In this kick-off craft activity, you’ll help your children make a poster with two trees on it. One tree will represent pride and the other will represent humility. This is a long activity so you may want to work on your trees over the course of a few days or just pick a few applicable “fruit” (character traits) to discuss with your children.
Since human nature is sinful or “rotten,” you’ll begin with negative character traits. Throughout your study on humility, you’ll be working toward replacing prideful thoughts and actions with humble attitudes.
Rotten fruit and good fruit
You will need the following supplies:
yarn (or something equivalent for roots)
felt, yarn, pipe cleaners or anything green and fluffy to serve as grass
brown construction paper for tree trunks and branches
pre-cut coloured shapes for fruit (“rotten” and “fresh”)
- At the base of one tree, write “pride.” For pre-readers, it’s helpful to replace the “I” in pride with an illustration of a human eye.
- Explain that the “I” in “pride” stands for living life as if it’s “all about me!” A proud person thinks and says things like, “I’m the best;” “I know everything;” “I am more important than you.” Remind your children that what we do comes from what we think. The “fruit” in our lives is our actions. Just like a tree grows fruit from the water and food that comes from the tree’s roots, the way we act is rooted or based on what we believe.
- Read through the verses provided on the following chart and have your children listen for and name the “rotten fruit” that is mentioned. For example, in Mark 9:33-35, the sinful behaviour (the “rotten fruit”) is selfishness or wanting to be first.
- Once your children have identified the sinful behaviour, write it on a pre-cut rotten fruit shape and glue it on the tree marked “pride.” See if your children can identify prideful “root” thoughts and possible resulting actions that might be associated with each rotten fruit.
- As you work through each verse, name each sinful fruit and continue to add more “rotten fruit” to your tree. See the chart of “fruit” for your pride tree in the lesson PDF.
- Read Revelation 3:15-16 together.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”Now use the discussion questions to transition into adding fruit to the second tree.
- Would you eat a rotten banana? (Ideally you will have an over-ripe piece of fruit to offer your children.)
- If you got a chunk of this fruit in your mouth by mistake, what would you want to do?
- How do you think God feels when He sees us with rotten attitudes?
- Do you enjoy being around people who _______________________? (Name an attitude or action from the tree of rotten fruit.)
Now begin to make the “humility tree.” Draw a crown at the base of the tree and tell your children that the person who owns this tree believes that Jesus is King.
Explain that when we believe that Jesus is King, it changes the way we think and act! Read through the Bible verses listed below and have your children name the “Jesus-honouring fruit” that is mentioned in the verse. As your children share their ideas for this good fruit, have them choose “fresh” fruit cut-outs to hang on the humility tree. See the chart of “fruit” for your humility tree in the lesson PDF.
Use the following questions to review key concepts about humility.
- Which person would you like to have as a friend: someone who grows fresh fruit or someone who grows rotten fruit?
- Which kind of fruit do you want to grow in your life?
- If we don’t have Jesus’ love in our hearts, what kind of fruit are we more likely to have?
- Who can help us grow fresh fruit?
Remind your children that, if we don’t have Jesus’ help, our sinful human natures will lead us to grow “rotten fruit.” If we want to produce “Jesus fruit,” then we need to ask His Holy Spirit to live in us and help us to live and love others like Jesus did. When we do grow Jesus fruit, God is pleased and others find us much more pleasant to be around.
Let your children know that you will be watching for Jesus fruit in their lives. When you notice some “fresh fruit,” instruct that child to pick one piece of rotten fruit off the tree and put a fresh fruit on the other tree instead. The goal is to get all the rotten fruit picked off and replaced with fresh fruit
Pray with your children and ask the Holy Spirit to wash any pride out of your hearts and your home so that your family can grow Jesus fruit.
Write your memory verse of the week on the poster. During the time you are studying humility, you can refer to the fruit trees as a tool for discussing both positive and negative behaviours and attitudes. Each time you visit your tree to check on your fruit, you can also review your memory verse.
“Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept My advice and spurned My rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to Me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. …But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."