1. What fruit are you focusing on this fruit this week?
I think we are focusing on all of them really - this has been a major training week for all of us. God's training the Bookworm King and I, and we're trying our darnedst to train these little bookworms without permenantly damaging them. Since I could discuss any one of the fruits, I think I'll pick SELF-CONTROL.
Hmmm... I can't think of a particular verse, but I'd say it has to do with not giving in to your flesh. I'd go look it up, but I can't do that with one hand.
3. How does the world definition of this fruit differ from God’s definition?
1. Control of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will: "You think yourself a miracle of sensibility; but self-control is what you need" (Mary Boykin Chesnut).
2. The act of denying yourself; controlling your impulses (syn: self-denial)
3. The trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior.
4. How does God reveal this fruit?
Apparently, by giving very strong-willed children to mothers who need practice in this area. I've practiced self-control often today while dealing with #2's natural impulsivity and lack of self-control. It's now 4:45pm, and he's still alive and doing well - it was a horribly implusive day for him, and I was consistent in discipline and still got everybody taken care of - thanks to my mom, who called and, hearing the chaos in my living room, later knocked on my door and offered me some extra hands for the afternoon.
5. Share an example of presence of this fruit in someone’s life.
I know someone who can look at a piece of homemade coconut cream pie, which she loves, and say "no, thank you" if she has already eaten her quota of calories for the day. She is healthy-thin. I am not healthy-thin, and I would have justified eating the pie because I don't get offered pie every day, and there are some things in life I don't pass up. So, please don't offer me pie, because I'm working on getting rid of baby fat while I can still really call it "baby-fat." And my self-control is not as strong as my friend's in that area.
6. How does fruit or lack of it in our life affect others? (spouse, children, friends)
I control my thoughts and actions, so if I choose to control myself and make myself act nicely even when I don't feel like it, I have a happy husband and happy sons - and all that happiness does eventually rub off on me. It's OK to need a break from the chaos, but it is not OK to have a nasty attitude and be snarky because I'm over-tired and over-stimulated. I don't like it when my toddlers get all cranky before naptime, and I don't have a right to act like that either.
Practice and pray. Pray and practice. Not that practicing self-control is any fun - I'd much rather eat chocolate than vegetables, and be snippy and offended when my sweet husband promises to unload the dishwasher and then forgets or doesn't finish. After all, he deserves it, doesn't he? No, he doesn't. The dishwasher is my job anyway - I can either choose to unload it or choose not to, but if I ask for help and he doesn't get to it, I have no right to be snippy because I should have done the chore in the first place.