Fruits of the Spirit Study

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I spend time diligently planning out and instructing Madeline in phonics and math, but haven’t spent nearly the same amount of time or energy thoughtfully instructing her in God’s word.  Sure, we read Bible stories before bed some nights, and sing worship songs in the car, and talk about sin in our hearts when we discipline.  But there has been a distinct lack of formal Biblical training in our “school time.”  I don’t want this to be so!

You can click on the pictures below to link up to the detailed study we did.

Love - CherriesThe Big Idea

Inspired by my friend Megan’s creative Fruits of the Spirit Basket project, I came up with my own version. I expanded it with some extra scriptures/songs/stories to accompany each fruit and simplified the arts-and-craft end of it.  (I’m not much of a felt-cutter, so I scoped the internet for good fruit coloring pages.  I went ahead and linked to those pages so you wouldn’t have to go through the same arduous process of finding just the right grapes. 🙂  Links to all of the coloring page are at the bottom of this post.)

Week 1

We spent the first week coloring the pictures and doing a brief Peace - Orangeoverview of the different fruits.  We read from Galatians 5 or atleast talked about Galatians 5 each day.

Weeks 2 – 10

Then during this second week, we focused in on love.  We talked about the opposite of love: hate.  We talked about God’s command for us to love and how we fail to obey it.  But then, we talked about the good news: Jesus obeyed God’s command perfectly!  He loved perfectly.  He didn’tjust love the people that were easy to love, like his mom and dad or nice neighbors that gave him gifts.  He even loved the ones who said mean things about him, who hated him, who spit on him, and hit him and hung him up to die.

Kindness - WatermelonThat pattern will continue for each fruit each week ahead:

1.  We’ll talk about the opposite. Defining what the fruit isn’t helps bring clarity to what the fruit is.

2.  We’ll look at the command.  Looking at God’s perfect standard helps to reveal our sinfulness and our desperate need for a Savior.

Goodness - Strawberries3.  We’ll look at Jesus’ perfect obedience, amazed by his perfection and humility. (At least, Mommy is amazed! By God’s grace, Madeline’s amazement will grow.)

4.  We’ll read some related stories, sing related songs, and do other more “schoolish” stuff to reinforce the theme of the week.

More Details to Come

Faithfulness - AppleI’ll be posting details on each of the fruits in the coming weeks as I complete them with Madeline.  Each fruit picture here will eventually link up to the detailed study.

Honestly, I’m recording this not just for you, but for me too.  I’ll definitely be returning to, and refining, this study in the coming years. I’m pretty sure it’s been benefiting me more than it is Madeline!

Resources for our Study

If you would like to join us, welcome!  Here are the resources I’m pulling from most heavily in this study:

The Jesus Storybook Bible – Oh, how I love this book!  It has helped us engage in meaningful conversations on so many occasions through it’s pictures and child-friendly but poignant words. Read my full review here.

ABC Bible Verses –  At first I thought these stories were all together too idyllic.  Missy’s friend wants her to disobey her mom. Missy won’t do it. Her friend gets mad.  Missy gives a soft answer, which turns away her friend’s wrath. Her friend repents for trying to get her to disobey her mom.  They are best friends forever.  But I’ve come to see that this kind of interaction may not be so improbable if children are taught diligently in these matters from youth.  The stories provide material for us to discuss real-life issues that our kids face everyday.

To Be Like Jesus CD – Honestly I’ve only heard snippets of this CD.  But the rave reviews it’s been given by Walt (one of my pastors) at worship team practices is enough all on it’s own for me to buy it up.  Add on that it is ALL ABOUT fruits of the spirit (which I didn’t realize until a friend pointed it out – thanks again, Casey!) and it became a must-purchase-immediately item.  It should be here in another day or two.  If it’s anything like all of the other Sovereign Grace worship CD’s we’ll devour it immediately and then listen to it repeatedly for the next few weeks. ***Update on 1/10/11 – This CD has been everything I hoped it would be.  We still listen to it on a regular basis – just this morning, in fact, as I was doing the breakfast dishes. ***

Awesome God CD – Another terrific kid’s resource that secretly serves adults too.

kbteachers.com – I’ll be using this site to customize handwriting worksheets to go along with each fruit.  In their “alphabet factory” section, you can totally customize a sheet with your own words or letters.  You can choose a font style –  either block or cursive AND either solid or dotted.  The sheet is then populated with your text for your student to copy over or reproduce on the extra blank line.  For non-members (like me), the page has a kind of annoying watermark across it.  To lose the watermark, you’ve got to become a member ($29 for 12 months or $49 for two years).

Fruit Coloring Pages:

Cherries, Grapes, Orange, Pineapple, Watermelon, Strawberries, Apple, Pear, Bananas

What other ideas do you have for a fruits of the spirit study? Comment please!  I’m still early on in this process and would love to incorporate other cool things I haven’t thought of yet.

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