Read Galations 5:22-23 at least once during the week. Read it daily if you’d like! We’re wanting the kids to memorize The Fruit of The Spirit.
Psalm 18:35 is the memory verse this week. Read the memory verse at the beginning of each devotional time. The goal is to have each member of your family memorize this verse to the best of their ability this week. I also use the weekly memory verse in our handwriting lessons. You can print out the image above or make your own- just try to get the written verse up on your wall this week. (Image is sized to print 5×7.)
Day One: Jesus is Our Example
Read Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says that he is gentle. Gentleness is not weakness. In fact, James Dean said, “Only the gentle are ever really strong.” Gentleness is responding to others in a kind, understanding manner. Think about how Jesus interacted with people. When the paralyzed man is brought to him in Matthew 9, Jesus doesn’t huff and puff about time. He doesn’t get upset that they are interrupting his plans. He forgives the man of his sins and makes him walk again. In Matthew 9:36, it says Jesus had compassion for the people. Jesus patiently teaches his disciples the same lesson over and over. When he meets the woman at the well, he deals with her kindly and compassionately. We need to learn to see people as Jesus does- with compassion and love. When we see people the way Jesus does, we can then treat people as Jesus did- gently. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” – Van Goethe.
“This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized, and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle sand humble of heart.” -St. John Bosco
Activity: Coloring Page.
Day Two: Seeing God In All
When we see God in everything and every person we meet, it isn’t hard to be gentle with them. Read this prayer excerpt by St. Patrick. (For an added activity, have the kids quietly “act” out the prayer as you read it with hand motions.)
“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left, Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”
Prayer: God, help us to see you in others. Help others see You in us. Give us the strength to be gentle with others and ourselves. Amen.
Activity: Coloring Page.
Optional Activity 2: Listen to the song “Allah, Allah, Allah” by mewithoutyou. (If the title of the song bothers you, please skip it. It would only be beneficial in hearts open to hearing it.)
Day Three: Gentle Gardeners
“Just as he gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them himself, so he wishes to use others in his cultivation of souls.” – Sure thing.. Therese of Lisieux
Read Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus compares our work in the lives of others to being a farmer or gardener. Have you ever planted a flower? Can you be rough and throw the flower to the dirt and stomp some dirt on top? No? Oh my! That flower would certainly not make it. We must plant flowers gently, using soft hands, sometimes even singing to our flowers to make them grow. God wants us to be this way with others. He is planting things in their life right now and he needs you to be gentle with those flowers in other people and not stomp on them and crush them. Walk gently. Speak gently. Work gently.
Activity: Plant a flower! Grab a few pots, some soil, and some flowers. Practice gentleness in planting and caring for your flowers. (We usually pray over our newly planted plants and sing a song to them.)
Activity 2: Coloring Page.
Day Four: Gentle Servant Stephen
Read Matthew 10:16. Read Acts 7:54-60 ab0ut Stephen.
Even as Stephen was being stoned to death, he prayed for those killing him. That would take great strength! And great gentleness. Jesus said he was sending the disciples out as lambs to wolves. I don’t think the disciples had exactly this in mind. Many of those that followed Jesus in those early days died for telling others about Christ. Many today die because of their faith in Christ. And in dying, they are praying for those killing them, that they may still find Christ.
Jim Elliot was a missionary to tribal people in Equador. He went into the jungle to bring Jesus to the people. He and 4 of his friends were killed by tribal warriors in 1956. Though Jim and his friends had weapons, they did not use them. They did not want to see people die not knowing Christ. Instead, the missionaries died themselves. The children and wives of the missionaries killed continued their work and won the tribe to Christ.
“It is easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind.” -Unknown
Activity: Coloring page.
Activity 2: Let the kids choose a story, Stephen or Jim Elliot, and have them act it out. Please don’t let them throw actual rocks or spear one another.
Day 5: Make My Heart Gentle
St. Francis Cabrini prayed, “Give me a heart as big as the universe!” Take some time today to pray that the Lord would make your heart as big as the universe! That He would help you see Him in others and give you the strength and courage to be gentle. We must remember that gentleness isn’t what we say or do, but how we say or do those things.
Activity: Coloring page.
Activity 2: Game! Egg race. Grab some eggs (raw if you’re brave, boiled if you’re not) and spoons. Line everyone up and race!
Activity 3: Did you learn your memory verse this week? If so, share it!