Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Our church is doing 9 weeks on the fruits of the spirit this summer, one week for each fruit. That inspired me to study and learn Col. 3:12-14 as a family this summer. Each night of the week I want to discuss how we can show these. Convenient that there happen to be 7 virtues: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love.
Sundays we will talk about compassion. What does it mean for kids? I think most families have a child who understands this idea easier than the others! We will talk about feeling sorry for someone who is going through a hard time. We can brainstorm those we know who can use sympathy and decide what to do for them as a family.
Mondays will be for kindness. We will talk about how God wants us to be kind to everyone-even people who aren’t kind to us. The Golden Rule is a great example to use, and most kids understand it. If there is someone who makes it difficult to be nice, we can pray and ask God for strength.
On Tuesdays we can talk about humility. We can all agree that Jesus was the most humble person who ever lived-and He was the King of Kings! As parents, we love to build up our kids. There is nothing wrong with that, but they also need to understand where their gifts come from. We all need to remember that we are here to serve and glorify God, the giver of all good things. We are never to think of ourselves as better than anyone. How can we lift someone up?
Gentleness is the topic for Wednesdays. Gentle can refer to physical acts or our words, and I think our speech is the most common area for improvement. We all know physical abuse is wrong, but words and tone of voice can also do so much damage. Maybe all day Wednesday we focus on our words and only use our nicest tone of voice. (You know, like the princesses at Disney World manage to talk all day. Bless their hearts.)
Thursdays will be tough for me as a mom. Patience is not always my strongest area, especially when I have to repeat myself 87 times. But I know I set the tone in the house. If I show patience, my family is more likely to show it to each other and those we come in contact with. We will do everything we can to remember our love for the person and that they have feelings. If all else fails, we need to remember we are doing this to please Jesus. HE wants our patience.
Fridays bring us to forgiveness. Is there anyone we need to ask for forgiveness or who we need to forgive? That needs to be dealt with immediately. If we harbor anger toward someone, it tears us down. Satan loves nothing more than to find that weak spot and use it against us. He will fuel that anger until it turns into bitterness and takes over our lives. The way to avoid that is to let go of our “right” to be angry and our “right” to be right. We need to let God change our hearts. Praying together as a family will run the devil off.
Finally, Saturdays are for love. Aww, we love each other. And we love Chick-Fil-A. And riding bikes. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. The real meaning of love gets so obscured these days. Saturdays will be the days we get back to the basics: we love God. We love others as ourselves. Period. How can we show God’s love?
These are the guidelines for each night. The important thing is not that we do flashy and creative activities, but that we talk. As a family. (This works for me as I was born without the craft gene.) Our kids need to know we struggle with the same issues they do. They need to know we care about what they go through and are always here for each other. All of these lessons start and end at home.
Will you join my family this summer?