“The first thing we check when couples enter our counseling room is their fruit. If their fruit reveals arguing, jealousy, outbursts of anger, and so on, we know they are not in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Oneness in marriage is impossible in the flesh.
“The fruit of the Holy Spirit contrasts sharply with the fruit of the flesh. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.‘ (Galatians 5:22-23) Notice, this is the fruit of His spirit, not something we create on our own. Christians do not possess these wonderful virtues in and of themselves. We exhibit them because Christ lives in us. Couples controlled by the Holy Spirit naturally produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ONENESS is a NATURAL BYPRODUCT.” (Don and Sally Meredith)
So, here’s the question again, “how’s your fruit?” Is your spouse experiencing the benefit of the fruit of the Spirit that is coming forth from within you? If not, something is very wrong.
Contrasting Fruit Lists
If you look the contrasting lists over in Galatians 5:16-26 you’ll see quite a difference. We’re told to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are AGAINST the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are AGAINST the flesh FOR THOSE ARE OPPOSED TO EACH OTHER…” Among the “works of the flesh,” which “are evident” are “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness,” etc. When you read this list you sense darkness.
But when you read the fruits of the Spirit, you sense light and the presence of God, with the fruits being “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” What a difference!
In the devotional, The Word for You Today (Nov. 23, 2015), the author says:
“When you knowingly do wrong, the Holy Spirit who lives within you will trigger your conscience and an alarm will go off inside of you. If you’re wise, you’ll repent of your sin and make things right.
“…Many of us have security systems in our homes. When we open the door we have 30 seconds before the alarm goes off and the police are called. God has given you an alarm system that works the same way; it’s called your conscience. And there are 3 things you can do with it: (1) Turn it off. (2) Tune it out. (3) Allow it to guide you and walk in the blessing of God. The writer to the Hebrews said, ‘Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do.’ (Hebrews 13:18) That should be your prayer today, and every day.”
Is that your prayer —to live honorably in all you do? Is it to display Spiritual Fruit and NOT deny the work of the Holy Spirit within you? Note what we’re told in James 1:26: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
Head and Heart Issues
In another Word for Today devotional thought (December 5, 2015) there’s a thought we should all consider in light of scripture:
“Your Bible knowledge may be a hundred times greater than someone else’s. But if you’re not a hundred times more loving, patient, joyful, gracious, forgiving, etc., what good is it? A head full of doctrine and a heart devoid of love will just turn people away from Christ [including your spouse].”
Are you acting out as a “deceived” spouse —one who does NOT “bridle his tongue” and “turns off” and “tunes out” the Spiritual alarms going on when you do and say what you shouldn’t against your spouse, and more importantly against our God? Or are you acting as one who blesses your spouse and family and everyone who witnesses your lives together with God’s peaceable fruit?
God gives us all free choices. PLEASE choose well. May peace on earth begin in your marriage!
Cindy and Steve Wright
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights