More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse. ~Doug Larson
I once read a saying that went something like, Maybe marriage isn’t meant to make you whole, but maybe it’s meant to make you holy. It quickly became one of my favorite sayings, because it gave me a different view on marriage. Our lives are to glorify God and this includes our marriages.
For me, my marriage has been one of the greatest ways that God has helped me to grow in my relationship with Him. There is nothing like a marriage to help you refine your ability to love, be kind, and most certainly, your ability to be patient.
In Galatians 5:22 you’ll find the fruit of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. When I think of a great marriage, I think of a relationship between a man and a woman that is built on the fruit of the Spirit.
Now, if you are anything like me, the fruit of the Spirit does not come naturally to you nor do they appear naturally in your marriage. In fact, many marriages tend to be filled with some of the rotten fruit of hate, discontentment, aggravation, selfishness, rudeness, and often, unfaithfulness. No wonder marriage can make us miserable. None of those things are even close to appealing, but none the less, I can’t say I’m not guilty of a few of those rotten fruits myself. I won’t even get started on my husband faults. God knows our spouses are always much worse than we are. Thankfully, I’m not going to be held accountable for my husband, just myself.
As we begin to take a closer look at marriage, I challenge you to take a closer look at the fruit of the Spirit. Consider your words and actions towards your spouse and see if they exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. To your surprise I’m sure, you might just find that you fall a little short.
Join me in a challenge to strive to exhibit more of the Spirit and less of our unattractive human nature. Strive to love your spouse despite their many faults. Find joy in your relationship with God and your significant other. Try to bring about peace when you feel like going to war. Pray for patience when your spouse, once again, does something that annoys you beyond reason. Do something kind at least once a day. Ask God to fill you with His goodness that it may overflow into your marriage, and pray for the strength to be faithful to your spouse in thought and in deed.
Just like a great cake needs all the right ingredients, a great marriage needs a heaping dose of the fruit of the Spirit. And remember, when you feel like your spouse will never be able to make you feel whole, instead of letting yourself feel disappointed or angry, ask the Lord to make you a little more holy. Ask God to help you remember that your marriage isn’t all about you, instead, it’s all about Him!
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