patience, kindness, generosity,
and self control.”
I love this passage from Galatians. Maybe I love it because of the wonderful song that dances in my head whenever I recite the fruits of the spirit.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
Patience, kindness, goodness,
Faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
Of such there is no law.”
Another reason is that this list is based on Christian strengths and not on weaknesses. The Spirit of God helps us have love, joy, peace, and the list goes on…. This is the person I want to be and the qualities for which I strive.
What does this list of strength based qualities mean for us as parents? If the Spirit is fully a part of our lives then it should control how we relate to others, especially the children, in our lives. So do the interactions you have with children reflect these qualities?
Love… how do you show love to your children?
Joy.. is parenting or relating to the children in your life a joy? Do the children sense that they are a joy to you?
Peace.. are the interactions with your children peaceful?
Patience… do you have patience with your children, especially with their maturity and developmental level and age?
Kindness… would your children say your interactions with them are mostly kind?
Goodness… how do you express goodness to your children and see the goodness in them?
Faithfulness… how faithful are you in your parenting? Do you comment this to God each day?
Gentleness… are you gentle with your children especially when you consider that they are younger, less mature, and have less brain development than you. Also the only power they have is what you give to them. They are much more vulnerable than adults and therefore need more gentleness.
Self control…do you practice self control with your children, not only in the way you discipline them and control your anger, but also in the way you talk about them to others, in jokes or sarcasm, or in the ways you may to tempted to give into their wants because it is just easier.
If you would like to work on this more, one idea is to start a “Thirty Day Fruitful Parenting” journal. To do this just get a notebook and each day, for the next 30 days, write down at least one or more ways you express a spiritual fruit to your child or children. And if there is an especially difficult area you are working on in your relationship, use the fruits in that area.
If you try this I’d love to know how it worked for you. You can contact me by commenting on this blog or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God be with you this week as you navigate the joyful, but often difficult journey of being Jesus to the children in your life.