This is the fourth 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. Click on the preview to the right to download the free coloring page about patience
Suggested Age Group: 1rst-3rd Grades
Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Timothy 1:16, Colossians 1:11, Proverbs 19:11, 2 Peter 3:15
Exegetical Idea: Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, available to all believers as they abide in Christ.
Pedagogical Idea: As believers, we have the fruit of patience available to us as we abide and trust in Christ.
Cognitive Aim: Children will know patience 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 joy in the discovery of God’s patience with us as sinners.
Behavioral Aim: Children will praise God through song, pray together, and memorize 1 Timothy 1:16.
Memory Verse: 1 Timothy 1:16, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (NIV).
Optional Puppet Skit: A reader from Canada named Joelle Belletrutti sent us a puppet skit she used with her preschool class to introduce this lesson plan. Click here to download it.
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Test the children’s patience. Supplies: Oranges or other type of snack-see section below for details and other possible supplies.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Read and discuss Scripture about patience. Supplies: Bible, dry erase or chalk board.
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Have someone come tell your class a story about waiting for the Lord. Perhaps a couple who struggled with having children or who adopted a child, waiting for the salvation of a family member, waiting for healing from an illness, etc., discuss what patience looks like in our lives. Supplies: Bible, dry erase or chalk board, (optional: blank pieces of paper, writing/drawing utensils-see below).
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize, pray together. Supplies: Notecards for parents with 1 Timothy 1:16 written on them.
**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 “patience”, 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.
***For this lesson, before your children arrive, write on the board the following four verses in a column:
- Proverbs 19:11, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (NIV)
- Colossians 1:11, “We pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so that you may have great endurance and patience.” (NLT, NIV)
- 1 Timothy 1:16, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (NIV)
- 2 Peter 3:15, “ Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience (in reference to His second coming, read in context) means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.” (NIV)
On the opposite side write the following descriptions (make sure they are not matched up with the verses, see activity description below):
- Through God’s power, we can be patient
- A wise person is patient
- Christ is patient so more people can be saved; He is our example.
Please note, there are four verses and three descriptions, so two verses will match the same description.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Have a few oranges to pass out to the class (or whatever fruit you would like, or another type of snack. You can shape this idea to fit your class). Take out a knife and slowly, slowly begin to slice up the oranges. Take your time! Lots of time! When you notice them becoming impatient, ask:
- ASK: Can anyone tell me what patience is? (Allow time for response and different ideas.) The dictionary tells us patience is the bearing of pain, misfortune, or annoyance without anger, irritation, or complaint. Bearing is like holding something very heavy. When you are going through something difficult, it can feel like you are carrying something very heavy everywhere you go. So patience is going through something very hard, or just something very annoying, without getting angry or complaining.
- ASK: What is the opposite of patience? (Impatience!) Did it make you irritated when I was taking so much time to pass out the orange slices to you? What are some things you go through each day that make you impatient? (Write their thoughts on the board.)
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.
- SAY: The Bible tells us in this passage that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be patient people. This does not mean that we will be patient all the time! But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Patience becomes part of the kind of person we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives the power to be patient!
- Ask: In order to know all about patience, what do we need to do? (Look in the Bible!) God’s Word is our ultimate source of truth!
- SAY: There are four different parts of patience we are going to read about today. I am going to read the verse aloud, and I want you to match the verse with the description of patience written on the board. (As they guess correctly, draw a line from the description to the verse, or ask for four different children to come up and draw a line to match the verse with the corresponding description.)
- ASK: What do we learn about patience based on these verses? (Discuss each verse individually. Use the paragraph below as a guide, but let them give their thoughts on each verse.)
- Proverbs 19:11 reminds us that a wise is patient. When someone wrongs them, they patiently forgive that person. Also, it is really tough to be patient sometimes, but Colossians 1:11 tells us that God’s glorious power gives us strength to be patient. Not only does God give us strength to be patient, but He also shows us how to be patient. Second Peter 3:15 explains that Jesus is patiently waiting to come back to earth so that all people will have a chance to know Him and be saved (in context). So, God is patient in a general way with all people, but also in a very specific way with each of us. In I Timothy 1:16 Paul says that he was shown mercy so that God’s perfect patience would be put on display. Paul, like all of us, did not deserve to be saved. He had offended God badly over and over again, but God was patient with him and still saved him.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- SAY: Each day we will face situations that test our patience. These can be small things, like someone taking their time when you are in a hurry or very big things, like waiting on God to heal a family member. As we learn to be patient in the small things, God will prepare us to go through the bigger things. Today we have ___________ here to share with us a story from their life when they had to wait on God and be patient.
- Activity: Use the Fruit of the Spirit coloring page for patience. Act out the scene depicted in the picture or the scenarios you discussed as a group. Emphasize ways you can control your irritation in different situations to show patience (prayer, leaving the room, remembering Scripture, etc.).
- Say: When we are struggling to be patient with another person, we should remember God’s patience toward us. As sinners, we have offended God. The Bible says that we have even hated Him. So, God had every right to be angry with us, but instead He showed just how awesome His patience is by saving us! If someone hurts you and you really just want to explode back at them, think of all the things you have done against God. Think of how He could have punished you, but instead in His patience poured out His mercy and love. This is not just when we are saved either. Every day we still wrong God and He still is patient with us. So, may that truth sink deep into our hearts and motivate us to be patient with others!
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- SAY: I want us to memorize together 1 Timothy 1:16, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (Use hand motions 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 patience we are able to have because He lives within 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.