When in the cellar of affliction, I look for God’s choicest wines. – Samuel Rutherford
You say, “If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.” You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
This is a study I lead over the course of ten weeks on how we can walk worthy of our calling as Christian women, specifically considering how we can be full of the fruits of righteousness in our marriages. Though the primary applications will be to married women, there is no reason that unmarried women should feel excluded. This first lesson is a discussion of fruit in general. Subsequent lessons will examine each of the fruits mentioned in Galatians.
Women, Marriage, and the Fruit of the Spirit: Part 1
We are all pretty well acquainted with the passage in Galatians 5:22-26:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness [gentleness], goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [meekness], self-control [temperance]. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with it is passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.(*These verses are from the NKJV. The words in brackets are from the KJV.)
If we want fruit in our lives, we must first acknowledge the source of all such fruit, which is of course the Spirit of God who indwells His people. That is why it is called fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of Jane or Susan. Notice that the antithesis of Spiritual fruit is the flesh with its passions and desires. Paul mentions here a few specific manifestations of fleshly passions: conceit, provocation, and envy.
Christ is beauty to adorn, gold to enrich, balm to heal, bread to strengthen, wine to comfort, salvation to crown. If we are in danger, Christ is a shield; and if we are disconsolate, he is a sun; for he hath enough in his wardrobe abundantly to furnish the soul. – Thomas Watson
The pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch one does want to scratch; but it is much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch. As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasue of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither but have everything else (God, our fellow humans, animals, the garden, and the sky) instead.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â -C.S. Lewis
In my preaching I was really in pain to bring forth children to God. I was not satisfied unless some fruit did appear in my work. If I were fruitless, it mattered not who commended me, but if I were fruitful, I cared not who condemned. – John Bunyan