“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness, and self-control. Against
such things there is no law.”
We have looked at more than half of the fruit of the spirit at this point! Faithfulness is the seventh of nine fruit that we are empowered to display when we allow our lives and our character to be guided and shaped by God’s Holy Spirit.
God is our perfect example of faithfulness: He is constant, stable, and dependable. Many of us hold onto the promise in Lamentations 3:22-23, telling us that His mercies are new every morning. One of the most astonishing things I’ve discovered about God over the years is His unlimited willingness to forgive us and welcome us back again as His children, no matter how often or how far we may stray. He is faithful when we are faithless. He is constant when we are shaken. He is stable when we are unmoored. He is dependable when we are wavering.
Recognizing God’s faithfulness to us feeds our desire to be faithful to Him. And our faithfulness to God directly affects our faithfulness to other people. When our relationship with God and our trust in Him breaks down, it is much easier for our loyalty to our other relationships to fall away. Our faithfulness to following God and obeying His Will has a direct effect on our behavior and conduct in our everyday life.
Watch this six-minute YouTube video for a description of the fruit of faithfulness and where it comes from:
Explaining Faithfulness to Children
For a child, perhaps the easiest way to understand faithfulness is:
Faithfulness is doing what I say I will do.
We can see examples of God’s faithfulness in the way the sun rises each morning, in the way the moon goes through its phases each month, in the way the seasons move one into the other through the year.
And we can be examples of faithfulness in the way we do the chores we have agreed to do, keep our promises and tell the truth, take care of our pets so they have the food and attention they need to thrive, and show kindness to our friends so they know that they can count on us.
As I said before, recognizing God’s faithfulness to us feeds our desire to be faithful to Him. Spend some time talking or writing about the times when God has been faithful: when He has shown you His presence, when He has provided for you, when He has directed you, when He has forgiven you and given you another chance, when He has protected you.
You can make this conversation more concrete for children by having each person in the family place a colorful bead onto a string or cord each time someone shares an example of God's faithfulness. In this way, each family member will create a Faithfulness Necklace to wear as a beautiful reminder that God keeps His promises to us.
(The idea of a Faithfulness Necklace is shared at The Littles and Me.)
Perhaps one of the best loved stories of God’s faithfulness is the story of Noah's Ark, and the gift of the rainbow that serves as a reminder of God's promise to Noah. The story of Noah’s faithfulness to God, and God’s faithfulness to Noah, is found in Genesis 6-9, but you may prefer to read to your children from a storybook Bible. The key scripture to hold onto from this story is:
“Then God said to Noah and his sons with him… I establish my covenant [promise] with you: ‘Never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant [promise] I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant [promise] for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant [promise] between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant [promise] between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Genesis 9:8, 11-15)
Notice how many times God used the word “covenant,” meaning promise. When God says in the Bible that He will do something, He follows through and keeps His promises. God is a keeper of His promises, and when we allow His Spirit to direct us, we can be keepers of our promises, too!
Whenever we see a rainbow, let’s remember that it is a sign of God’s faithfulness. Create your own rainbow drawing or painting to hang in the front window. Or, create a painted rainbow rock to put by your mailbox. You are sharing a symbol of God’s faithfulness with your whole neighborhood!
Faithful Prayer Calendar
One way we can be faithful to God and to the people in our lives is to spend time in prayer each day. We can use a calendar to help us be faithful to our commitment to pray! Each box on the calendar stands for one day of this month. Write the name of someone you can pray for in each and every box of this month’s calendar. Then, whenever you have your special prayer time—in the morning, before dinner, or before bed, for example—use the calendar as a reminder to pray for the person whose name is written in today’s box. You can check off each calendar box after you have prayed to further track your progress toward being faithful to your commitment. (This idea was developed from Power Pak of Object Lessons, published by the editors of KIDS Church.)
If you missed the earlier posts on fruit of the spirit, you can find them here:
You really bring things to life with your writing and examples. Thank you so much! SueReplyDelete
Thank you, Sue! I appreciate your visits, and I hope that you continue to find useful nuggets here :)Delete
Thank you, Sue! I appreciate your visits, and I hope that you continue to find useful nuggets here :)ReplyDelete