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“We want a Christian life to be natural for kids”

The Fruit of the Spirit are natural results of a healthy view of self

by John Savage, Founder of The Academy for Individual Excellence

     God created us to live in the fruits of the Spirit. If we are raised in a healthy, Godly way and so are allowed to be healthy, Christian people, then we can live as He intends, and walk in the fruits of the Spirit.

     So, what is it to be healthy? To be healthy is to know that we belong, to know that we are needed and valuable. God created the family structure to make sure we can learn those things. In a family, more is expected of the older children because they are older, and your younger siblings can see and know what will be expected of them when they reach that age. All the children in the family grow up understanding that each is on his or her own natural, individual journey and that their skills and abilities—and how they are able to contribute to the family, to serve the good of the whole—grow and change as they grow and change. Each one has a place. Each one belongs. Each one is needed in a unique, individual way.

     We have designed AIE to give our students the same opportunities they would have in a healthy family. I think if a child comes to a place where they belong, where they are not challenged about their value to the world or to themselves or to others, they don’t have the drive to be impatient. They don’t have a drive to hate. They don’t have a drive to unseat another student so they have a better position. They don’t have a drive to keep seeking an identity in competition with others or looking for ways to hide because they are uncomfortable. Because they are not always driving for something else to hang onto, faithfulness can be there.

     We know the fruits of the Spirit when we have that healthy understanding that, “Because I am God’s, because I belong to Him through Christ, I don’t have to fight these human battles that are all opposite to the fruits of the Spirit.

What comes to us naturally then, is,

     “I can forgive. Because I already know who I am. I am a person who needed Christ also. I am a person who needed to be forgiven."

     “I can be gentle and I can appreciate gentleness because I am not fighting for something."

     “I can be patient because I know God is patient with me. Because my daddy taught me patience. Because my older brother is patient with me. He serves, and I can serve.”

     It doesn’t make sense to put children in settings (like most schools, public and private, do) where they are sorted through competition, and the ‘better ones’ by human standards are honored and the others are not, and where those others are made to feel ‘less than,’ and blamed for it (“You didn’t try hard enough”). That is not what He intends for our children. It just doesn’t make sense to say, “I am going to take you and put you in an environment that breeds all these feelings. Now have the fruits of the spirit."

     AIE is a family environment that doesn’t breed these feelings in children. It is a place where we help your children see themselves in a relationship with God, and realize The Fruits of the Spirit through a healthy sense of themselves and their self-worth.

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

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