She is loving. She is joyful. She is peaceful and patient. She is kind and good. She exudes faithfulness. She has a gentle spirit. She practices self-control.
Who is this superwoman?? I want to meet her. I want to be her! I don’t know if she really exists, but this list of attributes describes a person who is living and walking through life by the power of the Holy Spirit. This woman is bearing good fruit!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
Thinking about my daily interactions with my children, I wonder if I practice these qualities enough. Would my family describe me as loving, peaceful, patient, kind, etc.? These are certainly things that I want God to produce in me. The one thing I do know is that the process is ongoing!
Lately, I have been working on teaching the importance of self-control to my four year old. I realize how much easier it will be for him to understand and practice it himself if he sees it modeled through my behavior. And how confusing it will be for him if he doesn’t! How can I ask my children to develop and display behaviors, unless I am first willing to do the same in myself?
Am I loving and kind during a screaming toddler tantrum? Am I patient when someone wakes up at 3:00am? Am I gentle and self-controlled as I try to teach my sons what it means to show these same qualities? Or am I screaming at them to stop yelling at each other? Am I faithful to the role God has given me as wife and mother to do everything as if I am doing it for the Lord?
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 NIV
So how do we become a fruitful person like this? I love when the Bible supports itself so beautifully from one passage to another. When I think about how to remember to practice these qualities I am reminded of another wonderful verse from the book of Philippians.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
Train your mind to think about right, pure, and praiseworthy things. When difficult times arise whether dealing with children, husbands, or anyone in our lives, come back to this verse. When your children are driving you just a little crazy (or a lot), think about what is true, they are a gift from God! In fact, every day we live, every breath we breathe is a gift. God is excellent and praiseworthy all of the time!!
We know what kind of good fruit we want to produce (Gal. 5:22-23), and we know what kind of things to focus to help us do that (Phil 4:8). But how do imperfect, sinful people really achieve this kind of lifestyle? The answer is good news, and it is more simple than you might think.
Abide in Him.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 NKJV
Any fruit that is cut from the vine is going to die before long. It is only the one that stays connected to its very source of life that can flourish and produce beautiful fruit. It is the very same with us. If I want to be someone who is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled…then I have to stay connected to my source of life, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Apart from God, there is no way I can be the person, wife, and mother I want so much to be.
The way to abide in Him, is through prayer and study of the Bible, God’s Word. These two things have more power than anything to change our hearts, minds, and our attitudes to joyfully produce good fruit. No self-help book, devotional reading, pod-cast or blog will do that. Anything that doesn’t point you back to the true source of life isn’t worth your time. Pray, read the Word, and abide in Christ who gives life abundantly.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30 NIV
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Along with your personal prayer and Bible study, you can help to make sure you are connected to the vine by finding other women who are also striving to be fruitful and encouraging one another. As a musician, I also love worshipping God through hymns and good music.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 NIV
I pray that as mothers we will stay connected to the vine, so that life will flow from us, and our children will see Christ in us.
May we abide in Him, and focus our minds on things that are true, pure, and worthy of praise. May we show our families love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Let our homes be full of sweet, good fruit!