Devotions for Teachers

Devotions for the Classroom

Nautical Fruit

Theme- Finding the Fruit of the Spirit in an unusual place

Scripture- Galatians 5:22, 23

Interactive Classroom Devotional- Bible, Art

Level- Intermediate, Middle School


Need:  pencil, drawing paper

Intro or Hook:  What picture comes to mind when you think of the fruit of the Spirit?  (A tree)

In our story, you will hear about the fruit in a different way.


Review the fruit of the Spirit:

Love- The foundation and moving principle of and gives form to the rest of the fruits

Joy- Delights that come from communion with God; the only source of permanent joy is from the love that God has put into our hearts.  

Peace- Unruffledness of mind, built on love and joy

Longsuffering- Slowness in avenging wrongs, does not easily give up under suffering

Gentleness- Not only not retaliating, but a kindness

Goodness- More positive actions than gentleness  

Faith, faithfulness- Trustworthiness

Meekness- exercising God’s strength under His control; demonstrating power without undue harshness 

Temperance- self-control MacLaren’s Expositions


Listen for the fruit in this story:


I am walking down the gangplank with Father, carrying the last box.   I see the sloop dozing in the dawn as the gentle waves rock it.  Even though I have been awake in bed most of the night, I am not sleepy.  I kept looking at the shadows of the boxes ready to load.  

"People are leaving the island.  There is no work here.  Your school is closing.  It's time to go."  Father had said it to me one day, just like that.  My stomach hurt thinking about it.

Now, everything has been stowed.  I watch Father working at the helm.  Father is tall, like the mast.  He had fished with this boat for many years.  I have listened to all of his stories about  storms, and cried into my pillow the nights that Father would come through the door.  But now, Father cries.  Not with tears, of course.  I can hear it in his voice as he gives me instructions.  It's strange, though.  Even with the clench of my stomach, I feel safe.  Father is not doing this to find a job for himself.  He didn't need to leave; he could fish anywhere.  He loves me more than himself, and he is doing it so that I can go to school.  I heard him tell God out loud one night when I couldn't sleep.  

"Take a last look, Sean, then help with the sails, " he said.  He didn't have to tell me twice! Who could feel sad around them?  I leaped to get the mainsail.   Even in the middle of this strange day of unknowns, I feel joy watching them as it snaps smartly in the wind.  

"Now the jib."  Father's voice was strong again. The boat awoke with a jerk. I suddenly realize that my stomach has stopped hurting.  I am smiling.  I feel peaceful.  Father is at the tiller.  We are heading out to sea.

I must have dozed off, because I jumped when Father shook me.

"Sean—a storm is coming.  Help drop anchor."   We were close to land, and drifting closer.  Low clouds were on the horizon.  The sea was gray and kind of like a pot of water before it begins to boil.  I wanted to drop the anchor quickly, but I made myself let out the rope slowly, so it wouldn't get caught.  The clouds moved closer, like bullies.  I grabbed the slippery boat edge as a gust of wind blew.   Rain stung like needles, and my hat blew off.  We quit drifting.

"A good anchor, Sean."  Father smiled.  I was suddenly warm.  I watched the rope.  It held onto both boat and anchor, and was yanked between them.  Ropes are very longsuffering.  I imagined that it might be thinking, I will go on holding you two until you quit fighting.  I was glad, because the rocky shore looked like a pack of angry dogs. 

We waited there overnight, in and out of sleep.  I awoke to Father's prayer.

"I am thanking you, God, for a faithful anchor and a meek sea."  He looked at me.  "There is much power beneath our boat, but it did not show itself."   

Father pried open the box with clothes and food.  It felt good to be dry.  We munched in silence.   It is good to be here with my father, safe on our boat, warm, with food to eat, I thought, and felt like I could stay on the boat forever.  Who needs to go to school!   I  laughed at my thought, and Father caught my eye and smiled.

We finished our journey.  Father directed the sloop to the dock, jumped out, and tied off.  What a strong piece of metal that rudder was, to be able to keep us on course and aimed for the middle of our stopping point.  

I grabbed Father's outstretched hand, and hopped on the dock.  That's when I decided to become a fisherman.  But I would finish school, first.


Can you find examples of the fruit of the Spirit in the story?  How many can you draw in a scene from the story?

Love- his father cared for Sean, and showed it by taking Sean to a  new home where he could go to school

Joy- what the sails reminded him of as they filled with wind

Peace- Sean felt this as his father sailed the boat

Longsuffering- The rope held on to the boat and the anchor against the pulling of wind & waves

Gentleness- The lapping waves rocked the boat

Goodness- Father and Sean were thankful for their food and dry clothes on board   

Faith- The anchor held strongly during the storm

Meekness- The ocean is capable of great force, but during this storm, it was not overpowering

Temperance- Father and Sean knew that wherever the rudder was pointed, the ship would follow and stay on course.