This is the eight Bible lesson in our series based on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Each particular lesson plan explains a specific character quality that God creates in us through his Spirit. These lessons are designed to accompany the printable Fruit of the Spirit coloring book from our website. Click here to see all the lessons in this series.
Suggested Age Group: 1rst-3rd Grades
Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:2, Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 11:28-29, 2 Samuel 22:36, 1 Peter 3:15, Galatians 6:1
Exegetical Idea: Gentleness is a Fruit of the Spirit, available to all believers as they abide in Christ.
Pedagogical Idea: As believers, we are able to display the fruit of gentleness as we abide and trust in Christ.
Cognitive Aim: Children will know gentleness is modeled most greatly by our God, is made possible through Christ, and is a Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Affective Aim: Children will feel comforted by the gentle nature of our God.
Behavioral Aim: Children will memorize Proverbs 15:4.
Memory Verse: Proverbs 15:4, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness (viciousness, from Strong’s) in it breaks the spirit.” (ESV)
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Discover what Fruit of the Spirit today’s lesson is about. Supplies: chalk/marker board with Galatians 5:22-23 written out, pictures of newborns OR actual new parents with their baby (or pictures of their baby to show). Have them talk about how they had to learn to handle a newborn gently.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Look to God’s Word to discover what He says about gentleness. Supplies: Bible, chalk/marker board (write out verse references on board).
- Personal Pursuit (10-15 minutes) Description: Learning activity, coloring sheets, pray together. Supplies: A bowl or jar, slips of paper with different scenarios a 1st -3rd grader might find themselves in that requires a gentle response (ex. Telling a younger sibling their pet died, confronting a friend about sin, responding to a friend who had a family member die, defending your faith to someone who says it’s not true, etc.), gentleness coloring sheets found here: Fruit of the Spirit.
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Proverbs 15:4. Supplies: Notecards with memory verse written out for parents.
**For the Fruit of the Spirit lessons, you could make a tree for the wall labeled “believer” or “Christian.” Each week you can add the particular attribute you are teaching about. This week, you would add “gentleness,” allowing a child to place it on the branch of the tree. I would encourage you to only use one type of fruit (if you are writing each virtue on a fruit), for though there are several virtues produced by the Spirit, they are all one type of fruit: the Fruit of the Spirit. There are also several object lessons and activities on the website that would complement this lesson if you have more time with your children. Many activities over the Fruit of the Spirit would work well as the children are arriving.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- This activity depends on your resources. If you have new parents who can come and talk to your class about how they had to learn to handle a baby gently, that would be great! If not, do the following:
- DO: Show pictures of newborn babies with their parents and siblings.
- ASK: Do any of you have a baby brother or sister? (Allow time for them to respond.) How do we handle babies? (Allow time for response.) Babies are fragile. We have to be careful with them. We are never rough with babies because it will hurt them. We treat them with gentleness.
- SAY: Can you guess what Fruit of the Spirit we are talking about today from look at our verses on the board? (Allow them to guess.) Gentleness! Today we will discover that gentleness is not just about how we care for a baby. God desires for us to be gentle in our actions, our words, and our attitudes! Where do we go to discover God’s truth about gentleness? (His Word! The Bible!)
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Read Deuteronomy 32:2 to your students as a prayer over your teaching time:
“May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.”
- SAY: This is my prayer as I teach you this morning. Now let’s read some verses together and discover God’s truth about gentleness!
- DO: Make a column on the board entitled Gentleness. Explain that together you will make a list of words that describe gentleness as you read different verses from the Bible. Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.
- SAY: The Bible tells us in this passage that gentleness is a Fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with gentleness! This does not mean that we will be gentle all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Gentleness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives us the power to be gentle! So what would be the first thing we write on the board to describe gentleness? (Fruit of the Spirit).
- Read Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (ESV)
- SAY: Jesus models gentleness to us by calling all of those who are tired and suffering to find rest in Himself. He gently leads us, like a Shepherd with His sheep. What can we write on the board about gentleness from this verse? (Jesus is our example of gentleness.)
- Read 2 Samuel 22:36, “You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.”
- SAY: This verse is from a song David sang after God delivered Him from his enemies. Earlier in the verse we see how powerful our God is in defeating David’s enemies. Describing God as gentle does not mean He is not powerful. David faced a lot of dangers in his life, but God was always there, caring, protecting, and guiding him. When David’s says God’s gentleness made him great, he is referring to His constant care over his life. What can we write on the board for this verse? (God is our example of gentleness. Words to describe it for us: listener, protector, safe place)
- Read 1 Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”
- SAY: So gentleness is not keeping your faith to yourself, but proclaiming the Gospel with gentle words, in a respectful way. If someone asks you why you believe or even attacks your reasons for believing, you have to be ready to defend your faith in a gentle and respectful way. What do learn about gentleness from this verse? (Share truth with gentleness).
- Read: Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
- SAY: As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to correct and confront each other when we see sin. This verse shows us that we are to do it with a spirit of gentleness. Instead of saying “You are such a sinner! You are horrible”, we should say, “I have seen this sin in your life. It hurts me to see you in this sin because I care about you. God loves you and desires for you to repent.” What do we learn about gentleness from this verse? (Correct sin with gentle spirit, gentle words.)
3. Personal Pursuit (15-20 minutes)
- Do: Set out the jar full of scenarios. Split your children into two or three groups, depending on your class size. Have each group pull out a scenario.
- SAY: Each group has pulled out a description of a situation you might find yourself in one day. Your job is to act out this situation two times. The first time, you will show us how to handle it without gentleness. The second time you will show us how you could handle it with gentleness based on the verses we just talked about. If you need any help, let us know! You have 5-7 minutes to plan your skits! Ready…set…go!
- Adapt their time based on your schedule.
- After they are finished, have everyone sit down and discuss what they have learned. While you are talking, pass out the gentleness coloring sheet.
- DO: Have a time of silence. Ask the following questions rhetorically: Is gentleness a part of who you are right now? Do your words show gentleness or are they harsh and mean? Do you show gentleness with your actions? Are you a protector, a listener, a comforter to your friends and your family? Let’s ask God together to grow the fruit of gentleness in our hearts this week. (Pray together. During your prayer, thank God for His gentle way with us and for Christ, for it is only through Him that we can be changed and produce the Fruit of the Spirit.)
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- SAY: I want us to memorize together Proverbs 15:4, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness (viciousness) in it breaks the spirit.” (Use hand motions to help them memorize or write it on the board, erasing one word at a time until everyone is able to say it together without seeing it.)
- Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, the gentleness we are able to have because He lives within us and for His great gentleness to us.
- Encourage the parents to work on this verse with their children. Send a notecard home with each parent with the verse written on it.