(Family Devotion) Fruit of the Spirit: Love

(Family Devotion) Fruit of the Spirit - LoveI am so excited to share our first family devotion with you. When I began looking for books on Family Devotions I soon discovered that there wasn’t very much available for families with young toddlers and preschoolers. Since Josh and I had never experienced doing family devotions with our own families growing up we figured that as long as we were filling our home with Jesus and God’s Word and including our children we didn’t really need a book to tell us how to do it. But…we still needed to have a plan.

Each lesson begins with worship singing scripture, includes a bible story, memory verse, and prayer, as well as an activity. Some lessons will have one activity and others will have more. The activities can be done as part of your family worship time or separately or not at all. Totally up to you. Please feel free to adjust and modify these family devotions as needed for your family.

The time frame for each lesson is 15 minutes to 20 minutes max. The lesson will take slightly longer if you add on an activity. 

Let’s get started. Make sure you have…

Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience 

INTRODUCTION

Please read through this entire post first before attempting to go through this with your family.

Explain to your child(ren) that you will be talking about LOVE. An example of this might be, “Love is not just a feeling, it’s an action word. And, if we truly have the Fruit of the Spirit, we choose to love people with God’s kind of love, even when they don’t deserve it or even when it’s inconvenient to us.

Read 9 Fruits Alive.

WORSHIP

I love the idea of my kids learning God’s Word by singing and it makes my heart so happy to hear them sing along and memorize scripture. To read more about the music our family is using and for all the devotions in this series please refer back to the Fruits of the Spirit Family Devotion Overview.

  • Seeds Family Worship – Seeds of Character – 4. The Fruit
  • Seeds Family Worship – Seeds of Courage – 10. Do Everything in Love

BIBLE STORY

Read the story The Man who didn’t have any Friends on page 264 of The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Family Devotions - The Jesus Storybook Bible

The Story: Zacchaeus, a tax collector, was known around town as a sinful man. When he heard Jesus would be in town he wanted to make sure he saw Jesus. Zacchaeus wouldn’t be the first person anyone would expect Jesus to reach out to because he wasn’t very likable. Jesus goes out of his way to show love. You might be wondering why this story? Good question. There are so many bible stories that could be used to demonstrate love in the bible. I selected this particular story because I think it is very relatable and understandable for the ages my kids are currently.

Discussion: Use this story to help your child(ren) understand why it is important to show LOVE to others even when they are unkind or unpleasant to be around.

MEMORY VERSE

If you are using 9 Fruits Alive you can read this verse at the very end of the book. Our kids like looking at the illustration of Jesus and the children while we read the verse.

Galatians 5:22-23 New Living Translation (NLT) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

PRAYER

Lord, I pray that our family will learn to love You more, because You loved us first. Teach us to love others and to put the needs of other people above our own. Amen.

ACTIVITY 

This week there are two activities you can do with your children. The first can be included as part of your family devotions before the prayer or could be saved for another day. The second is more of a challenge for us parents.

Love Scavenger Hunt

Directions: Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? You will need red or pink paper, a pen, and scissors. It doesn’t really get much easier. And if you don’t have red or pink paper white printer paper works fine too ;).

Cut out 8 hearts (make them fairly decent in size) and write the following bible verses about LOVE on them…

  • Whoever does not LOVE does not know GOD, because GOD is LOVE. 1 John 4:8
  • This is how GOD showed his LOVE among us:  He sent his one and only SON into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9
  • This is LOVE, not that we loved GOD, but that he loved us and sent his SON as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
  • No one has ever seen GOD;  but if we LOVE one another, GOD lives in us and his LOVE is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
  • GOD is LOVE.  Whoever lives in LOVE lives in GOD and GOD in him. 1 John 4:16
  • We LOVE because he [God] first loved us. 1 John 4:19
  • This is how we know that we are children of GOD:  by LOVING GOD and carrying out his commands. 1 John 5:2
  • This is LOVE for GOD: to obey his commands. 1 John 5:3

Send the kids into another room and hide the hearts or tape them around on the walls. Each time a heart is brought to you read the scripture to your family. This is a fun and easy way for yourself, spouse, and children to hear more of God’s Word.

The Hugging Challenge 

Recently Josh and I have been attending a parenting class taught by a facilitator from Love and Logic. It is an awesome course to look into if you haven’t heard of it. At our first class it really hit home to me that I could be doing a better job of making my kids, and most importantly, my husband, feel special and loved.

In the first class we attended it was highly encouraged that as parents we need to make every “hello” and “goodbye” a special event. This includes when you see your child first thing in the morning, they leave for school, get home from school, just before bed, etc. And also to provide a loving dose of eye contact, smile, and touch. This demonstrate how glad you are to see them as well as how happy you are when they return.

For the next three weeks start hugging your kids and spouse more. Make more eye contact with each other and smile more.

The last week I have been much more intentional about this and it feels really great. Plus there are so many benefits to a good hug. A 10-second hug a day can significantly improve your health. According to one study, this includes: lower risk of heart disease, stress reduction, fights fatigue, boosts immune system, fights infection, and eases depression.

I would love to hear any feedback if you decide to do this with your own family!

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