A few days ago I finished writing some curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit. The last fruit is one of the hardest to teach, especially with children, “self”-control (or better yet, temperance). Today, I want to share with you a method of teaching our child this particular fruit of the Spirit.
Think about it–if we as parents struggle so much with “self”-control, what are our children picking up and learning from us?
The most basic key to temperance is being Spirit-led. (Galatians 5:22-23) Thus, teaching our children to follow the Holy Spirit is what needs to be done. However, it is a process and a growth that comes with time.
If my child has not trusted Christ as Savior, it is impossible for him to learn, because he does not have the Spirit living within him.
So what can I do in the meantime?
While writing curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit recently, I was doing some research, came upon this idea and fell in love with it. Here is the method. It is from the Scripture, Matthew 5:29-30. The Bible says:
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Many times, we are caught laughing at sin. The world attempts to make it funny and people are portrayed as heroes for stepping out and breaking the rules. However, God does not take sin lightly.
We need to treat sin as God treats it. So to teach our children not to take sin lightly, we can use this principle from Matthew:
When my child uses a part of his body to sin, he loses the right to use it.
- When my child yells at his siblings, he loses the right to speak
- When he hits a friend with his hand, he loses the right to use his hand. (You can have your child sit on his hand)
- When he follows his siblings to a place he should not go, he loses his right to walk.
- When he peeks at something he should not, he has to close his eyes.
(As a parent you determine the amount of time)
You can take these examples and make them personal with your child. I pray that, through using this method, children will quickly get the idea and eventually learn to control their own actions. This is a great tool but not the only thing to teach them.
As I mentioned earlier, the most important thing we can teach them, is to be Spirit-led.
No matter how strong they are, some day, they will have a temptation that is just too much for them to overcome. Everyone has weaknesses and the devil often knows what they are. So, at that point, it will only be God that can help lead them in the right direction. This is why teaching them to be able to sense the Holy Spirit and follow His leading is a must!
I hope that you can use both of these tools. From one momma’s heart to another.
Ps. What are some methods, that you use to teach self-control to your children? Please comment below.