Guest post by Kelly Finstrom & craft by Elizabeth Patton
Galatians 5:16-17,22 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with one another, so that you are not to do whatever you want…. But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL.”
Teaching and Living Out the Fruit of the Spirit at Home
We all as moms experience these traits off and on, generally when our children are behaving at their best. But what happens when they are NOT behaving like we have trained them to do? What happens when WE as moms stop behaving as the Lord has so clearly trained us to? Our flesh all too often stands in the way of the Spirit’s work.
Romans 8:5,6 ” Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is LIFE.”
Walking by the Spirit
When controlled by the Holy Spirit we die to ourselves but are given life!
Bearing fruit is completely unattainable by our own strength or our children’s. It is only through the Spirit’s work inside of us that we will be able to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to our families. It starts with us.
Think about what fruits of the Spirit are or have been taught well in your home. Which fruits are you or your children most struggling with?
The Bible is clear. Walk by the Spirit. Hold fast to God’s Word.
How can we practically do this? Focus on one fruit at a time.
Is kindness a struggle for you or your child? Find specific verses relating to kindness and pray for that fruit to grow over the course of a year or for however long it takes to take root.
You may ask, “What if my child doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ yet?” Is it possible for these fruits to be developed in their lives? What a relief that God’s control far outweighs our own. He will ultimately work in your child’s heart, but we as parents can train responses to life. Even unbelievers can benefit from the principles in Scripture.
Fruit of the Spirit Craft
You might also try this fun craft to help your kids learn these or incorporate one for a real fruit at breakfast or snack.
Love could be a red apple,
Joy could be a “smiling” banana,
Peace a pineapple,
Gentleness grapes and so on- whatever your kids will eat!
Here is a craft that your family might do to keep these in the forefront of your minds:
Make a construction paper tree- mine is about 18 inches tall but it can be as big or small as you want. You can even just draw a tree on a dry erase board OR your chalkboard OR hang them on a string. Then fold a piece of colored paper in half and make a fruit shaped “card”. This can be lots of different fruit or just one type for the whole tree. We used apples! On the outside I wrote a Fruit of the Spirit and on the inside I found a Bible verse that talked more about that Fruit. I tried to pick shorter verses for my young kids.
The kids got into it by helping trace the apples and cutting them out. We also ended up with a banana and a watermelon.
We spend time regularly working on pointing out and memorizing these verses as a family which are in a really visible place in our home so they can easily be part of the conversations we have on a daily basis.