The frustrations of our hearts can be windows into the beliefs of our souls. — Todd Hillard
Marriage and other close relationships are an amazing gift… but not always in the way we wish. Go with me for a moment here:
When we asked Christ into our lives, His Spirit really came in, made us a new creation, and took up residence. The Spirit in us wants to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us. Because of Him inside of us, His desires become our desire.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
The twist comes from our flesh. We want the fruit of the Spirit, but our flesh is wired to get it other places. In marriage and other relationships, then, the natural temptation is to seek the fruit in people, rather than in Jesus. If we don’t get this right, we are going to expect that the fruit should be given to us by another. We’ll expect our spouse to give us love, joy, and peace; we’ll expect that they’ll treat us with patience, kindness, goodness, etc., and we’ll get angry, frustrated, and hurt when they fall short of these expectations. No, a good marriage comes when we walk in the Spirit, because He can then fill us and provide the fruit.
Yes, marriage is an amazing gift. It shows us when we are trusting in people, rather than Christ to experience the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus, reveal to me right now specific areas where I am looking to my spouse or other people to fulfill my desires for the fruit of Your Spirit. I directly turn to You, right now, and ask that You would live through me in such a way that I can experience these fruit from the inside out, and not from the outside in. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.