Can you imagine owning a vineyard where the fruit is always ripe and fresh, no matter the season? There would be no need, no worries, no fear of the future. This is what the Fruit of the Spirit produces in our hearts. It’s a confidence not in ourselves, but in the One who is above all things. God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in us. He is the gardener who prunes and shapes us into who He wants us to be.
First of all, we must emphasize the Fruit of the Spirit is produced within a heart fully surrendered to God; for it is in surrendering our lives to Him that humility is born leading to Christlikeness. When we see ourselves honestly and humbly, the Spirit comes and breathes new life into our vineyard allowing us to produce fruit that remains. It is a work He does in us individually and as a couple.
The fruit God produces in Debi’s life, is for my benefit as well as her good.
The fruit God produces in my life, is for her benefit as well as my good.
So we must be clear – any fruit produced is solely because Christ is at work in us, and He is the One to be praised. I am showing love to my wife when I pursue growth in godliness. To neglect Him is to neglect her.
With this in mind, let’s begin looking more closely at the vineyard God is cultivating in us:
The first quality found in the Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE. We covered this extensively in our last series titled, Love is. Love is the rich soil from which the other fruits grow. For without love we are nothing, and any fruit we produce will not last. But fruit born of the Spirit will remain. It will produce lasting fruitfulness.
But what if love is lacking? How do we cultivate love? We ask God who has promised to give us what we ask:
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
Love is not a feeling, but a choice we make daily. I choose to love Debi by how I treat her, prefer her and lay down my life for her. Left to myself this would be impossible, for the weed of selfishness would choke out all my efforts. But God, who is rich in mercy, helps me love her the way He has loved me.
How has God helped you love your spouse? In what ways do you see this fruit in your marriage?