Teaching Your Children the Fruit of the Spirit Through Service

By Jessica Wolstenholm

I will never forget the day that my husband and I found out we were expecting a child. We had only been married just over two months and had the desire to teach our children all about Jesus. In particular we both had a strong conviction about modeling the Fruit of the Spirit to our kids and were constantly on our knees, from the beginning, asking the Lord for guidance.

Fast forward 16-years and we can tell you that what we’ve learned and implemented with the Lord’s leading has given our family a strong heart of service. As a matter of fact, the heart of service that has been cultivated within our family is something that only Christ could teach. And we are grateful.

Today I am sharing 3 tips that can help any family teach their children about the Fruit of the Spirit through serving others.

1. Read and talk about what the Bible says about the Fruit of the Spirit.

The first step in helping your children grasp what the fruit of the Spirit looks like can be found in 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.

We have found great success in having family discussions rooted in Galatians 5:22-23 over the years. So much so that my husband and I even authored a family bible study guide on the topic! We suggest using age appropriate examples to help your children see what each fruit of the Spirit looks like in “action”.

A new and fun resource that we have begun to utilize with our youngest child this year is Michah’s Super Vlog on Minno. There are several episodes on the Fruit of the Spirit.

2. Give your children the opportunity to serve one another within the household with the Fruit of the Spirit in mind.

Over the years we have created a culture of serving within our household by teaching and modeling service to each other. Something as simple as asking if you can do anything for another family member can cultivate a heart of service in both the giver and receiver. We do our best to find teachable moments through acts of service in our home that line up with Christ-like character as outlined by the Fruit of the Spirit.

3. Serve Together Outside of the Home as a Family

What we love about being able to serve others is very simple: We love to let Christ’s love flow from our hearts to others. Because there are so many opportunities to serve and a variety of needs, we alternate the causes that we volunteer for as a family. We have found that allowing the children to choose a particular demographic to serve has worked wonders in their precious hearts. It is amazing to see how God has already planted certain communities to serve inside each of them and watching it blossom is glorious!

While there are certainly other ways to teach your children about the Fruit of the Spirit through service, these are just a few of the things we’ve managed to do during our 16 years of parenthood. We are grateful to God for living in a time where we can get great teaching and inspiration from others to cultivate a heart of service in our children. And most of all we love to watch Christ’s character shine through in each of our children’s lives as they experience His love and grace.