Fruit of the Spirit: Love
When I first starting putting this Fruit of the Spirit unit together in my mind I planned to use one Bible story each week to help illustrate whichever “fruit” we were discussing, covering it in a way similar to what we’ve been doing. However, as I started planning, I realized that was going to draw the focus away from the point I was trying to make. This week, for instance, I want Ian to know that our Bible lesson is about “Love,” not about Mary anointing Jesus with perfume. So while I do plan to use Bible stories throughout this unit, I won’t be covering them as in depth as I usually do since we’re using them mainly to make a point. In addition to a Bible story and a children’s book (this week we read The Little Rabbit, which I posted about separately), there are also a few things I found that we’ll be doing for each week throughout the whole unit. We put on “tattoos” to help remind us about “Love” all week. And we watched the episode on our Auto-B-Good DVD Fruits of the Spirit that had to do with love. (The boys really enjoy this show!)
As I thought about the broad topic of love I wanted to narrow our discussion down a bit. Since the fruit of the Spirit is about what’s being produced in our hearts, I decided to steer away from talking about God’s love, except as it is the basis for the love we show to others. Mary showed love for Jesus by using her expensive perfume to anoint him. Sarah (in The Little Rabbit) shows love for Buttercup by providing for her, spending time with her, and caring for her. Ian and Elijah show love for each other by sharing things, speaking respectfully to each other, and helping one another. (Okay, so we’re still working on all that. But really, they do have a wonderfully loving relationship.)
We also wanted to practice showing love to others by reaching out. I loved what Amanda at Impress Your Kids did for this by sending something to their sponsor child. This spring when we decided to sponsor a child, I looked for one who shared Ian’s birthday so he could feel some connection. We were blessed to find a little boy in Brazil who is the exact same age as Ian (and he even had on a Lightning McQueen shirt in his picture, so Ian liked him right away)! We haven’t yet taken the time to write to him, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We made “scratch and sniff” paint from unsweetened Kool-aid powder and used it to paint a picture of a heart. I looked up our Bible verse on BibleGateway so we could write “God is love,” on it in Portuguese. “Deus é amor” 1 João 4:8 I hope he enjoys his sweet-smelling picture! A word of warning if you want to try this activity: let the “paint” sit for a while so ALL the powder dissolves. I only waited about five minutes, and it made kind of grainy pictures. Also, I would water them down quite a bit. Ours took a few days to dry to the point of not being sticky!
We also made pictures for our own “Fruit of the Spirit” notebook, though I haven’t quite decided how I’m doing that. For now, I’ll just save the pictures. In addition to reading the story about Mary in The Beginner’s Bible (by Karyn Henley), we also read The Best Thing is Love by Dandi Daley Mackall , which is based on 1 Corinthians 13. Ian really liked the repetition on each page and read it with me after he’d caught on to the patter.
Throughout this unit, the only real “memory verse” I expect Ian and Elijah to have down is Galatians 5:22-23 (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.) Still, I am planning on have a verse the relates specifically to the “fruit” of the week, especially if I can find a song about it. So this week we did 1 John 4:7-8, which I will forever know in the King James Version because of this song. “Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love.”
The boys have really been enjoying the songs for this unit, so I kept most of the general “Fruit” songs around to help them memorize the verse and mixed them in with some new ones related to Love:
- “Beloved (1 John 4:7-8)” from Top 50 Kids’ Praise! Company
- “Fruit of the Spirit” from Fruit of the Spirit: Banana na na (Vineyard Music Kids)
- “Good Fruit” from our SonHarvest County Fair VBS CD from a couple years ago (links to music played online)
- “L-O-V-E/Beloved, Let Us Love” from Music Little Kids Can Live By by Ken Blount
- “God’s Love in Me” from our SonHarvest County Fair VBS CD
- “Love” from Music Machine: Fruit of the Spirit (an oldie but goodie from my childhood!)
- “Spread His Love Around the World” from our SonHarvest County Fair VBS CD
- “So We Love” from 100 Ways to Know God Loves me & 100 Songs to Love Him Back
- “You Shall Love the Lord Your God” from Hide ’em in Your Heart Vol. 1 by Steve Green
- “Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22 & 25)” from Hide ’em in Your Heart Vol. 2 by Steve Green
- “The Fruit” from Seeds of Character by Seeds Family Worship
- “Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)” from Scripture Rock Vol. 3
- Karen & Kids podcast episode “Fruit of the Spirit – Part 1”
We listen through the list at least once a day, and I’m often getting requests to “do that one again,” especially from Elijah. They really like singing along, and I think both of them will definitely have their memory verse down by the end of this unit!