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Family Time with God

July: Fruit of the Spirit

The devotionals on these pages are designed to guide you and your family through two months of short, simple times with God and each other.

Get Ready

Let your kids help you with the setup for this devotional. Look at the list of "fruits" in the passage below, then have your kids think about which real fruit most typifies each characteristic. For example, you might choose a lemon for joy because it has so much zest. Once you've made your list of fruits, look through old magazines to find a picture of each fruit. Cut out the pictures, paste each fruit to an index card and label the card with the appropriate characteristic. You'll also need a pad of paper or a notebook to serve as a family journal.

Read the Word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

Talk It Over

WEEK 1: Growing Fruit

Put all the fruit cards in a bowl on the table. Read the passage, then have three family members each pick a fruit card from the bowl. Ask each person with a card to define that fruit of the Spirit. Have an older child write those definitions in your family journal and on the back of the appropriate card. Then, talk together about ways you can demonstrate that fruit with one another. Ask each family member to choose one of the three fruits to work on this week. Post the cards on the fridge and end your time by asking God to help you produce good "fruit" this week.

WEEK 2?3: Fruits of the Family

Read the passage and talk about how well each of you practiced your "fruit" from the week before. Then, repeat the devotional from Week 1 until you've talked about all nine fruits of the Spirit. As you get the hang of this, feel free to deepen your discussions. Talk about which fruit of the Spirit you could work on as a family. For example, say your family wants to work on peace. Have each person finish the sentence, "Our family feels peaceful when ? " A child might say, "I feel peaceful when only one person talks at a time during dinner." A parent might add, "I feel peaceful when we work out a problem without yelling." For the rest of the month, try to catch each other practicing your family "fruit." You can even make a chart for mapping your success. End your time by thanking God for sending his Spirit to help you become more like him.

WEEK 4: Fresh Fruit

Read the passage. Now that you've discussed each fruit of the Spirit, talk about the ways you've seen the fruits in each other this month. Ask one person to write these responses down in your family journal. Talk about the new attitudes you might have noticed in your family and think of ways you can continue to practice the fruits of the Spirit. List these ideas and post the list someplace where everyone can see it and refer to it often.

Remember This

"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them" (Matt. 7:20).

Want More?

AGES 3-5:

Let your child pick out his favorite fruit from the fruit cards. Ask your child why he thinks the characteristics on the cards are called "fruits." What do people do with fruit? What does fruit tell us about the tree or plant it grows on? How can we help the fruit of the Spirit grow?

AGES 6-9:

Play a matching game. Have your child list several fruits in one column and the fruits of the Spirit in another. Then have her match each characteristic with an actual fruit. Ask her why she made the matches she did. Have her draw a picture of her favorite fruit and write the Remember This verse on her drawing. Encourage her to learn the verse this month.

AGES 10-14:

Take your child to a nursery that sells fruit trees. Ask him to identify a few different trees. Talk about how much easier it is to tell which tree is which when you can see the fruit from each tree. Now talk about how the fruit people see in us tells them who we are. Help him choose one or two fruits of the Spirit he can work on this month. Encourage him to memorize the Remember This verse. Ask him to write down some specific ways he can practice showing that characteristic to other people. Praise him as you see him working on his fruits over the next few weeks.

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