What a heavy responsibility parenting is! Not only are we responsible for our children’s food, clothing, shelter, and safety, but intentionally or not, we mold their character. We determine if our children’s character is centered on the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) or the “fruit of the world.”
It’s easy to teach worldly characteristics because they are thrust on our children by business, media, politics and the entertainment industry.
Some character traits taught by the world:
- Money is the measure of success.
- A person has to look out for himself or herself first.
- If it makes me feel good, that’s justification for anything I want to do.
- If people get hurt on my way to the top, they should have stayed out of my way.
- We should judge ourselves and others by physical appearance.
Fruit of the Spirit Character Traits
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22. These are the character traits that are Christ-like—the “fruits” that make a godly man or woman.
To Teach Fruit of the Spirit Traits Is Sometimes Difficult Decision
For many, it will be difficult to decide which set of traits they want to teach their children. A hard-driving businessman may find it difficult to accept that kindness and goodness are better traits to teach a son than aggressiveness. A person who has worked hard to go from “rags to riches” may find it unthinkable to say that peace is more important than money.
As parents, we must decide which “fruits” we want to teach our children. If we choose the “fruits of the Spirit,” it will require constant prayer and dedication on our part. We know that if we relax our efforts for just a moment, the world will quickly step in to teach its “fruits.”
Questions: What worldly characteristics are the hardest to avoid teaching our children?