"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control..." - Galatians 5:22-23
The thing is, we can't just learn about one and be done with it. These 'fruits' are something we have to practice living out every day. When we begin to move on to a new fruit, we walk through each of them all over again. Our conversation during the day often times comes back to these fruits of the Spirit - in our play, in our discipline, in our adventures, even when we are being silly. Walking through the fruits of the Spirit is such a great tool to remind both kiddos, and myself, that it is because of God's Spirit within us that these 'fruits' are used to the fullest.
Over the past eight months or so, we have been walking through the fruits of the Spirit as a family. We have covered LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS and have recently tackled GENTLENESS.
When we were writing down our ideas about how to show gentleness to others, Jameson came up with the most simplistic yet applicable definition: "being soft when you want to be hard". Analise added the "in EVERYTHING" to the list.
Here is what they came up with:
A: "Jameson, come take a picture with me. Let's be gentle together."
J: "I don't want to take a picture!"
A: "Awww Jame..you need to choose a happy heart. Look at the camera and be loving and kind!"
J: "NO! I don't want to! I want to play baseball!" as he runs off. Please note: It isn't all hugs and kisses around here. These two have their fair amount of non-gentle moments!)
I love watching both of them with younger kids. They love to love on people. They are kind. They are caring, and they are gentle. While Analise tends to err on the gentle side more often, Jameson gets it too. Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder or a question like, "do you remember what it means to have gentleness?"
And they get it.
I can see the wheels turning and their actions changing, and sometimes they will even say it out loud, "It means being soft when you want to be hard!" Yes. Yes it does.