Licensed Christian Counselor
Specialist in Child & Adolescent Therapy
Life Training Christian Counseling
“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 5:22-23
This is the continuation of my previous blog regarding teaching our children how to pursue the heart of Jesus through living the Fruits of the Spirit. Today we will complete the last five fruits mentioned in Galatians chapter 5.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you”Ephesians 4:32 NIV
In order to be kind, we must look beyond others’ actions and status to see them as a soul in need of a Savior, just as you and I are. We must extend to them God’s grace that we have received and encourage them to live in the redemption of the cross. “The old is gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17) This includes the way we speak to our children when they have done something wrong, using compassion when disciplining them and not anger. While their actions absolutely have consequences, showing them kindness and grace communicates, “You are always loved by me and by God, and your actions will never take that away.”
“No one is good–except God alone.”Mark 10:18 NIV
Any and all goodness we see in this world comes from God. We must learn of and teach our children of the character of God so that there is a reference for what is good. Sports can be considered good if I am loving my teammates like Christ and glorifying God with my attitude, win or lose. Sports are not good if I am tearing down myself and my teammates over every mistake. Serving in church is good if I am willingly giving of my time to work alongside the Body of Christ, but it is not good if I am doing it bitterly out of obligation. Rather than looking for “good” behavior, teach the importance of the heart behind it.
“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and Jacob.”Exodus 3:6 NIV
When we look at the example given to us by the Israelites in Exodus, we see how unfaithful humans are. No matter how many times God rescued them from their own downfall, they were quick to desert him again. When God identified himself to Moses in the burning bush, Moses REMEMBERED what God had done for his ancestors. A key part in teaching our kids to be faithful to God is to remind them often of who He is. Place visual reminders in your home. Help your kids memorize verses to hold in their hearts. Encourage them to read daily. Tell them how God has been faithful to you in your life. The more your children hear and talk about God, the more likely they are to remain faithful to Him.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Gentleness requires speaking the truth in love. Paul pairs gentleness with humility in Ephesians 4:2. In order to speak gently, I must humble myself before the Lord. I must trust that He is faithful to do the transforming work in a person’s heart, so that I don’t feel pressure to force an individual to accept my words. I must recognize I am only responsible to be obedient to God, and not with how another person receives my words. When I take this approach, I am able to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19).
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”Galatians 5:24 NIV
In Luke 9:23, Jesus calls us to take up our cross DAILY and follow him. I am to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, not always doing what I want, but doing what honors God in every situation. As the Lord develops this fruit in me, I often remind myself to pause. Sometimes this looks like taking time to pray over the words someone said that hurt me before responding. Sometimes this looks like swallowing my pride to own my actions and apologize. Whatever it is, I am yielding my will to His will. We can nurture this in our children through discipline. When we help our children reflect on their wrong decisions and teach them why they’re wrong, they can learn to replace those wrong decisions with better ones.
Kayla Wright joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in May of this year. She is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association, with an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky.
Kayla, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our COUNSELING FOR TEENS & PRE-TEENS in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org