This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:8-11

As we continue the study of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), it is easy to see that we who are in Christ have been given a beautiful, tasty, attractive recipe for right living — living a life that reflects the character of Christ that will benefit your spouse, family and ultimately, the world.

I cook all the time as I have a family to feed.  I love to see my family enjoy food I have prepared.  But, alas, with a bunch of people to feed it is hard to cook to everyone’s preferred tastes.  It takes creativity and work to find the right combination of flavors to give everyone at least one thing out of our meal that they will enjoy.  Twenty-two years later I am still learning new recipes and trying to understand their individual preferences!

In our marriages, we face the challenge of creating the right recipe for living according to God’s design.  I am thankful that Jesus is the Master Gardener and recipe builder and that we don’t have to create the recipe! We just have to yield to the “ingredients” that His Spirit cultivates in us, namely the fruit of the Spirit.  So instead of seeing at the top of our recipe card for a marriage bursting with flavor “Yields 12” or “Yields 6” it says simply “Yield.”

Jesus teaches this principle in John 15.  Jesus expresses the idea of fruit bearing.  He says the key to bearing fruit is remaining in Him (Christ).

In verse 8, Jesus says that fruit bearing (being fruitful encompasses witnessing and seeing people transformed into believers, to bearing Christian character (the fruit of the Spirit)) brings glory to His Father, for it shows us to be His disciples.  Jesus, in this passage, hits on the first two fruit of the Spirit — love and joy.

Jesus shows a progression in the verses that follow.  Jesus says “as His Father loves Him, so He has loved us.”  He calls us to remain in His love.  The next progression is to obey Him.  Remaining in His love and obedience to Him brings joy.

Oh, and not just any joy — complete joy!  The NKJV and NASV translate it as our joy being “full”.

He is generous.  His joy fills us and is complete, not lacking.

What does this mean for your marriage?  

It means we can bear the fruit of the Spirit and let love and joy flow out of our mouth and be worn in our countenance.

Our husbands should be the first recipient and witness of our joy in the Lord.

Let the joy of the Lord transform you and add flavor to the “same old, same old.”  Let love and joy blossom and come to maturity in your marriage.

You are a fruit bearer in Christ.  Yield (abide and remain in) to Him.

Try the recipe today and let us at The Imperfect Wives know how God is bringing you to fruit bearing as you yield.

♥ Kim

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