Our wedding day came and went as quickly as everyone told us it would.
I can’t say I remember every single detail of our big day, but there were a few moments that I’ll never be able to forget. One of those was the way I felt as my husband read his vows aloud to me. I just remember soaking his words in, my heart overwhelmed with the fact that I was stepping into married life with my favorite person in the whole world.
A few years ago I wrote a post on the Fruit of the Spirit, and I challenged readers to display the Fruit to different people in their lives in a variety of ways. As my husband and I walked through life together over this past year, I’ve come to understand that there are tons of examples in the Bible of how God encourages wives to love their husbands – both directly and indirectly. The Fruit of the Spirit can also be at work in our marriages if we allow it! So how about another challenge, but this time, specifically for your spouse (or future spouse) 🙂
“But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.“ | Galatians 5:22 & 23
Challenge #1: Love
Offer Christ-like love to your wife/husband. By Christ-like, I mean this: don’t expect anything in return from them, but simply love them because they were placed in your life for you to love. Is there something you know your spouse would appreciate you taking care of? Think of a chore that you can do for him/her this week to save them some energy, even at the expense of your own time!
Challenge #2: Joy
Life with your significant other isn’t going to be an easy, breezy walk in the park, and you shouldn’t expect it to be! Joy comes from being content with what you have – by noticing the little things that make you happy with your marriage, and thanking God for them. I challenge you to tell your spouse specifically what it is about them that brings YOU joy today.
Challenge #3: Peace
Understand that God is in control of your marriage, and allow His peace to comfort you and your spouse in moments of uncertainty and problems. One of the best ways to enjoy peace is to release everything that could stop you from experiencing it fully. Forgiving your spouse is key to experiencing complete peace together. Communicate your feelings, let it go and move forward.
Challenge #4: Patience
It’s important to remember that even the worst qualities found in your spouse are not set in stone forever. Patiently wait for their character to be molded by God. Don’t stamp a time-frame on this character-molding. God takes His time in fixing “broken vessels.” Here’s your challenge: Have an honest conversation with God, asking Him to reveal areas where you need to grow in order to be a better spouse. Any growth you want to see in your spouse must begin with your own growth first!
Challenge #5: Kindness & Goodness
Who doesn’t want to be around someone who is kind and good? Being good to your spouse, even when it isn’t expected is one of many ways to honor God in your marriage. Do what makes them happy because you actually want to do good for them! Ask yourself every morning how you can show kindness to your spouse before the sun sets in the evening.
Challenge #7: Faithfulness & Self-Control
Keep in mind what you vowed at the altar. You promised for better AND for worst. People will come and go as they please but your spouse married you because they want to be in your life forever. Don’t let your affections wander towards another person. Keep yourself from compromising situations. This challenge is simple: Be committed. Stay committed. And love them to the end.
Challenge #8: Gentleness
Understand that your spouse is just a broken human being. Be gentle with the way you respond to them. Do they experience a calm atmosphere when they’re around you, or is it more like trying to tiptoe around a sleeping grizzly bear? You’re the only one who can answer that question honestly! Ask God to help you be gentle in your thoughts and words – and that everything you say will point back to Him.