Welcome to Week 9 of the Family Fruit Challenge! This week we are learning about GENTLENESS!
Below you will find a short devotional to read with your kids, a link to download Bible memory cards, and links to fun songs and activities that will help you teach your child about the Fruit of the Spirit.
(If you happened to stumble upon this blog post and you haven’t been part of the Family Fruit Challenge, you can sign up HERE to start with Week 1 and get all 10 lessons delivered straight to your inbox).
Our guest blogger today is Anna Schatz. You can learn more about Anna at the end of this blog post.
A DEVOTION ABOUT GENTLENESS
Have you ever heard someone described as a “gentle giant”? A gentle giant refers to someone who is big, strong, or powerful, but chooses to be kind and gentle towards other people. Instead of showing off his or her own strength, a gentle giant is careful to consider the needs of other people by acting in a way that makes them feel safe and loved. By taking the time to think about what helps others feel safe and loved, a gentle giant controls his or her own strength to take care of other people.
Gentleness is holding back your strength to care for someone or something around you.
Did you know that Scripture teaches that you can be like a gentle giant? Now, you may not be tall or even feel all that strong or powerful. But every time you choose to hold back your strength to care for someone or something around you, you are practicing gentleness.
The Bible says that everyone around you should be able to see your gentleness (Philippians 4:5) and practicing gentleness should be as natural and necessary as putting on clothes (Colossians 3:12).
What is amazing is that if you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit helps you! By giving you the desire to be gentle and supplying you with opportunities to practice gentleness, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of gentleness in your life.
Now, you might be wondering, “What does gentleness look like in my life?” If so, that is a great question to be asking! A few ways the fruit of gentleness might be growing in your life is through your speech, actions, and attitude.
GENTLENESS IN MY SPEECH
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, taught that the words we say can either give life and build up another person, or destroy and tear down another person (Proverbs 18:21). This means that our words are powerful. How we talk to other people really matters! For example, if we were to tease or make fun of others, yell at people, or constantly point out the mistakes of others, we would be tearing people down. But if we encourage others, speak softly to people, and praise them for the things they do well, we can build up the people around us.
Whenever we hold back the strength of our speech to care for others, it is the Holy Spirit growing the fruit of gentleness in us.
GENTLENESS IN MY ACTIONS
Not only can we be gentle with our words, but we can also be gentle with our actions. We should be careful not to trick people into giving us what we want, instead of considering what they might want or need. Furthermore, we should be careful not to push people around or control others. Jesus says that we should love others just like we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39), and the Bible also says we should think about what is best for others (Philippians 2:4).
Just like with our speech, whenever we hold back the strength of our actions to consider what is best for others, it shows that the Holy Spirit is growing the fruit of gentleness in us.
GENTLENESS IN MY ATTITUDE
Another way we can see gentleness in our lives is through our attitude. When people hurt us, it can be easy for us to dislike them and hope they get punished for whatever they did wrong. Sometimes when someone behaves badly, we can become so mean that we hope something bad happens to them. But this is not the fruit of gentleness.
Instead of becoming mean and angry, we can show kindness, offer forgiveness, and give those people a fresh start. While impossible to do on our own, we can remember that God is so gentle to forgive us when we fail, and we can ask Him to help us love others like He loves us (Ephesians 4:32).
Whenever we hold back the strength of our attitudes to hope and care for the good of others, it is the Holy Spirit growing the fruit of gentleness in us.
Not everyone you meet will be a like gentle giant, but the Holy Spirit can grow the fruit of gentleness in you.
Lord, help me to show gentleness in my words, actions and attitudes. I’m thankful that you have made me strong, but it is never okay to use my strength to hurt someone. Help me to use my strength for good things! Give me wisdom to know when I need to be strong, and when I need to hold back my strength in order to care for someone or something in my life.
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT GENTLENESS
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV): Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV): Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 4:5 (NIV): Let your gentleness be evident to all.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV): Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Use these verse cards to help your children learn more about the Fruit of the Spirit. Read one each day and discuss what it means with your kids. Choose one verse card to memorize throughout the week. Print out the pictures of each “fruit” and display them in your home.
SONGS ABOUT GENTLENESS
Colossians 3:12 & 14a – Put on Love (Hand Motions) by Seeds Family Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRK31G_wiq0
Galatians 5:16 & 22 – The Fruit (Hand Motions) by Seeds Family Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTR7i_mbdaw
KIDS’ ACTIVITIES ABOUT GENTLENESS
GENTLENESS BALLOON OBJECT LESSON
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT GENTLENESS
Calvary Kids Church – Gentleness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf81zzSuTyU
Skuppets – Gentleness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdpu9GXuhLQ
Great ideas for preschool, school-aged, and tweens: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/the-strength-of-gentleness/#Preschool
DOWNLOAD FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT PICTURE CARDS
Download a set of 9 picture cards, one for each Fruit of the Spirit. There are two cards on each 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Display them in your home to help remind your kids of the Fruit of the Week!
Be sure to sign up HERE to receive email updates each week when the next Family Fruit Challenge is ready for you! An email will be sent to your inbox every Monday for 10 weeks, with a link to the new blog post for the week.
OUR GUEST BLOGGER – ANNA SCHATZ
Anna Schatz is a blogger, speaker, pastor’s wife and mom. Anna enjoys convincing others of God’s extravagant love for them. She’s currently pursuing a Master of Theology degree through Dallas Theological Seminary, writing, and enjoying opportunities to speak. She lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania where she cares for her two children and serves in ministry with her pastor husband, Nik. You can find her at www.annaschatz.com or on Instagram @annamschatz.