“The Fruit of the Spirit,” is a 9-part devotion that focuses on Galatians 5:22-23. Focus on the Family created it for you and your spouse, and we believe it will bless you!
This time of year, you’ve probably been thinking about gifts to give your family and relatives. It’s always a thrill to find something you know they will love and treasure.
Jesus gave His followers the ultimate gift of the Holy Spirit after He ascended into heaven. And if you believe in Him, He gives you that gift too!
The Holy Spirit is His presence, living inside you, giving you power to overcome your sinful nature. As you yield to the Spirit’s control in your life, He shapes you and grows you to be more like Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) That’s an incredible gift!
In the first video of the series, you’ll learn about love, the first of the nine Spirit-produced characteristics that He grows in you as you walk with the LORD. This Holy Spirit-powered love is a choice — not a feeling — and it is expressed as you seek the welfare of others. In your marriage, this love enables you to put your spouse’s needs above your own, and during the Christmas season, it’s the perfect time.
Click here to watch the first session.
In this second video, you will see that joy should not be confused for happiness. Happiness is fleeting. It’s a response to positive things that happen to you. Joy is the choice to see goodness no matter what circumstances come. The Christmas season is a great reminder that, when God is at the center of your marriage, you can find joy no matter the challenges.
Click here to watch session 2.
In the third episode, you’ll learn that peace comes when you focus on the LORD and trust His promises. In Scripture, peace often refers to rest — that you can put all your belief and confidence in what Jesus has done for you. Even at Christmas, we celebrate the prophesy of Isaiah: “The punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds, we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
What does peace look like in your marriage?
Click here to watch session 3.
In session four, we’re talking about patience. Patience is in short supply during the busy and stressful times that can come with the Christmas season. But God demonstrates to you and your spouse what patience is like through His mercy, grace, and love. You don’t get what you really deserve from God. Instead, He shows longsuffering patience with us, even when we stray.
With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can substitute frustration and anger with a patient love toward your spouse.
Click here to watch session 4.
In this episode, we look to Jesus to show us how to be kind despite messiness and ugliness. This can be hard when you are in a fight, or are frustrated with your spouse. But the Holy Spirit can give you fresh eyes to see things differently, including your spouse. He makes it possible for you to extend kindness and forgiveness when your flesh is weak, at Christmastime and throughout the year.
Click here to watch episode 5.
In today’s sixth episode, you’ll see that goodness is a reflection of God’s holy character that acts on behalf of others. This time of year, we celebrate God showing His goodness by sending His Son to broken humanity. Emmanuel — God with us.
In your marriage, when goodness drives your words and actions, you show honor and love toward your spouse.
Click here to watch video 6.
In the seventh video, we reflect on the fact that God’s steadfast faithfulness never ceases, and He always keeps His promises. What does faithfulness look like in marriage? Faithfulness means remaining loyal to your spouse, sticking beside him or her throughout life. Faithfulness means being consistent in character, actions, and speech. Because faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit, you will need God’s help to live it out in your marriage.
Click here to watch episode 7.
In video 8, you’re going to hear about gentleness. Think of it as a servant-hearted mindset. Jesus showed gentleness in washing the feet of His disciples. At your house, gentleness might look like responding in love and grace instead of lashing out, especially during the stress of the Christmas season. The Holy Spirit can empower you to yield your strengths under His control and give your spouse (or even your in-laws) a place of honor.
Click here to watch the 8th episode.
In the ninth and final episode of this series, we’re going to talk about the gift of self-control. Like all of the other fruits of the Spirit, self-control is behavior powered by the Holy Spirit. Self-control is saying yes to something greater.
In marriage, choosing self-control can be difficult. In moments of strife and conflict, you need the Holy Spirit’s help to react toward your spouse with self-control. Invite the Holy Spirit to take the lead in what you say, think, and do. Choose to let Him be in control.
Click here to watch the 9th video.
I encourage you to contact Pastor John for additional marriage or family support.
May God bless you and your family!