When my oldest son was born, I promised him that I would tell him everything I know about Jesus. I’ve since made that promise to each of my other two children.
It didn’t take me long in my motherhood journey to figure out that I needed a plan to teach my children about Jesus. In the day to day busyness of life, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of dishes, laundry, running of a ministry, etc., and neglect intentional discipleship of my children.
I need God’s Word to challenge, correct, admonish, and teach my children more than anything else this world has to offer.
Around the age of two, I started intentional toddler time with my oldest child.
I read books by Charlotte Mason and devoured websites touting the Montessori style of teaching. I talked to my teacher relatives, to women at my church, to homeschoolers and preschool teachers. I read every single piece of research on development and learning styles I could get my hands on. I pulled out any textbooks I had from my college days on the topic of learning and education.
As I researched various ways to teach my son his colors, shapes, and letters, I also began to brainstorm ways to teach him stories from the Bible.
As I got more and more comfortable in my teaching philosophy, I started brainstorming ways to go beyond the regular Sunday school lesson type Bible lessons. As I prayed, the Lord led me to passages like Colossians 3:1-17 and Ephesians 4:22-24 where Paul talks about putting off the old self and putting on the new self in Christ Jesus.
I talked often with my husband about how we spend so much time telling Sam what not to do, but how I wanted to start teaching him what to do in a way that he could understand while not adding to what I was already doing.
How could I weave early learning skills with early learning discipleship?
As I wrestled with how best to teach his young mind, I eventually realized that what I desperately wanted my son to know was the difference between sowing to the flesh (sin) and sowing to the spirit (life). I wanted him to know the difference between godly behavior and sinful behavior. I wanted him to have tangible, multi-sensory experiences with what is good in order for him to better grasp the truth of God’s Word as he got older.
This is how the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers came to be. Through trial and error, a whole lot of research, and even more prayer, God impressed on my heart to use Galatians 5:22-23 as my guide in teaching my son what it looks like to sow to the spirit and not to the flesh.
Galatians 5:22-23 laid the groundwork of my son’s Christian education, and we could not be more pleased with or humbled by the fruits of that investment.
I don’t know that I set out thinking I would one day pull this curriculum all together into a downloadable format for all the world to access, but that’s what happened. That’s what happened when God stepped in and gave insight, clarity, and help when I so desperately needed it for my own life.
With the help of my husband (he created so many printables to help me wrap up the enormous project!), we released the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum in mid-August 2014. Since that day nearly one thousand Fruit of the Spirit Curriculums have been downloaded.
If I had known in 2012 what I know now about the impact the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers would have on our family’s life I wouldn’t have believed you. I certainly wouldn’t have believed that I’d be receiving emails about how much families, Sunday school teachers, and even Christian preschool teachers have enjoyed using the curriculum with their children and classes.
Because the impact has been more than I could have ever dreamed, beyond comprehension truly, I share this as a testimony to Ephesians 3:20-21.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
When we seek Him, when we ask Him for wisdom to parent and teach our children about Him, He will do far more abundantly than all we ask or think! He is a great, great God! I am humbled to be playing a small, small part in the shaping of foundational Christian truths in other children’s lives other than my own.
So, I’m so thankful I not only wrote the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers, but that I used it with my son as well. I’m now beginning to use it all over again with my second son who is two and a half years old. He’s ready to begin some of the lessons, and my oldest is enjoying coming alongside his brother to teach him all that God has stored in his little five year old heart.
I didn’t even realize at the time that by using this curriculum, I was not only teaching my oldest son what God’s word says about godly living, but I was giving him the tools he needed to teach his brother even now. I often hear him in his room during room time asking his brother if he’s opening his heart to Satan right now or to Jesus.
This is family discipleship.
I’m now working through the life of Jesus with the boys. As I teach them, I keep in mind that maybe some day God will give wisdom to pulling it all together for other families again. I don’t know if that’s what He has for us, but I am taking diligent notes and brainstorming like crazy.
As a celebration of God’s faithfulness …
As a celebration of God’s faithfulness, my husband and I thought it would be fun to giveaway five copies of the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum. My oldest is five and that seemed like a good number to use. 🙂 Don’t worry! If you win the giveaway, we’ll refund you the money. To enter the giveaway, sign in with Rafflecopter below: