Welcome Karen Whiting to my blog today! This post is based on her new book “Raising a Young Modern Day Princess: Growing the Fruit of the Spirit in Your Little Girl.”
As a mother I worked at nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit in my children. That meant I needed to exhibit it in my own life. But too often my children brought out my lack of patience, kindness, and even goodness. Producing the desired Fruit of the Spirit meant planting the right seeds.
I grew up in a dairy and farming community, so I know the value of choosing good seeds and planting them in good soil. I can’t produce peace by planting anger in my heart or the hearts of others.
Plant the Right Seeds to Grow the Desired Fruit of the Spirit
I studied the Scriptures and the fruit of the Spirit to find what seeds I needed to plant for the Spirit to produce the fruit I needed. Here’s some of what I found:
- Seeds of service – Jesus revealed that service develops love (Mark 10:45, John 15:12-17). As we serve others (Galatians 5:13) our love grows.
- Seeds of gratitude – The Israelites rejoiced with gratitude when God provided creative solutions to escape Pharaoh (Exodus 15). Praising God for His help, grace, and blessings always brings joy.
- Seeds of righteousness and understanding – When we seek to make things right with others and reconcile differences, God brings peace (Psalm 85:10, Proverbs 3:13,17).
- Seeds of submission and waiting – Accepting God’s will and learning to wait brings forth patience. Just as a farmer depends on God’s weather and time to grow his crop, our dependence and waiting develops patience (James 5:7-8).
- Seeds of attitude – The attitude of our hearts produces the quality of our behavior, whether cruel or kind (Matthew 12:34-35). If we want to exhibit kindness and goodness in everything we do, we must allow God to renew our hearts to reflect His character (Psalm 51).
- Seeds of prayer – Want to be faithful to God and others (2 Corinthians 5:7)? The best way to learn to depend totally of God is by being a woman of constant prayer.
- Seeds of compassion and forgiveness – Intentionally seeking ways to love and help others will develop gentleness (Ephesians 4:2). As you purposefully practice putting others first and caring for their needs, your gentleness will blossom (Philippians 2:4).
- Seeds of discipline – Identifying and avoiding temptation fosters self-control. Establishing personal safe guards and boundaries in advance will prepare us to meet situations head on with self-control (Proverbs 25:28, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Planting the seeds is just the beginning. If we want an abundant crop, we must continually work to keep out weeds of greed, selfishness, and other negative emotions. I’m thankful the Holy Spirit is a patient gardener. As the Fruit of the Spirit grew in me, I found it easier to plant and nurture the seeds in my children. Now I watch my grown children doing the same for their children.
In what ways do you plant and nurture the fruit of the Spirit in your own life and the lives of your children?
Karen Whiting shares these and other thoughts on the Fruit of The Spirit, especially moms of young girls, in a book she co-authored with Doreen Hanna. Raising a Young Modern Day Princess: Growing the Fruit of the Spirit in Your Little Girl is filled with practical tips, activities, and heart-warming stories.