Is there an area you know your child is needing to grow in? I meet with parents all the time that want to see their children grow in patience, kindness, peace, etc. But how do we practically encourage this kind of growth in our kids?
All of these things we are wanting our kids to grow in are actually the Fruit of the Spirit. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23.
It’s important that we have this foundation when we want to encourage our children to grow in the Fruit of the Spirit: kingdom fruitfulness comes from rest.
When we strive and perform for God out of fear or trying to achieve something in our own effort, the fruit we produce is fake. When we rest in God and spend time in His presence, we produce really good fruit that brings transformation.
One way I like to explain this to my kids is to have them think of an apple tree. Does an apple tree try really hard to grow fruit? Or is that what naturally happens when it gets the rain and sun it needs? Just like an apple tree doesn’t have to work hard to make apples, we don’t have to work hard on our own to produce the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. All we have to do is rest in God’s presence.
John 15:5 “If you remain [rest] in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I want to be clear, I’m not saying our actions don’t have any effect on this area of our lives. Of course they do. Resting in Jesus in itself is an action. What I’m saying is in our effort as parents to encourage this growth in our children, we have to know where it is coming from. It is coming from His Presence, His transformation in our lives.
I’ll be going into this topic even more in the coming weeks on practical things you can do in your family to create a culture of honoring the fruit the Holy Spirit is producing in each member of your family, but I wanted to start it all off with this reminder: kingdom fruitfulness comes from resting in Jesus.
Here are some practical things you can do with your kids this week to take some time to rest in God’s Presence:
Worship: some ways to mix it up over only singing worship songs (which is great on it’s own!) is to include fabric “flags” for kids to wave and dance before the Lord, and drawing pictures of what they get from Jesus.
Prayer: in addition to having your kids talk to God and telling Him about their day, have them ask questions and listen to what He replies! I go into more detail in this blog and this workshop, but you can have your kids ask Jesus for a picture for their sibling, and then share it and ask questions to help them get the interpretation.
Reading the Bible: some fun ways to do this with your kids is for them to investigate to find Jesus in the stories in the Bible, or to make up a song for a Bible verse that stands out to them (an easy tip is to use a tune they already know).
Read more on the GOD TV blog here
Watch GOD TV here