But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
About two years ago, I was driving in my car and praying. It must have been around this same time of year. The beginning of Fall and the start of a new school year always put my mind in a position of resolve. Kinda like January 1 does for most people. What do I want the year to look like? What disciplines do I want to focus on? What greater purpose will my life serve this year, etc.?
And while praying, I felt impressed to ask God to work on bringing out the Fruit of His Spirit within me. After all, I have known Jesus as my Savior since I was 9 years old.
But have I, in the subsequent years, allowed Him room to develop the nine qualities listed in Galatians that are the Fruit (or evidence) of the Holy Spirit living inside of me?
Within weeks of that prayer, and by no coincidence, I was asked to develop a curriculum for the childcare program at our MOPS meetings. It just so happened that we would be meeting as a group nine times during the course of the month. I was charged with creating nine lessons geared toward 4-5 yr old children. Hmmm.... Perhaps the nine qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit?
So, I began working on the lessons and praying that God would work diligently on teaching me through my research.
I wish I had known my friend at "The Christ-Blessed Nest" back then. Because this weekend, she brought over a gift for my boy and girl that made me want to jump up and down (except no one wants to see a full-term pregnant woman do that).
She has developed a chart that displays the nine qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit in a format similar to the chore charts and responsibility charts available for young kids at most teaching supply stores, etc. Except this one.... oh, I can't even do it justice, it's so wonderful!
I would love for you to go to her etsy site (click HERE... click on the 4th image with all the magnets on the board...recognize those names?!?!) and take a look for yourself.
I rolled out the chart with Drew last night and it was an absolutely precious time. We sat on the tile floor of the kitchen, in front of his chart, and talked about Love, Joy, Peace, etc. We then read over all the "action tags" and I explained how each one represented some way he could act more like Jesus.
You can imagine my delight, when, later on during his bath he looked up at me and said, "Mommy! You are the nicest Mommy in the whole world and I love you!" After he was cleaned up and dressed in his pj's, I took him back over to the chart and let him put the "Give a compliment" magnet in his square.
One of my favorite tags says, "Share Jesus". And I loved the opportunity to explain what that meant to Drew. He claims now that it's his favorite magnet and he wants to put one up every day in his chart. Praise God!
I am in love with this tangible way to teach my child(ren) what God starts to do in a person's life when they put their trust in Him.
Like my friend's instructions point out, we are not able to become proficient at these nine qualities of our own volition. It's God in us. It's His refining. It's His Spirit's working to make us more like Him.
This is just such a precious way to recognize the qualities and give our children a deeper understanding of what they look like practically, lived out in our daily lives.
So, go on over and check out not only the chart, but some of her other wonderfully creative items that are sure to bless YOUR nest!