The Fruit of the Spirit in Education

Normally when we think of fruit, we think of apples, oranges, bananas, or grapes. These are things that we eat in our daily lives. They are sweet and usually a very refreshing treat. Fruit doesn’t always mean the refreshing foods that we eat though. Another definition of fruit is the result or reward of work or activity. The latter definition is one that applies to the fruit of the Spirit. According to Galatians 5:22–23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The Spirit works in our hearts, and this is the fruit that is a result of the Spirit’s work. The Spirit is working in our hearts, and as a result, we are blessed with love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The fruit of the Spirit is important to us as covenant children of God. As teachers, it is our calling not only to glorify God using this fruit, but also to guide our students to do the same.

Rev. Carl Haak wrote an article about how this fruit is the description of a beautiful person. We want our students to be able to see the beauty that all of the children of God have through the Spirit working in our hearts. Haak says, “The Spirit makes us look like Jesus…to be given the Fruit of the Spirit is to be given the beauty of Jesus.” All of these fruits directly reflect attributes of God. The Spirit is in our hearts, and we are able to see those attributes of God reflected in us. That in itself is a beautiful thing, but it makes us beautiful as well (Haak 1984). Before teachers begin to help students understand why the fruit of the Spirit is important, they need to get a good grasp of the fruit themselves. Proverbs 18:15 says, “The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.” We should be seeking to grow in knowledge so that we are able to train up covenant children. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). There is much about the fruit of the Spirit that can be taught to students, but there is even more that can be learned about it.

The fruit of the Spirit is one united result of the work of the Spirit in our hearts. It is not multiple different entities. This is an idea that we all should know and that we should make sure our students know. Each part of that fruit is unique, but all parts are united as one fruit of the Spirit. Rev. Haak compared it to a bouquet of flowers. All of the individual flowers work together to create one beautiful bouquet. You do not pull separate flowers out when you want them. You keep them together, and they blend together beautifully as one (Haak 1984). They cannot be separated. We are not given only some or just one of these virtues. They are all one fruit of the Spirit, the fruit that we are so thankful for. This can be commonly overlooked, but through awareness of the topic we can appreciate it and glorify God. This united fruit is in the hearts of all of God’s children. He blesses us with the ability to use this fruit for his honor and glory. Our work of thankfulness is evidence of that fruit.

Teachers all have a desire to help their students grow academically, but they have a stronger desire to help their students grow spiritually. Having that desire translates into putting it into action. There are two ways that teachers can help students spiritually understand many topics, including the fruit of the Spirit. The first way is being an example to our students, and the second way is confessing it with our mouths in everything we do (Bol 2001). When we confess the fruit of the Spirit and work to fight the sinful nature that we all have, we are glorifying God in all that we do. God created man that we might glorify him, and sending his Spirit to work that fruit in our hearts leaves us without excuse. This is a difficult lesson to teach and even harder to learn.

As teachers, our every move is being watched by the students in our classrooms, as well as all of the students in the school. They copy, memorize, and often repeat many of the actions that we do and the words and phrases that we say. We must be an example for these students. We need to put on our “spiritual wardrobe.” Rev. Martyn McGeown wrote in his article, “The Christian’s Spiritual Wardrobe,” “To put on this ‘spiritual wardrobe’ is to put on Christ himself…It is to be adorned with his beauty, which is the beauty of holiness, so that we glorify him in our attitude and behavior” (McGeown 2020). As we model the fruit of the Spirit, it shouldn’t be done with the mindset that we are being watched, but rather we should be filled with a desire to glorify God. We want our students to see that we aren’t doing these things of our own accord or for the sole purpose of praising ourselves. It is all of the Spirit in our hearts and for the glory of our perfect heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This verse is talking about letting our lights shine so that unbelievers are able to see what God has done for us, but this can be applicable for our classrooms as well. We want to let our lights shine and help our students shine their lights to the best of their ability.

While we are being examples and confessing it with our hearts, we also need to confess it with our mouths. This should be done in everything that we do. As teachers, we should proclaim it in every subject that we teach and during every period of the day. It doesn’t matter if we are teaching students in kindergarten or in high school; this is important for all ages. Our students should hear it in the way we teach and the things we say. Whether it be in Bible, science, or even math class, the name of our great God can and should be praised. Through this, God uses teachers as the means to bring his word to his little children. By our witness, God’s name is glorified even through the mouths of the little ones. We want our students to embrace and learn about these virtues placed in their hearts by God. We want them to see how these virtues make them beautiful in the sight of God and in the sight of their neighbors. Teachers get the joyous job of helping our students enjoy this beautiful fruit as well. The beauty of seeing the children glorify God, sing his praises, learn to pray with words of God’s greatness, memorize the scriptures, and treat each other with the same love that Christ shows us is the greatest gift of that fruit.

On the surface, the fruit that we eat physically has nothing in common with the fruit of the Spirit, but after looking at it on a deeper level, we can see that there are some connections after all. Just as we want to continue to eat the sweet grapes, apples, or oranges, so it is the same for the fruit of the Spirit. We want to partake continually of this great gift that God has given to us. Through the Spirit’s work in our hearts, we are able to continually enjoy the fruit and give God all the glory and honor.

It is my fervent hope that we live lives of thankfulness, using the fruit of the Spirit’s labor to glorify God in all that we do and using our knowledge to help students do the same. Psalm 72:19: “And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”



  1. Bol, “Teaching Christ in the Classroom: Why and How?” Beacon Lights, March 2001,
  2. Haak, “The Fruit of the Spirit,” Beacon Lights, November 1984,
  3. McGeown, “The Christian’s Spiritual Wardrobe (2),” Reformed Free Publishing Association, April 13, 2020,


Originally published December 2020, Vol 79 No 12