What does the Bible mean by Goodness? Goodness is an action; it’s not something we do only for the sake of being virtuous. When we strive to be “good” only for our own benefit, it is not truly goodness that we possess.
Meditate: Galatians 6:9-10
Extended Reading: Galatians 6:1-10
- What makes you feel weary?
- When is it difficult to “do good” for your family?
Relate: I read an article recently explaining why it’s more difficult to raise tweens than infants or toddlers. They maintained that while infants or toddlers are incredibly needy, they also can be quick to reward you with smiles, coos, and sloppy kisses. As children move into their preschool and early elementary years, they become less needy, and then somehow regress as hormones settle in. Suddenly your pre-teen child is incredibly needy (and moody!) and yet they don’t compensate with sweet smiles and chubby fists wrapped around your neck as they snuggle in for a hug. Suddenly, what you have is a high-need, low-reward child.
Don’t Become Weary: Instead of giving us a free pass, Paul exhorts us to not become weary. When it’s quarter after bedtime and my eleven-year old is crying about her latest crisis. And her sister piggybacks on because she can’t handle having to shower again. I know this bedtime battle won’t end in them begging for a song and kiss goodnight and so the fight to get there is wearisome and doesn’t seem worth the effort. But here I am, called to do good. As parents, that “good” may look like serving our child by praying with them about (another) crisis, and it may look like firmly stating an expectation and following through with a consequence if needed. Friends and comrades: Look. Toward. The. Harvest.
God’s Goodness: In between the waves of hormones and streams of irrationality, these big kids who are catapulting towards adulthood faster than their feelings can handle, DO reward us with occasional glimpses of the harvest. This week, my girls have taken out the trash without being asked, they’ve comforted a sick baby sister, they’ve offered real help when I was sick myself. And I think that God, in his own goodness, gives me these glimpses so that I do not become weary in doing good. His spirit gives me strength anew to do the things I could never do in my own strength. So when your weariness comes, trust that God’s goodness will carry you through, so that you do not become weary in doing good.
- Sing: The Fruits of the Spirit (This will sound familiar! We’ll be practicing this song all summer!!)
- Declare a “Random Act of Kindness” day or even week! How will you carry out these small acts of kindness for others? Share on LS’s FB page with pictures and who you have blessed with your goodness!
- Watch & Sing: Goodness is God’s Idea
The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
- What have you done this week that was hard work?
- How did you feel when you were working hard?
- How did you feel when you were finished?
On the Road: Consider the things that make you feel weary. Commit these things to God, asking him to help you look toward the harvest and give you the strength to do the good that needs to be done.
- Preschool Kids: As you go about the work of “doing good”, for your child, focus on the harvest and teach your child to do the same. Let them know, “God has called me to be a good mom/dad, and so I am (helping you by making your breakfast) so that you will someday learn to (help others, too).” Or if the work of “doing good” includes discipline, let them know that you are teaching them to obey so that they grow to love and obey God, too. Affirm the ways that your child is already reflecting Jesus.
- Elementary Kids: Throughout the day, as you “do good” for your child, share how your role as a parent is to do the work that God has called you to do so that someday, you will reap a harvest – a child that knows and loves God. When you help your child with their chores or tuck them into bed, share that your prayer is that someday they will grow to use their knowledge and gifts to serve God and others. When you have to enforce rules, let them know that you do so because you care deeply that they learn to follow God’s rules so they can grow closer to him. Teak time to notice and affirm ways that your child is becoming more and more like Jesus.