When it comes to interpersonal relationships, I have learned that people can fake the fruit of the spirit. For a time. People can fake being joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. For a time. So can I.
But that’s not the Spirit. We learned from being indwelled by God himself – He took up residence of my heart and I give Him full reign of my house, my resources, my loves, my all – that as He lives and rules in me, I must change. Things must change.
And just like pressures in life are a test to show us our true character, our defense mechanisms, what we are capable of, and how much we’ve grown up and matured, the fruits of the Spirit show up in our daily living, the way we meet our circumstances, the way we interact with others, the manner in which we make decisions and lead our lives.
When it comes to my marriage, I pray that the fruits of the Spirit will characterize every interaction. I pray that it won’t be faked. I pray that our default mechanisms are filled with joy and peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I pray that the character of Christ will be so evident in our lives and our actions, that we cannot help but be radiant toward each other, like a fresh fragrance just entering the room where the other is. How easily marriages turn into bad fruit. How easy it is to let our affections turn sour. I pray our hearts will stay fresh and sweet toward each other, never letting the outside elements wear them down or turn them. I pray that we cling to the Vine, seeking only Jesus as our Source of true light and life. I pray that we rest in Him, finding nourishment and renewal only through His provisions, not searching high and low anywhere else or from anyone else, not even solely each other. I pray that our center will be sweet and pleasing, casting seeds wherever we go, being the kind of people who others are drawn to and drawn out by. I pray that we are contagious as people, not a virus of damage causing cynicism, but a sweet smelling invitation – to join us and learn, as we go to the Source of every good. I pray daily that our lives and our marriage would be like a beautiful tree planted on a high hill, accountable to God and all of heaven, growing tall and magnificent, to the praise of His glorious Grace for all eternity!! Join me in praying for your marriage this way. Let all our marriages be a pleasing sight for all to see.
And thanks for the fruit!