fruit of the spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.   Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-25 (emphasis added)

Let’s face it.  From the time we can crawl or walk we “want what we want” and “we want it now!”

We are encouraged to go after whatever makes us happy.  We are reminded to “take care of number one” and live with no boundaries.

Perhaps, if you have walked with The Imperfect Wives over the last few months, you have looked deeply into the Fruit of the Spirit as you were challenged by God’s Word.  The Lord has definitely been speaking into my life about living a more Spirit-controlled life; this last fruit of the Spirit listed here in Galatians 5:23 hits dead center on the bull’s-eye of my heart.

Self control.  It truly is a virtue that the world around us has thrown away.  We seem to live in a society with little or no boundaries and we are lured to abandon the idea of self-control altogether.

Paul wrote to Timothy describing how the world will behave and warns his apprentice in the faith to be alert to the dangers coming.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

For the children of God, however, it is self-control (and the other fruit of the Spirit) that is to have no boundaries in our new life in Christ Jesus.

Did you catch that in verse 24?  “Against such things [the “such things” referred to here are the fruit of the Spirit just listed] there is no law.”

No boundaries for bearing the fruit of the Spirit!  These fruit are always in season for the Christian.

For the Christian wife, we need to yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives to cultivate these fruit for our marriages.

Self-control, according to is “the ability to exercise restraint or control over one’s feelings, emotions, reactions, etc.”

The one word in that definition that jumps out at me is “reactions.”

 A person who exhibits self-control is able to exercise restrain or control over their own reactions.

This is a great word for our marriages, ladies.

Paul explains, in verse 24, that for those who belong to Christ Jesus the sinful nature has been crucified!  Put to death!  Snuffed out!  That sinful nature is dead!

Those passions and desires of the flesh, those desires that rise up and want to react in self-centeredness and indulgence, are able to be crushed.

How?  By living in the Spirit and keeping step with the Spirit (verse 25).

We are no longer our own; we are His.  And we are no longer on our own; the Creator God lives in us!

When we are yielding to the Holy Spirit in our lives we can begin to live intentional lives and not reactive lives.

Self-control is only cultivated through Spirit-control.

When we are allowing the Holy Spirit control, and keeping in step with Him, we can begin to have self-control.

We can keep short accounts and forgive liberally in our marriage.  We can keep our mouths shut in order to speak intentionally and kindly when the time is right.

2 Peter 1:5-9 says,

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJV)

It takes work, the work of leaving the old nature and remembering that we were and are cleansed from old sins.  We can have Spirit-controlled lives.

Now go and be fruitful, bearing Spiritual fruit for your relationships.

Forgetting what is past and being fruitful in Christ,