I’ve had so much on my heart and mind this week. I feel like I have at least 5 topics to write about but everything in me (well, the organizes, control-freak in me) says I NEED to finish writing about the fruit of the Spirit, first! So here we go!
We finished the fruit of the Spirit with gentleness and self-control. And now Abby can recite the verses which is awesome! (See link at the end of this post.)
Gentleness is an interesting topic to try to discuss with children. Because we have a baby in the house, they know exactly what it means to be gentle with their bodies. They can demonstrate a gentle touch versus a rough one, no problem! But applying that to their hearts can be a tricky concept for young minds. I’ve said it before, kids only understand what they understand–it’s futile to try to get them to comprehend something that’s above their mental maturity level. That’s why I love the verse we used for gentleness–it’s perfect for Abby, my little girly girl. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Abby loves all things jewelry and make-up. I explained to her that while those things are fine, they shouldn’t be the only thing that make us “beautiful” and that God wants us to have a gentle and quiet spirit (something I struggle with, myself). This means not getting angry easily, not outbursting over little things. This is so hard to do! And we can’t be this way all the time on our own, that’s why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. So to help us remember to not outburst when we’re angry, we made stress balls in the shapes of grapes, our representational fruit! (Okay, you have to use your imagination a little.)
They came out pretty cute and the kids enjoyed them for about 5 minutes. Then Noah bit his and got a mouthful of flour which was unpleasant (but yay for natural consequences) and Abby’s has disappeared. But planting seeds, I’m just planting seeds. I’m sure in our homeschooling adventures we’ll revisit the fruit of the Spirit and I hope they remember some of these activities which will help the meaning of the verse stick. 🙂
So, self-control. This is probably the biggest reason I even wanted to do a unit on the fruit of the Spirit! Like most 5 year old girls, we struggle with controlling our emotions around here. And like most 3 year old boys, we also struggle with controlling our bodies (especially when we’re angry). And unfortunately, this fruit sort of fell flat. Maybe I should’ve started with it since it was one I wanted to emphasize the most, but I think because we saved it until the end, we were just a little “over” the unit. The verse we used was 2 Timothy 1:7: “God didn’t give us a spirit that makes us weak and fearful. He gave us a spirit that gives us power and love. It helps us control ourselves.” I love this verse because it culminates our unit, in a way. It talks about the Spirit of God helping us to control ourselves, just like it gives us all the other attributes we learned about throughout the unit! We talked about some of the actions we need to control about ourselves and I also thought it was a good opportunity to talk about impulse control and “wanting” so many toys/things and being envious of others. I meant to watch the Veggie Tales movie “Madame Blueberry” and talk about how she had to learn to control her spending, but we never did. Strawberry was our fruit for self-control and I made strawberry smoothies to go with dinner that night! To wrap up our unit, I started making some homemade play dough which is scented like different fruits. I’ve only made 2 so far, but we have all winter! They’re super easy, fun, and smell great!
Here’s the recipe…
In a saucepan over medium heat, mix:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 TB salt
- 2 TB cream of tartar
- 2 TB vegetable oil
- 3 oz pack of Jell-O
Once the mixture comes together, dump it out of the saucepan and knead with extra flour until it forms workable “play” dough! So easy! (A little messy, but fun!)
I’m glad we did this unit. I do hope the activities will be remembered and referenced as Randy and I continue to educate our children. Now, I think it’s time to focus on just our schoolwork without adding “extra” supplements for a little while. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work! Maybe these posts gave you some ideas of things to do with your own children to help impress God’s Word on their hearts… 🙂
Here’s Abby reciting the fruits of the Spirit:
One thought on “Final Fruits: Gentleness & Self-Control”
Very nice reminder Bethany, thank you. Even though my children are older (6 & 11) I think I’ll try to get this lesson across to the whole family with the stress ball activity and reading. My oldest just told me he wanted one recently, coincidentally.