My friend Melody shared this idea for a “Fruit of the Spirit” jar this past summer, and it’s been a wonderful way to teach our children a small lesson each day. Over the summer, my three children (ages 11, 8 & 4) worked on learning Galatians 5:22:
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
All three of them (even little Reagan) can recite it now from memory. (Reagan replaces the word “gentleness” with “gentlemen” every single time she says it. She also tends to scream a wee bit on that last one . . .maybe because she hasn’t actually figured out exactly what self-control is yet . . .)
It (obviously!) was pretty simple to make. I used an empty spaghetti sauce jar, picked up Mike & Ike’s at the Dollar Tree (I really liked the idea of using Runts since they’re shaped in fruit shapes, but they won and got Mike & Ike’s instead because they’re one of the kids favorites. . . ) and labeled the jar with the verse.
I try to keep my ears alert for moments when they model the fruit of the spirit. If Jackson does something sweet for one of his sisters, I’ll ask which fruit he’s displaying and he picks a candy from the jar. If Caroline manages to show patience when she really just wants to hurry, she’ll choose a treat. And, well if Reagan does just about anything to help out (she’s not my natural helper . . . ) she picks a candy as well. I also ask them to share again what the fruits of the spirit are before they get their treat.
Do you have any simple ways to encourage your children to model good behavior (and just plain goodness) in your home? I’d love to hear them, we’re always looking for a new idea or two around here!
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