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Spirit-Led Parenting: Embracing the Fruit of the Spirit

As a parent with two young children in their formative years, I have recently felt the great, at times seemingly overwhelming, responsibility that I have in raising them. I have so many dreams and desires for them, but at the same time, I know that my job is to guide and not create their life path for them. This can be reassuring but also somewhat scary!

My recent prayer time has highlighted a simple yet important truth for me to hold onto this year – it all starts with my relationship with God.

It goes without saying that I want my children to be firm followers of Christ, but, obvious as it may seem, I need to first and foremost be one myself.

If I want my children to learn to lean on God, I must lean on God, continuously.

If I want my children to spend time with God, I must spend time with Him, daily.

If I want my children to be armed with scripture to guide them wherever they go, I need to build and maintain my own arsenal of memorized scripture.

It makes sense, but I think many of us try to do the hard work of parenting by ourselves before allowing God to parent us first. Before being a parent, I am God’s child. When I remind myself of this beautiful truth, I revel in the relief of it because I don’t hold this important role of raising these tiny humans alone.

And the more time I spend talking to God, listening to Him and for His wisdom by immersing myself in His Word, the better I will be as a parent, getting the spiritual inpouring I need in the busyness that I know lies ahead.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

When I read these verses, I see what I need and how I would like to see the Fruit of the Spirit ripen in our family through my focus on God and His Word. I want to:

  • answer my children and act with them in love, no matter what the circumstances
  • bask in the simple joy of their childhood
  • rest in the peace that God is guiding me in my parenting and has their best interests at heart, always
  • rely on Him to provide me with patience in those trying moments of nagging and tantrums
  • show and model kindness towards them and others
  • show them His goodness all around us by verbally counting blessings and seeing His craftsmanship in nature every day
  • thank Him for His faithfulness in every trial and challenge we each face personally and as a family
  • respond in gentleness when I’m tired and feel like my fuse is short
  • exercise self-control when reacting to moments that don’t go as planned

My goal this year is to focus on God and let Him guide me so I can guide them, mold me first, so that I can mold them, and see the Fruit of the Spirit play out in all our lives in 2024.


  • Colienne Sanderson

    Colienne and her husband, Dan, moved to California from South Africa in 2017. They have since had two children - a creative and fun-loving girl and an affectionate and energetic boy who are constantly teaching them about themselves, God, and parenting. A high school teacher in her pre-mom life, Colienne is now a Childcare Leader at Saddleback Church and enjoys reading, running, and going on adventures with her family.

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