The Fruit of the Spirit in Yakima YACS Word of the Month

November 01, 2010 | Susan Bailey

Yakima Adventist Christian School started off the year with a unique focus on scripture, specifically the fruits of the Spirit. Each month this year, they are highlighting a different fruit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).

In September, the word was “love.” Love is defined as “being infused with a deep affection or passion; concern for the well-being of others; a reverent affection.” Love is more than a feeling, though, and it doesn’t always come naturally. We need to use this trait to develop it into the Christ-like characteristic that Jesus would have us possess. Godly love is an action verb. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18a.

During September all classes did activities to develop the characteristic of love. The first- and second-grade classroom showed love by praying for the fifth- and sixth-graders. At the beginning of the week the class looked at the names and pictures of the fifth- and sixth-grade students and prayed for one student specifically. Subsequently, the fifth- and sixth-grade pictures were placed around the room. Students went from picture to picture praying a specific request for each student every day.

The third and fourth graders learned love is more than just a word used in marriage or with family — it is an action. The class has a 'rodeo-pig' bank and they are collecting money so they can do something material to show their love in the community.

The fifth and sixth graders brainstormed about love; what it looks like and how it is shown. The seventh and eighth graders started visiting Chandler House to visit, sing and pray with the residents there. Showing love to a stranger is not always easy, especially when he or she may not be physically or mentally whole. The ninth- and tenth-grade class spent part of an afternoon picking up garbage along Peck’s Canyon Road. Love and respect for the community and neighborhood is a great trait for our youth to develop.

Even the kindergarten class learned more about love. During the first few weeks of school, the class learned to share and interact appropriately with others. For some it may be the first time they have been in a community of other children their age. So the emphasis in the classroom is simple but vital: “What would Jesus do?” Just like their memory verse says, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God ... for God is love” (1 John 4:7–8, NLV).

Teachers and staff desire to see the fruit of love grow in YACS students so the world will know us by our love and, since this love is also a quality of God’s nature, the world will see Him through us. Please pray for the school every day and ask God to develop the gift of Love in each life.