A friend of mine shared with me years ago that her mentor tried as often as she could to use the words from the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) when she was parenting her kids. I tucked this nugget of wisdom away for a time but would often think about how brilliant it seemed to make this connection between reading God's word to your kids and actually using it in your daily parenting! In America we have these somewhat fluffy words that are often vague and hard to define (like "sweet" or "nice") and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with using these words when we parent, I was so encouraged by the wisdom that this older mother shared that encouraged me to use biblical words when trying to shape my children's character. I have found that using words from the Proverbs as well as from Galatians 5:22-23 (fruits of the Spirit) has been extremely helpful with Asher and Zoee. My hope is that they are being encouraged daily to have godly traits in their minds in hopes that one day they will come to be believers in Jesus and already have a grasp on the characteristics that are pleasing to the Lord. It has been so neat to talk with them about the difference between being foolish and wise and to see them talk about a movie character or book character that is being either humble or prideful. It makes it so much easier to take things in our everyday lives and relate them to the Lord when we are using His vocabulary on a continual basis.
This morning, Asher and Zoee were both being unkind and not treating each other with humility. We sat down to talk about why they were both sent to their rooms and it was so amazing to see the connections that Zoee made. I asked her why she was in trouble and she stated, "I was being prideful... like Mother Gothel (from Tangled). You know Mother Gothel, right mom? She is prideful and not kind. I was not being kind to Asher." I was so encouraged to see that she was making the connection and that she was able to see the prideful attitude in Mother Gothel (and herself).
This might seem like a very simple parenting tip that has been passed on, but for me it has been absolutely wonderful. I am so thankful for God's provision through the body of Christ. He is always willing to teach and encourage us if we will just be open to receiving His help.
"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."
And just for fun and because I think they are precious, here are some pictures of our not-so-little kiddos!!