“Goodness: The moral qualities which constitute christian excellence; moral virtue.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
We believe it’s both. We all recognize good husbands who go out of their way to help their wife on especially difficult days. They are hard workers, faithful and reliable. Likewise, a good wife is one who is able to manage all her responsibilities with much energy and joy. She pursues the good of others over her own desires. We call these examples good. But is that all there is to the Spirit’s fruit of “goodness”? Certainly not.
Goodness is much deeper; it is the motivation for all good works. Goodness within comes from the Spirit within us. The Bible makes it clear, “There is no one righteous!” “All we like sheep have gone astray!” We are not able to be good in our own merit. Many times what we think is goodness is motivated by selfish ambition or the craving of a good reputation. True goodness originates from God. We desire to be good as we are willing to deny ourselves and follow Christ.
What is the biggest enemy of goodness in marriage? Selfishness.
Selfishness seeks personal comfort over the good work God desires. One who is selfish isn’t good as biblically defined. Conversely, true goodness seeks the comfort of others at the expense of their own comfort.
We saw this goodness on display with the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners these past two days.
People have been tirelessly working around the clock to ensure their safe rescue. People from different countries and opposing worldviews united for one purpose. Why? Because it was the right and moral thing to do. The minors themselves demonstrated goodness in fighting over who would be last out of the mine. Amazing! The world has been glued to the TV screen watching goodness displayed. It is inspiring and refreshing.
And so it is in our homes. When a husband chooses the good of his wife over his own preferences – God is glorified. When a wife chooses to lay her life down to serve and follow her husband – God is glorified. Left to ourselves we will always choose selfishly.
God has chosen to give us His Spirit that helps us say “no” to ungodliness, to live upright and godly lives, to be good! As we consider goodness as it pertains to our spouse – any evidence of good that we see, is a fruit of God’s Spirit at work in them. Why not take some time to tell them the good work you see in them? After all, God took the time as He was creating the world to observe and declare what He saw as “very good”. Shouldn’t we do likewise?
So tell us, what good have you observed in your spouse recently?