with their children (often times adding that they were worried they might mess up), it seemed this specific technique might be a perfect fit for connecting a child’s own heart and mind to the important message of God’s love.
5 – Ask your child to name 5 of their favorite things in nature.
Tell: Did you know God created/made all of those things? God made the whole world and everything in it, on it, and around it. And He made all of this because of love. (Genesis 1)
4 – Ask your child to name 4 of their favorite people.
Tell: Did you know that God even created people? You’re a people/a person and so am I. He made people because He wanted something in His Creation that was an image of Him (looked like). But how do we know what God looks like? (Genesis 2)
3 – Help your child to think of one thing that has 3 parts (like a flower: roots, stem, bloom or a tree: roots, trunk, leaves or pizza: crust, sauce, cheese or an apple: peel, flesh, core/seeds or a face: eyes, nose, mouth or a train: the engine, the cars, the caboose)
Tell: Did you know that God is 3 in one? He is God, the Father. God, the Son (Jesus), and God, the Holy Spirit. He is three parts that make up one whole. And those three parts are always loving each other, always sharing with each other, always helping each other…God is a picture of love, because He is love. (Genesis 1: 26-27 & 1 John 4:8)
2 – Ask your child to think of 2 things they would be sad about if they were lost.
Tell: Did you know that a very long time ago, 2 of God’s most favorite things were lost? When God first made everything, He made a special garden, and in the garden, He put the very first two people, a boy and a girl named Adam and Eve. The garden was beautiful. It was full of every wonderful thing. It was such a special place, God would even come to walk in the beautiful garden with Adam and Eve.
God loved Adam and Eve and wanted them to be happy, healthy, and safe, so He gave them a special rule, but one day Adam and Eve chose not to follow God’s rule. They listened to a sneaky snake named Satan instead of listening to God. The sneaky snake didn’t love Adam and Eve, and he didn’t want them to be happy, healthy, and safe. He only cared about himself. Because Adam and Eve listened the sneaky snake and chose to break God’s special rule, it meant they would have to leave the beautiful garden forever and be away from God. (Genesis 3)
1 – Ask your child to tell you the 1 thing they love the very most.
Tell: God didn’t want people to be away from Him, He loved them too much, so He gave them the most precious gift, a gift that would let people choose to be close to Him again. God, the Father, gave the people of the world His One and only Son, Jesus, and Jesus’ love was so perfect it made the special way for people to get back to God. God loves us so much, He wants each of us to be close to Him, and that means you, too. He wants you to know Him and believe in Who He is. He even gave us a very special book to help us learn all about Him, it’s called the Bible.
When we believe in Who God is, and believe in His Son, Jesus, we can find the way to be close to God, and close to His love. (John 3:16)
The way to do that is to:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11
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