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.
1 Corinthians 9:25 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: Self-Control is Hard!
It is so easy to loose your temper, to give into temptation, to not fight the urge to eat all the Oreos. Self-control is hard, not doubt about that. What is easy is not always best. Sometimes we just have to do hard things. It is hard work to control yourself, your temper, your frustrations, your wants, your passions. But God calls us to do just that. He wants us to be free. If you’re always just reacting and doing the easy thing, you’re never really free. Remember that self-control is a gift from the Holy Spirit, ask God for it.
Day Two: When I Wake Up
“First, upon awakening in the morning, turn your thoughts to God present everywhere; place your heart and your entire being in his hands. Then think briefly on the good you will be able to accomplish that day and the evil you can avoid, especially by controlling your predominant fault.” -St. Jane Frances de Chantal
When you wake up, start your day out right with prayer. Pray for all the good God will do through you that day. Pray for strength to stay away from evil. You get a clean slate every morning. Today, you can control yourself. Pray for God’s help. Just be prepared! When we pray for self-control, God will give us every opportunity to do so. The best way to GAIN self control is to practice it.
“When we once begin to form good resolutions, God give us every opportunity of carrying them out.”- St. John Chrysostom
Activity: It can be hard learning a new habit. So, let’s make signs to remind us to pray when we wake up! Grab canvas, canvas board, poster, paper- whatever you want to use to make your sign. Write “pray” on each sign in bold letters. Even kids who cannot read will remember what you said the sign says. Let the kids decorate their signs to hang in their room near the bed (or even on the ceiling above their bed) to remind them to pray!
Day Three: The Will of God
Sometimes we get so caught up in how things should go and how we want things done. We get so focused on what we want, we forget about what God wants. God wants you to have a heart as big as the universe. He wants you to have the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Sometimes we have to learn to let go of our plan, practice self-control, and let God’s plan happen in our life. “The goal of all our undertakings should not be so much a task perfectly completed as the accomplishment of the will of God.”- St. Therese of Lisieux. You may not be able to control everything, but you can control how you act.
Activity: Game! This game is like Simon says, only everyone gets to be Simon. Take turns going around the circle and saying, “If I had self-control, I would tell myself to ….” each person will add what they would do. Hop, yell, dance, spin, clap, stomp, whatever. And everyone else does whatever that person says.
Day Four: Stop!
The best thing you can learn to help you with self-control is to learn to Stop and Think. Instead of responding right away, stop. Think about what you want to do, not just what you feel like doing. Think about what God wants you to do. Your brother knocks over the Lego house you just spent forever building. Instead of reacting, stop and think. Would it be better to hurt your brother over a toy? Or would it be better to just tell your brother that they upset you? You don’t have to say it is okay, sometimes it isn’t. You can be upset and you can be mad- but you can also control yourself and tell them with your words that you are mad and upset. You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel.
Activity: Game! This game is like Red Light, Green Light. Only we’ll call it “Stop! Think!” Line everyone up. Explain that when you yell “Stop!” They stop and yell, “Think!” and do their very best thinking pose. Instead of simply saying “go” again, tell them what to do next. (Crawl! Hop! Skip! Walk backwards! Hop on one foot!)
Day Five: Let Go
Sometimes we can’t control everything, and that makes us feel out of control. But we’ll be better people and learn self-control if we learn what we cannot control. We cannot stop the rain. But we can grab an umbrella. Sometimes another kid is mean to us. We can’t discipline them or hurt them back. But we can let a teacher or parent know and let them deal with it. We can’t change the hearts of other people. but we can pray that God will help us and them in the situation. “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you.”- Will Smith
Activity: What can I do, game? In this game, you make up a scenario and then ask the kids, “What can I do?” and let them come up with the solutions. If they come up with things you really cannot do or would not be best, play that out and help them come up with better solutions. They can be as ridiculous or common as you’d like. (See examples.)
“I am an alien and my ship is malfunctioning around the third planet called Earth. What can I do?” (Work to fix the ship. Crash land on earth. Call for back up.)
“I am playing at the playground and another kid keeps jumping in line for the slide in front of me without waiting! What can I do?” (Say, “I was in line.” Wait a little longer. Play with something else.)
“I want to play with the Batman toy, but someone else already has him. What can I do?” (Ask to play when the other person is done. Play with something else. Find the other Batman toy.)
“I am a farmer and my cows have all started dancing the conga! What can I do?” (Join them! Grab my camera. Move so they don’t step on my feet.)
Activity 2: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it!