Patience is the ability to endure the effects of evil and sin. As a fruit of the Spirit it’s something that’s important to us as we grow to become more like Jesus.
“ …we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons … we wait for it with patience.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Hi Kids! Over the summer we’re learning about the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. What are the Fruit of the Spirit!? When we put our faith in Jesus, we receive an amazing gift from Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit leads us, we grow and start to bear fruit! It’s a way of saying that we become more like Jesus. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” The last 3 weeks we spoke about love, joy and peace, and today we’re going to speak about patience! We’re going to use a green bananas to represent patience because patience means waiting for something good to happen, and when bananas are green we have to wait for them to ripen. Patience is also sometimes called long-suffering and bananas are long fruit, so that’s another way to remember it.
Patience is a Fruit
Have you guys ever had to wait a long time for something good to happen? What are some situations where you might have to be patient? [Try to offer an age specific scenario to the kids you’re teaching. For 4-5 year olds it might be having to wait while a sibling plays with a toy you’re wanting to play with. For 6-8 year olds it might be wanting to leave for a friend’s birthday party but having to wait for the right time. For 9-11 year olds it might be waiting for their father to finish work before he can take them for a bike ride]. Did you know that the Bible talks about us being patient for something really special that’s way better than a toy, or a party, or a bike ride? In Romans 8 verse 23 and 25 it says: “ 23 …we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons 25 … we wait for it with patience.”
Wow! This verse talks about the firstfruits of the Spirit. Firstfruits are the very first fruits that are harvested in the season. They are very special because it’s the first of what the farmer has been waiting for all year and it tells him that the main harvest is going to come with even more fruit. In Bible times it was so special to people that they would give an offering to God from those firstfruits.
Did you know that God’s truth is growing in our lives by God’s Spirit? We wait patiently for it to grow but we can celebrate now that it’s growing in our lives.
The Parable of the Sower
Jesus spoke about this in a story that he told:
Remind the kids about the story from Luke 8:4-15
You can draw some ideas from the parables series, but you don’t have to go into too much detail. Emphasize from verse 15 that we want to be the soil that bears fruit with patience.
Growing in Patience
Patience is one of the fruit that helps other fruit to grow in our lives. It sometimes means not getting angry when we don’t get our way. It sometimes means not being irritated when we have to wait for something. True patience however is a gift from God. It’s not just ourselves but it’s a fruit of the Spirit. That means that it’s good to pray to God to help us be more patient and also trust him to allow his truth to continue to grow in our lives so that we can be like plants full grown (Ps 144:12).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your great patience towards us when we make mistakes. Thank you that you’ve given us your Spirit and that you’re growing good fruit in us. Lord, even if it seems like we have a long way to go before perfectly producing all the fruit of the Spirit, we pray that you’ll give us patience as we grow.
- What does the sower sow in the story?
- What do the seeds stand for?
- What kind of fruit do you think grows from the seeds?
- Do seeds grow quickly or slowly?
- Why is it important to be patient?
- What helps us to be patient?
Game: Going Bananas (Banana foot pass)!
Divide the kids into two teams and have them sit in two straight lines.
Say: Let’s see how fast we can pass a banana up and back down the line. Here is the catch: You can’t use your hands. You must hold the banana with your feet. Pass the banana, feet to feet, up and down the line. If someone drops the banana, you must start over.
Place a banana between the feet of each of the two children in the front of the lines. Show those children how to hold the banana between his or her feet and then swivel on their bum to pass it to the child behind them. The kids will probably drop to the floor a few times during the game. If children have an especially difficult time, modify the rules so kids can restart the game with the same partner who dropped the banana.
When kids have finished, gather them around you in a circle. Ask:
- Was is frustrating not to be able to use your hands Why?
- Did it help to get angry or frustrated? Why?
Say: It’s easy to feel impatient when things don’t go your way. It required patience to be able to overcome the difficulty of this game. It’s also a good reminder for us to be patient with others when they make a mistake in the same way that God is patient with us.
Image credit: Musae fructa longiori spadicis fructiferi, from Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jacob Trew, 1750-1773. Hand-colored line engraving.