Eat fruit? How can that make a good marriage? While apples, bananas and pears nourish our physical bodies, the FRUIT of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control can and will strengthen our a marriage. How??? Putting this 'spirit fruit' into practice will consequently, like anything practiced, result in growth and improvement.
LOVE is the most important fruit because without it we can't love our spouse with the God kind of love. After all, God doesn't just give love, HE IS LOVE. It is the fruit of the spirit, LOVE, that enables us to love our spouse on the days we may not like our spouse as much...anyone able to relate?
So how does this LOVE thing work? I'm glad you asked. The most important relationship in marriage isn't the relationship we have with our spouse...it's actually the relationship we have with Jesus Christ. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior into our hearts gives us a 'reborn' spirit...our spirit is made new. Jesus moves in and replaces our old spirit with His, which includes the fruit of the Spirit. Since Jesus resides in our hearts and creates a new spirit in us...the God kind of LOVE...LOVE HIMSELF...takes up residence in our hearts. How awesome is that?
With LOVE residing in our hearts, we develop it by spending time getting to know God, getting to know LOVE, by reading His Word, listening to Biblical teachings about His Love, reading faith based books about God's love, etc. After all, faith works by love so we need to spend some time getting to know God..to know LOVE.
What does the Word say about LOVE...about God, about His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Look at 1 Corinthians 3: 4-8:
Love is patient.
love is kind.
It does not envy.
it does not boast.
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others.
it is not self-seeking.
it is not easily angered.
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Now go back and put God's name in place of the word LOVE and read it. Put Jesus in there and the Holy Spirit as well. When we become "born again" with Jesus as our Savior, Jesus in us, equips us to love like Jesus did when He died on the cross for us.
Go ahead and put your name in place of LOVE. Put your spouse's name in. Read it out loud together and ask yourselves: Am I patient? Am I kind? Am I easily angered? Do I keep a record of wrongs by being touchy and easily offended? If you are like us, the answer is NO to some of these questions BUT GOD in you, LOVE in you, is bigger and greater. By faith in Jesus Christ, you can love your spouse the way God loves your spouse.
ACTION POINT: As a couple talk about what areas of the LOVE FRUIT you are each growing in and what areas may need some "pruning". Without pruning growth is hindered. You are on the same team so, together, prune away the 'weeds' and watch the LOVE FRUIT flourish in your marriage.