The fruit of the Spirit: love includes a discussion on why is love the first fruit of the Spirit, as well as a fruit of the Spirit: love lesson, craft, and coloring page.
Why is LOVE the first fruit of the Spirit?
If you’ve ever wondered why love is the first fruit of the Spirit, settle in and turn on your imagination! In fact, imagine you have taken a time machine trip way back to the beginning of time. I mean the very beginning, before the universe existed. There are no hot dogs, no siblings, and no computers.
Nothing to taste, smell, see, touch, or hear. All there is right here, right now, is God.
But here is the enormously strange mystery. While there is only one God, God exists as three persons. They are called Father, Spirit, and Son. The three persons of God are separate but the same, kind of like the three separate points on a fidget spinner. One fidget spinner has three points. But when you spin the fidget spinner, it all looks like one solid piece of plastic.
God as three persons in one is called the Trinity.
>> Related: How to Explain the Holy Spirit to a Child <<
These three persons love each other deeply. The Greek word for the relationship between Father, Spirit, and Son is perichoresis (pear-i-COR-i-sis). That’s a very big word to describe something like a dance of love, where the Father, Son, and Spirit dance and swirl and rotate around a common center of divine love. They dance together in perfect love and peace.
Out of this love, God created you and me and everything around us, and God invites us to dance with him. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.”
We were designed to be part of this dance, to love God and love each other perfectly. But of course, we failed. God created laws to help us, but those laws only showed how unloving we were.
In John 15:9, Jesus said, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” It’s hard for us to remain in Jesus’s love, isn’t it? We have a hard time trusting that God actually loves us, which makes it hard to love him back.
So God, out of love, sent the Son to free us from our sin so we could join in this dance of love. All you have to do to join is accept that God has given you this gift, and choose to join the dance.
The Father created you, the Son saved you, and, once you accept the gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit lives inside you, helping you love God and love others.
Why is love the first fruit of the Spirit? Because everything else spills out from the love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
*This devotion is featured in my book, “Fruit Full: 100 Family Experiences for Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” and is used here with permission. See the book on Amazon.
A fruit of the Spirit: LOVE lesson plan for children
Use this fruit of the Spirit: LOVE lesson plan for Sunday School or at home!
ASK: Do you know why God loves you? Does God love you because you are smart? You are smart, but that’s not why God loves you. Does God love you because you are good-looking? You are good-looking but that’s not why God loves you. Does God love you because you are good? You are usually good, but that’s not why God loves you.
SAY: God loves you because you are his child. And since you can never stop being his child, he can never stop loving you.
Pass out a fidget spinner to each child, and read the devotional shared above. After, ask the following questions:
ASK: Where did Jesus’ love for others come from? How do we become more loving?
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for loving each other and for loving us. Thank you for sending Jesus to us because of your great love for us. Jesus, please help us to remain in your love, just like you commanded. Amen.
4. HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES:
- invite children to write a love letter to God or draw a picture for God
- teach children a simple breath prayer to use when they’re anxious: As you breathe in, say, “You love me…” and as you breathe out, say “and I love you.”
- have children make up a love song for God
- invite children to shout “I LOVE YOU” really loud!
A fruit of the Spirit: LOVE coloring page
Download and print this entire package of fruit of the Spirit coloring pages and activities, including this LOVE coloring page featuring 1 John 4:19.
A fruit of the Spirit: LOVE craft (and snack!)
Enjoy this fruit of the Spirit: LOVE craft that is also a delicious snack AND an object lesson!
Supplies: Cookies, icing, and something to spread icing with (popsicle sticks, butter knives, etc)
READ 1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.1 John 3:1 NIV
ASK: Do you know what “lavish” means? I’m going to give you some icing to put on your cookie. If I’m lavishing it on, should I put on just a tiny little bit? How about a medium-sized bit? How about a lot? When you lavish something, you are being extravagant and generous – you are giving a lot. This is how God loves you. Let’s lavish icing on your cookies as a reminder of how lavishly God loves us!