Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
One day a good while back when my oldest son was probably around 9 or 10, we were riding in the car having a family “discussion”…if you know what I mean. The conversation was loud, tempers were flaring & there was not a lot of love being shared. I honestly don’t remember what the “discussion” was about, but I’ll never forget the exact location where we were or the words that were said. There was a moment in the conversation that my oldest son got a word in, and he said very quietly & matter-of-factly, “well, I don’t detect much fruit of the Spirit in this car.” To which my husband & I looked at each other knowingly. No, there wasn’t much fruit of the Spirit at all. We laughed & said, “You are right!”
It is funny to look back now & laugh at the comment but oh how true it was. In life sometimes things get overwhelming, frustrating, & just down-right “not fun”, and sometimes we tend to not act like we have much fruit at all.
I love the fact that our children who we are guiding and directing & trying to mold are sometimes the best at teaching us. They can innocently bring us back to reality and make us realize that we need to stop, think, & behave differently. They can show us things about ourselves that are beautiful and things that are ugly. They can show us God’s love through simple things.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach my children about God. I’m thankful for that freedom. I’m thankful that prior to this incident we had at least 9 lessons on the fruit of the Spirit, & it obviously sunk in!
It is in our homes that we can practice cultivating those fruits in our lives. The one’s with whom we are the most real. The one’s who know us the best, our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our successes, our failures. Are we practicing those fruits? Are we abiding in the vine? John 15:4 says, “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.” We must abide in Christ or we cannot be successful in our Christian walk, our families, or anything we do.
Matthew 12:33 says "A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad” God help us to be identified as you desire us to be….good. May our actions reflect that & may we nurture the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And may we listen even when our children are our teachers.
©Stephanie Thompson 2011