22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I have the fruits of the spirit listed on the overhang in my kitchen. The words are big, at least 6 inches tall. I did this earlier last year not only as a reminder to myself as I mother my children and love my husband, but also to help my kids think about them. It's always interesting to review them with my oldest son and get perspective on how we're doing with each of them. Our general consensus is that love is a pretty easy one for us right now. Whenever I hear words coming from the kids I don't like you will hear me say "Show Love." We also can find lots of joy, I think that is an easier one with young children in the house...we find lots to laugh and smile about. Peace can be a challenge...especially amongst siblings. Patience...I definitely lack in that one in my approach to parenting I often try to hurry them up or lose my patience with their learning to do things. Kindness as a mother can reflect my lack of patience. I often have to make a conscious effort to show kindness in my reactions to life's little moments. Goodness is obviously hard, I'm a sinner! Teaching my children goodness is a privilege in Christian parenting. There is much to teach them outside of earthly goodness! Faithfulness, I love this one because it applies to my role as a child of God and being faithful to him and that trickles down to my role as a wife and even a mother. Gentleness, a daily struggle for me and my children. Choosing to react to things and communicating in ways that aren't hurtful to each other but build each other up. Someone once said to me that you don't need to scold a child for spilling milk, they already feel bad about it...I often think about that as I choose the words I'm about to use. Lastly Self Control, the kids and I agree this is a hard one...we have to choose do the right thing, not always the easy thing or fun thing sometimes. I have this one hanging right above my refrigerator :). Learning these attributes has been a great way to help my kids learn about becoming Christ-like and giving me solid examples of what I expect from them.
Help me to reflect you in all my words and actions and help me to teach my children to do the same.