The 9 Fruits of the Spirit and Your Relationship
The Bible in Galatians 5:22-23 mentions that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These fruits of the spirit are essential elements that prove that we are children of God and that Christ lives in us through the Holy Spirit. The essence of the fruits of the spirit is to hshow us forth as witnesses and evidence of Christ in us as believers. This is why John 15: 2 also tells us that God, the vine dresser, cuts off every branch in Christ that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.
In Matthew 22:35-40, Jesus spoke extensively about love as a requirement for our relationship with people. Love is much more than a feeling of passion for your partner. It also includes an understanding that every other fruit of the spirit is embedded in it. This is why true love will never hurt, backbite, instigate one against another, fight, keep malice or harbour sorrow in the heart. In your relationship, you have to value the love that you share and express it deeply to your partner at every opportunity.
John in his letter to Gaius (3 John 1:3-4).
When we read through Romans 12:18, the Apostle Paul rightly admonishes us saying that as much as possible, we must try to live peaceably with all men and this includes your partner. An example of peace making in this case is that of Abraham and his nephew, Lot. (Genesis 13:8-9). In every relationship, especially as couples, living in peace should not be underrated.
God's word again in Luke 17:3-4 instructs us to take heed to yourselves. It specifically says that if your neighbour sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. It also says that if your neighbour sins against you seven times in a day, and comes to you each time in repentance, seeking your forgiveness, then you must forgive him. This kind of forgiveness takes longsuffering. In the words of Apostle Joshua Selman Nimmak, forbearance is giving room and accommodation for an offence to be repeated. While sin should not be tolerated and should be pointed out when it is our responsibility to do so, repeated sin must be patiently forgiven, even if it happens seven times in one day. This is what God does, and this is what He wants us to do.)
In example, Jeremiah was given the task to tell the people of Judah that Babylon was going to take them captive because they refused to repent of their sins. Jeremiah did not give up trying to get them to repent and turn from their wicked ways (Jeremiah 9:1, Jeremiah 38:6). The scroll of the prophecies God had given him was burned and had to be rewritten. Through all this, Jeremiah still tried to turn them from sin.
The Bible in the book of Ephesians 4:32 - “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” In 2 Chronicles 22-23, Queen Athaliah took the throne of Judah, murdering all rightful heirs. She unknowingly spared one - a baby named Joash. The former king’s daughter (Jehoshabeath) saved Joash from the slaughter and hid him for 7 years with her husband the high priest (Jehoiada) in the house of the Lord while the usurper queen ruled Judah. They took a risk, putting their lives on the line to show kindness to the little boy. After 7 years, Jehoiada took steps to install Joash as king and get rid of Athaliah. Then, for many years, Jehoiada continued to guide and counsel Joash.
Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32) inherited the kingdom from his father who was a very wicked ruler. In his reign, Hezekiah cleansed the temple from neglect and contempt, restoring the true worship of God. He also kept the Passover festival, got rid of pagan worship and stood against the most powerful king at the time, Sennacherib of Assyria, who mocked God. King Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34-35 followed the same pattern as Hezekiah. He inherited the kingdom after two wicked kings destroyed what Hezekiah had put in place. Josiah purged the land again of all the terrible pagan practices. He also found the Book of the Law and became determined to follow it closely.
2 Corinthians 5:7 and Hebrews 11 lists Abraham and Sarah as examples of faithful people who did many things by faith. As partners, you must understand that the fruit of faithfulness will help your belief in God. That way, you can hing on his promises. Faithfulness is a concept that is linked to loyalty and as such, partners must ensure that they are faithful to one another as well as unto God. We shared a few tips about faithfulness at our programme tagged 31 Days in the Triangle in March 2022. You can see the prompts on our Instagram page to follow up on faithfulness with your partner.
In Matthew 11:29, Christ said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. Paul too in 2 Corinthians 10:1 says, “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.”
In 1st John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”