Monday, 24 January 2011


In attempt to curb some of the unruly and downright selfish behaviour, we have been looking at the fruit of the spirit with our boys. I will not go into enormous detail here for those who are unfamiliar, but the bible passage is:

"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." Galatians 5 v 22 - 23

These are things that we can only grow in if we are filled with the Holy Spirit and he is running through us like sap through a tree; nourishing us and growing us. We have explained to our boys that they cannot do these things on their own, but when filled with the Spirit, he will give them power and strength.

So.... we made a tree. We stuck it to the wall. We printed out lots of different fruits, wrote bible verses on the back and stuck them to the tree. Each morning, we pick a fruit and I read out the verse. They have to guess the 'fruit' that it relates to and we have a small discussion on how we can apply it and grow in it. Then, of course, we pray.

This morning's mystery fruit was rather appropriate after a weekend full of fighting, punching, kicking and tale telling...... gentleness. It struck me that often gentleness is thought of as a weakness, particularly for men, and is portrayed as a more 'girly' trait. Is it ok for boys and men to be gentle, or does that make them wimps? Don't men have to be tough and stand up for themselves? I often hear mums who have more gentle or quiet boys wishing that their boys would be tougher or rougher.

The conclusion that we came to was that to be gentle, you need to be strong. When a little brother is screaming in your face and you want to hit him, it takes more strength to talk gently to him than it does to sneak in a punch when nobody is looking. Strength, although not confined to the male population, is however something that is celebrated in men. How many men would realise that when they are being gentle towards other they are being strong? How often is gentleness celebrated in men?

Food for thought.... Anyway, my boys all thought of something they could do today that would be gentle and of course they prayed that the Holy Spirit would give them strength to be gentle. There is no point in trying to do it all in our own strength for we will fail every time. As I teach these truths to my boys I am seeing again how much we need God to live out our daily lives. And here I go, brewing a whole new blog before I've even finished this one!

Gentleness eh? Is it a possibility for my wild, active, extremely physical boys? Of course.....

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