Teach Kids the Fruit of the Spirit as You Grow In Them, Too
“The fruit of the spirit’s not a watermelon….SQUISH!” I heard this sung from the girls room as giggles rang out loudly. (If you grew up in a baptist church in the south like me, you might know the song I’m talking about. Doesn’t it make you feel nostalgic?) There’s not much sweeter to my ears than hearing my girls' laughter while learning biblical truths at the same time. I know there’s nothing in the bible about a watermelon, but the fruits of the spirit are there and they are the real deal. I used to look at the fruits of the spirit like a 20 year old’s waistline, completely unattainable and something that I would never see happen in my life as a parent. Patience? HA! Peace?!?! NO WAY!
As I taught my three girls this silly song from my childhood, I learned a few things about the fruits of the spirit myself. No, they are not a watermelon or a coconut - but they are also not as unattainable as I imagined either. You see, I’m not exactly the picture of “grace and calm.” I have a bit of a feisty attitude and have a few opinions of my own from time to time. I have always felt like there was something wrong with me and I was doing something wrong until I learned the truth - God made me this way! He created every feisty, opinionated bone in my body, and He is not the least bit surprised by how I turned out.
While I want my children to learn these incredible attributes given to us by the Holy Spirit, I also want them to know that no matter how they were created - it’s possible to obtain each one of these fruits for their lives! When I realized that truth, it was lif-altering for me. I don’t have to try to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to pretend to be quiet and meek when God made me loud and strong!
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
The Holy Spirit that lives in you is the same Holy Spirit that lives inside your kiddos. There’s not a dumbed down version of the Holy Spirit! There’s not a specific Holy Spirit for the lady that sits on the front row at church that has never lifted her voice above a whisper. There’s not a different Holy Spirit for those of us that struggle with patience and gentleness (and don’t even get me started on self-control!). God is so good in his mercy and grace that He gave each one of us His spirit to cover us with this amazing fruit in our lives.
Don’t be afraid to have fun and teach your children about how good God is to us! I have never forgotten the fruits of the spirit since I was a child and learned that silly song. I just hope that it doesn’t take my kids until they are in their 30’s like it did me to understand how sweet that fruit really is. I encourage you to instill a culture of sweet, life giving fruit with your families where you take deep bites of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Make it a part of your everyday life where they begin to see how the Holy Spirit is working and guiding in you and in them with the amazing gifts we’ve been given.
Looking for a helpful tool in teaching your kiddos about the Fruit of the Spirit? Check out Micah's Super Vlog on JellyTelly. This fun and quick show will jumpstart your conversations about what it means to follow Jesus as you join Micah and his friends on their adventures of exploring faith.
Kara-Kae James is the founder and Executive Director of Thrive Moms. She is a pastor's wife and mom of four who loves to empower imperfect moms to live in God's perfect grace.