Fruitbowl parenting

Mum of four Beci gives us a great glimpse of how simply leaving her Bible out created an opportunity …

I’ve got a habit of leaving things out everywhere. But on this occasion it created a great opportunity! My journalling Bible was open on the page that I’d been reading, with the drawing that I’d done. I’d been studying the armour of God and had drawn a shield of faith, complete with fiery arrows heading straight for it, and a few had met their fate and were satisfyingly smouldering having been extinguished.

This caught the attention of my daughter, and she asked me what I had been doing. Aha! I thought, a chance to share the importance and benefits of personal devotional time!

So I explained what I had been doing, but failed in completing the mission as it was breakfast time in a household of six, including a teenager and a bonkers puppy, and so got interrupted. Amazingly my daughter then asked if she could do the same after school.

Thankfully, she remembered about it at pick up, as I had forgotten.

When we got in, she found her Bible and settled down ready and waiting. “So, what are we going to read Mummy?” My mind went blank. There was nothing coming, nothing. No ready-to-go passage in my head that would be appropriate for an eager five-year-old girl, wanting to colour in verses and illustrate it, just like her Mummy. I manically flicked through the Old Testament, looking for passages of godly women and girls to inspire her. I found Ruth, but didn’t know how to explain what was going on with Boaz and the threshing floor. I found a passage on Deborah, but that had bits about Jael and that fatal tent peg incident … Where do you start? Esther, again, murder and a few more adult themes going on.

I admit, I’m not the best at thinking on my feet and improvisation. There’s a lot that can be done to explain those wonderful stories and make them more age appropriate, it’s just that I had to get the tea on and had other homework catastrophes to deal with, so I was under pressure!

Then I felt prompted to look at the fruit of the Spirit, perhaps? Perfect. So, I enthusiastically asked my daughter if she knew what the fruit of the Spirit is (knowing that she’d leant a song about it at church).

I was feeling confident. So was she. She began, “Um, a coconut, a strawberry, erm, bananas …”

Nooooooooo! Through our giggles, I reminded her that there was an important word missing from the song she’d learnt … The fruit of the Spirit is NOT a coconut! So we went from there. We read through Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control …”

She happily underlined the verses and we went through them as I asked her what she thought each word meant. I was heartwarmingly surprised at her explanations and grasp of each one.

When I told her how proud I was of her, she looked at me with a look that she’s perfected over time and said, “We’ve been doing this in church, Mummy.” She then wanted to draw a picture of the verses, and drew grapes, strawberries, oranges and bananas down the side of the page. It was a lovely memory.

It was also good to be reminded of the fruit of the Spirit.

Love – That’s unconditional and all-encompassing.

Joy – Deep rooted and unaffected by circumstances.

Peace – In the melee and whirlwinds of everyday life.

Patience – When we feel like we’re losing the will.

Kindness – Being kind is huge. For everyone. Always.

Goodness – We could all do with more goodness in our lives.

Faithfulness – In all things and to all people.

Gentleness – A lost art.

Self-control – Saves a whole lot of trouble.

I would like to have more of these sorts of fruit in my “bowl” as a parent. Each one is worth its weight in gold, and then some.




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