Over the next nine months I will be writing about the fruit of the Spirit and its cultivation in our lives. With each post I’ll be including a free embroidery pattern download featuring the month’s topic.
Have you ever stopped to think about how your family will look five years from now? How about in 10 years from now, 25? or 50? What changes will take place? Will you and your family be growing spiritually? Will your family be bearing the fruit of the spirit or quenching it?
We have to ask ourselves: How does your family get from where they are now, to where the Lord wants them to be fifty years from now? What will make that difference?
Imagine with me the Spirit of the Lord bearing fruit in your life and in the lives of each of your family members. Imagine that fruit multiplying and affecting the lives of those around us. Does it seem daunting? With the Lord’s help we can cultivate and grow the fruit of His Spirit and prepare the soil for His work in our children as well.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
This month we will look at love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the perfect place to learn what biblical love looks like:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
This may be such a familiar passage that it is easily overlooked. but as wives and mothers it would do us much good to memorize it and apply it to our daily walk.
5 Ways to Cultivate Love:
1. Pray and ask the Lord for more of His Spirit and to specifically help you grow in love. Humbly realize that you cannot love selflessly without His indwelling Spirit. Ask for Him to give you discernment and wisdom as you meet with testing throughout the day.
2. Recognize and anticipate the frustrations that provoke you to unloving responses. Be proactive and prepare to battle with your flesh! Think ahead of time how you will respond. Memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and other passages of scripture that speak of love and preach them to yourself.
3. Be on guard. Immediately slay unbiblical thought patterns when you are tempted to think unloving thoughts about your husband, children, and others. When you think of your family’s shortcomings, thank the Lord for His grace toward all of you. Thank Him for the unique place He’s put you in to show your family His unconditional love.
4. Think before you speak. Check not only your words, but your tone of voice. Replace words that are impatient and selfish with words that encourage and shows biblical love.
5. Respond selflessly. Anything from telling yourself “no”, to rearranging your schedule to spend extra time with someone who needs help.
What would it look like to do those 5 things?
Your day begins with prayer, asking the Lord for His spirit to bear fruit in you. You start by thinking about ways to love your family and all of a sudden you hear bickering sounds coming from the other room. You realize that this is an area that really gets you upset. Rather than yelling or stomping into the room to find out what is going on, you begin to pray for God to help you with this situation. Thinking over 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, you’re reminded of how love acts. You go find your children that are bickering, you speak to them with a gentle voice and tone. You help your children work through their issue and take the time to instruct them in righteousness. Tell them about the verses that you are learning and how they can apply these verses to what they are going through as well, and pray with them that the Lord would teach them as well as yourself.
With the Lord’s help we can all grow and show biblical love.
Free “Love” Embroidery Pattern
As an extra way to remember to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, we’ve created a free embroidery pattern from Clementine Patterns – just for you! This pattern makes for a great mother-daughter project. Plus, each month we’ll be offering a free pattern that directly ties in with the fruit of the Spirit for that month.
This month’s pattern features several graphics for Love.
Download it for free and embroider your own version of “Love” for your home and family! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available for free download for two weeks – now through April 12th.) UPDATE: Now available here!
There are several ways to transfer the pattern to material. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Tape the paper design to a well-lit window and tape the material over the paper and then trace.
2. Use a light box to trace the design onto your material.
3. You can use a water-soluble pen or pencil, or a fine-tip pigma pen. Test on sample material to see what works best for you.
4. Using a transfer pen, draw directly on the design and then iron onto your material. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for details.
You could also let your children color in the pattern and display it in your home somewhere for a reminder.
What are some of your favorite ways to show love to your family?