Welcome to Week 1 of the Summer Family Fruit Challenge! This week is an introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit. 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.
WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT?
Have you ever bitten into a big, red, juicy apple, only to find that the inside was mushy and brown? Blech! Or maybe you found a worm in your apple. Gross. Or even worse, only HALF a worm. (Uh-Oh!)
Did you know that you and I produce fruit too? Haven’t you ever seen someone with a watermelon for a head or clusters of grapes dangling from their arms?
No, no, no. That isn’t right! You can’t eat the kind of fruit we produce. The Bible says the fruit we produce is our actions – the things we do and the way we treat other people.
Sometimes our “fruit” is sweet and juicy, but other times, our fruit is rotten and brown. And even wormy.
Matthew 7:17, 20 says: “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit….Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (NLT)
So if your actions are mean and hurtful, then you are producing bad fruit. But if your actions are kind and loving, then you are producing good fruit!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Is the fruit of the Spirit an apple or a peach or a kiwi or a watermelon? Nope! The Bible says in Galatians 5 that “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Whew! That’s a long list! You may be thinking — “How can I possibly have ALL those fruits in my life at the same time?”
Or maybe you were thinking “Oooh, I really blew it with patience yesterday when I yelled at my brother. I really need to try harder next time.”
Well, I have some good news for you! The Bible says it is God’s job to produce this fruit in our lives. He is the one who makes it grow! If we believe in Jesus and we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, then we will bear good fruit!
Do you need more patience? Ask God to help you! Do you need to practice self-control? Ask God to give you the strength to do it.
So, if it’s God’s job to produce the fruit in my life, what’s my job?
In John 15:4-5, Jesus says to his disciples: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
This verse says that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing! We can’t just try really, really hard to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It won’t work! We have to remain in Jesus. But if we remain connected to Jesus, then we WILL bear fruit! That’s good news!
So, what does it look like to “remain in Jesus?” The first step is to ask Jesus to forgive your sins and believe Jesus’ death on the cross has taken the punishment for your sins. If you have done this, then you have the Holy Spirit living inside you!
The second part of remaining in Jesus is to obey him! Later in John 15, Jesus says to his disciples: “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love… This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (John 15:10-12)
So, we remain in Jesus by obeying his commands. And his command is that we love one another! So we do have a job to do, but we can’t do it in our own strength.
Philippians 2:12-13 says “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Wow! We are commanded to obey God, but it is God who works in us and he will give us both the desire and the power to do what he wants us to do!
I can’t wait to see what kind of fruit God produces in your life as you continue to trust him and stay close to him.
God, I want to be more like you. I know that I can’t produce any of this fruit on my own. I need the Holy Spirit to work in my heart. Please give me the strength and the desire to obey you and to love others. Amen.
Over the next 9 weeks, we are going to be taking a closer look at each of the fruits of the Spirit. We’ll talk about what it looks like when God produces that fruit in your life. We’ll also be memorizing some Bible verses together, listening to some fun songs and doing some activities that will help us learn more about the fruits of the Spirit. Be sure to sign up HERE to receive email updates each week when the next Family Fruit Challenge is ready for you!
MAKE IT A CHALLENGE
Want to motivate your kids to put into practice what they’re learning about the fruits of the Spirit? Try setting up a weekly challenge!
Every time you see one of your kids demonstrating the Fruit of the Week, give them a small token. This could be a fruit sticker on a chart, a penny, a craft stick, or whatever small items you can find around the house. In my family, we decided to use these fun mini fruits that I found on Amazon (Affiliate link).
You could offer individual incentives or family incentives. When a child completes a sticker chart or fills a cup full of mini fruits, reward him with a special treat. Similarly, you could have a family sticker chart or fruit bowl. When the fruit bowl is full, the whole family goes out for ice cream!
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
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 THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
* The Fruit of the Spirit’s Not a Coconut – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rezg4jYFoj0
* The Fruit of the Spirit’s Not a Coconut – version 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4oyh2sBDlE
* We’ve Got the Fruit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-ejASqf1VE
* We’ve Got the Fruit – version 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdkUb2YVWj8
* I Wanna Know, I Wanna Grow – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWoWDdeD-ns
* Hide ’em in Your Heart – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNb9QJmUBLM
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS
MAKE A FRUIT SALAD
Take your kids to the grocery store with you and let them each pick out 3-4 kinds of fruit. Help them wash and chop the fruit to make a fruit salad. Listen to one of the songs about the Fruit of the Spirit while you work!
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT CRAFT STICK BANNER
Materials needed: large craft sticks, masking tape, sharpie markers, yarn or ribbon
1. Lay out craft sticks, parallel to each other.
2. Place two strips of tape along back.
3. Flip over.
4. Write one fruit of spirit on each stick, plus a title at the top.
6. Roll up and tie with ribbon, or tape ribbon to back to display.
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!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurie Christine is an author, podcast host, wife, and mom of four wild, loud, adventurous boys.
Her podcast, Redeeming the Chaos, invites moms of boys to join her in the wild, wonderful adventure of raising courageous boys and connecting them with Christ.
In addition to hosting a podcast, Laurie writes devotional Bible stories for families. As a mom of four young boys, she understands how important it is for parents to connect with their children, while communicating the truth of God’s Word to them in a way they can understand.
With degrees in Creative Writing, Biblical Studies and Education, Laurie has more than twelve years of experience in teaching the Bible to young children as well as writing Sunday School curriculum for her local church.