This Week’s Topic: Fruit of the Spirit- Gentleness & Self-Control
This Week’s Goal: Understanding the role of Gentleness and Self-Control when led by the Holy Spirit
This Week’s Bible Reference: Galatians 5:22-23
Activity: (For All Ages; feel free to do one or both activities)
Option 1: Get a rock (preferably a smooth one) and an egg. Have the different members of the family look at each item and them. Have them describe the differences that the objects have. Have them talk about how they are similar. Have the members of the family make observations about how they handle the two different objects. Ask why they handle them differently. Use this as a discussion point for how handling an egg needs to be done with gentleness, just like dealing with people requires gentleness.
- Goal: To get your family to see how gentleness is so important when dealing with people and that his how God deals with us.
Option 2: Egg Relay. Have your family participate in an Egg Relay or an Egg Walk. Each person holds an egg on a spoon and must walk across the yard without allowing the egg to fall off the spoon. Get creative and create obstacles for your family to walk around and over. Discuss what obstacles in our lives keep us from being gentle and having self-control.
- Goal: To set a stage for a great discussion on obstacles that keep us from always being gentle and having self-control with others.
Please feel free to do what best fits your family! (See the Intro. to Family Devotions)
*Note: This passage is not found in all Children’s Bibles; telling the story with the activity above may help younger children to understand it best.
Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation) Feel free to use a different translation.
22) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Gentleness & Self-Control
Last week we looked at Goodness and Faithfulness. Share a time that you were patient during a difficult situation this past week? What was it that allowed you to be patient? This week we are going to begin looking specifically the traits of Gentleness and Self-Control in the Fruits of the Spirit.
Gentleness (toddlers-younger children)
Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Pages (you can use these to help explain each trait)
God’s Gentleness (in kid language): Gentleness is being able to always keep your emotions under control (not being too mean or angry).
Verses that tell us about Gentleness:
- But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (I Peter 3:15)
- You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. (Psalm 18:35)
- How are you supposed to give an answer for the hope that you have?
- Whose gentleness makes us great? (Psalm 18:35)
Gentleness (older children thru teenagers)
Verses that tell us about Gentleness in our lives:
- But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
- But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
- Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Galatians 6:17)
- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
- Notice what Peter says is key to giving a defense. How many times have you seen Christians defending their faith without gentleness?
- What are the characteristics of wisdom from above? Are those characteristics on display in your life?
- In the verse from Galatians, what is the way that someone who sins should be restored? Is that how you correct people in your life?
- In Colossians, Paul makes another list of how we are to act. What characteristics does it have in common with the Fruit of the Spirit? Looking at this verse and all of the other verses together, why do you think that gentleness is so important?
Self-Control (toddlers-younger children)
God’s Self-Control (in kid language): God’s Self-Control means that he (God) is in control of everything he does.
Verses on self-control:
- A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)
- All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. (I Corinthians 9:25)
- How is self-control like walls for a city?
- Discipline is like self-control. Why do athletes need self-control?
Self-Control (older children thru teenagers)
Verses that tell us about God’s Faithfulness in our lives:
- Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
- I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
- Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32)
- For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11-12)
- What does self-control help against? (1 Peter 5:8) Why is self-control important against the devil?
- Why does discipline help Paul (1 Corinthians 9:27) from being disqualified after preaching?
- In the proverbs verse, it talks about control as being a sign of greatness. Why is that true? How are you in that area?
- In Titus, it talks about God’s grace as a key to self-control. Why does God’s grace allow for us to be self-controlled?
This is a great and easy format to follow as a family:
A-Adoration: What things did you learn about God today? Thank God for his gentleness in the way that he deals with us! Praise him that he is always has self-control.
C-Confession: Confess the times that you struggle with self-control in your life; ask God to forgive you. Parents, this might be an opportunity for you to ask your children to forgive you for not always having self-control.
T-Thanksgiving: Thank God for his gentleness in the way that he deals with us. Make a specific list of the things that he has done for you this week.
S-Supplication: God loves us and loves to bless us. Tell God the desires of your heart.
Extension Activities/Discussion Starters for the Week
- Older Children/Teenagers: Make a list of areas in your life where it is difficult for you to have self-control. Throughout the week pray that God would give you self-control in those specific areas in your life. Share them together as a family and pray for each other.
- Use Marble Jar-Character Development to reward moments this week when you see your child using self-control and gentleness.
- Toddlers/Younger Children: Come up with a way to show self-control (a specific movement or motion) that will help your children maintain self-control. See the posting on patience.
- Create “picture words” for your children for the words self-control & gentleness.