With Western society's emphasis on power, recognition and material possessions, meekness can sometimes be overlooked as a valuable characteristic. However, meekness is one of the fruits of the spirit, mentioned in the Bible in Galatians 5:22-23. It refers to the importance of kindness, gentleness and a strong character that is slow to anger. Teach your child to be kind and gentle with art, craft and other activities that reinforces the value of meekness.
Cornucopia of Kindness
Create a cornucopia of kindness and hang it on your child's bedroom wall as a constant reminder of the gentle trait. Grapes are the fruit that is commonly associated with meekness, so this cornucopia is filled with as many grapes as you can fit. Draw a cornucopia on a large sheet of poster board and cut out the shape. Fill the cornucopia with hand-drawn pictures of giant grapes. Once the grapes are glued in place, talk with your child about all the ways a person can exhibit meekness. Write one answer on each grape. You can incorporate other fruit of the spirit by attaching strawberries for love, lemons for long-suffering and apples for self-control. Instead of a cornucopia, you can draw a bunch of grapes and write on each one, or create a bunch of grapes from small Styrofoam spheres. Dip toothpicks into strong glue and attach to spheres together with each toothpick to grow the bunch.
Help your child learn to identify and pursue meekness with a meekness calendar that allows him to see all the kind and gentle things he does every day. Make a month-long calendar on large sheet of poster board. Have your child help you decorate the calendar to make the activity fun. Once the calendar is complete, hang it on the refrigerator so your child can take a look at it anytime. At the end of each day, help your child think of at least one thing he has done today that demonstrated meekness and write it on the calendar. For example, he held the door open at the grocery store to help a woman with her arms full of groceries or he read a story to his younger sibling to make her happy. At the end of the month, you will have a clear idea of his understanding of meekness. You can also talk about ways your child can exhibit meekness at the beginning of the month, write down each idea on a slip of paper and put the papers in a jar. Have your child pull a slip from the jar each day and try to do what is written on the paper before the end of the day.
Help your child create a visual reminder of all the ways a person can demonstrate meekness. Look through magazines and books to find examples and cut out each picture. If you need more pictures, search for some online and print them from the computer. Write the word “Meekness” (or “Kindness” or “Gentleness”) on the top of a sheet of art paper. Glue all of the pictures onto the collage and talk about why each picture belongs as you add them to the collage. Instead of a collage, you can create a photo book of meekness examples, or if you would rather, you can make a simple meekness web. Write the word “Meekness” in the center of a piece of paper and write all the ways to exhibit the characteristic around the word.
Sometimes it's important to demonstrate how a person shouldn't act in order to reinforce how they should act. Meekness is the opposite of arrogance, so to demonstrate meekness, help your child understand and avoid arrogance. Give your child a piece of paper and have her draw a person in the center. This person is Mr. Arrogant and now it is time to talk about all the things that make him the arrogant person he is. You can draw a T-shirt on him that says, “I’m #1,” a crown or the fanciest duds you can fashion. Talk about all the things you think Mr. Arrogant thinks about and how he talks. Draw word bubbles all around Mr. Arrogant and fill them in with his thoughts and words. You can create Mr. Meekness afterward and fill his word bubbles with his thoughts and words.
- Teaching Children Christlike Virtues in the Home; Lily Stainback
- Fruit of the Spirit: a Children's Bible Study of Galatians 5:22; David Walters
- All-in-one Bible Fun: Fruit of the Spirit, Elementary: 13 Lessons for Busy Teachers; Abingdon Press