What Does It Mean to Bear Fruit?

Slide 1 of 5

Galatians explains the fruit we are meant for: 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

This list in Galatians describes the evidence of the spirit at work in our lives and earlier in the text, the evidence of the flesh. They are set before us as two categories of evidence or results.

And both category requires the development or cultivation of certain attitudes and behaviors before they “bear fruit.”

We can’t just say, “I really love my husband” and expect that saying it or thinking it will bear the fruit of it.

Love is HARD! It’s even complicated! Think about how easy it is to love amiss and end up enabling a destructive habit or maybe you want to lovingly support someone through a challenging time but all your efforts fall short of the real way they actually need support.

Yes! Love is hard and complex; it is beyond us to do it well or rightly. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Moving from our own messy attempts at love (and all the rest) into God’s promised territory functions a bit like gardening.

If someone planted a garden haphazardly, maybe they didn’t prepare the soil evenly or purposefully, they didn’t fertilize, they watered when they felt like it or just when they remembered, and they didn’t read the seed packets before tossing them to the ground we would all agree that isn’t a method of gardening, it’s just a foolish waste of time and energy.

A pursuit like gardening requires intentionality. So how much more purposefulness does our family need to reap a harvest of spiritual fruit?

We either sow to the Spirit, thus inviting God to work in our midst, or we sow to the flesh and end up inviting the enemy and our sinful nature to work.

When we see anger erupt in our family, we’ve sown to our flesh. We’ve allowed sin to take up soul-space and now it is bearing fruit.

Conversely, when we exercise patience in our relationship, we quench our natures and make space for the Holy Spirit to come, work, and bear fruit.

Here are 4 practices or habits you can implement into your family life to prepare your “heart soil” for God’s work and fruitfulness.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/lchumpitaz