The Fruit of the Spirit's Not a Coconut
I teach private music lessons out of our home and the other day one of my students paid me the most wonderful compliment. As she was leaving she turned and said, "Your house is like....love."
She may not ever realize how much the Lord used her kind words and observations to encourage my heart and confirm that His presence is evident in our home. God's presence is something I have prayed would be obvious to those who enter our doors and I am blessed and thankful that my student noticed.
God lives with us - it is my favorite thing about our home. God's truth and light and peace and grace have been invited to rule and reign in these rooms and more specifically, in the people who inhabit these rooms; and His presence among us is wonderfully transforming.
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
It is my deep desire that God would rule and reign in our home but the truth is that we must choose this day by day. It is so tempting to want to play ruler over my little kingdom - so easy to lean on my own understanding - too easy to elevate lesser things. But, more days that not, we choose to serve the Lord and our home is filled with the fruit He produces.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
We currently have the Fruit of the Spirit displayed on little apple stickers in our kitchen. We learned a fun song last year to help us memorize them as a family and while sitting around the dinner table we are trying to take turns pointing out the "fruit" we noticed in each other that day. Sometimes this goes well...and sometimes not so much. But I love that we are having these conversations.
The fruit of the Spirit is not something we can muster up - it is something God produces within us. So, when we say, "I saw that Raleigh displayed self-control when he stopped himself from throwing a fit" what we are really saying is, "I saw God in Raleigh." (This may be an obvious statement but, believe it or not, I only recently grasped this concept!) I can not search deep within my heart and find the peace and kindness I wish to display to my family. Nope, my heart doesn't produce peace and kindness. God is the source of any and all beautiful things that come out of our lives - and as He gifts them to us - we can gift them to others.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Precious and pleasant riches? Yes, this is the calling card of our generous Emmanuel - God with us.
Having this on my radar the past few weeks has caused me to consider what love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control look like in a home - specifically our home. What does this look like in the heart of my 2 year old? How does this fruit affect our schedule or parenting or marriage? What evidence of God's presence would our guests notice in our home?
So...I am giving myself a little challenge. I would like to try and prayerfully consider each fruit of God's Spirit and write about how that manifests (or how it is missing) from our home. I may not write about them all in order or on a specific timeline but I encourage you to follow along with me on this journey and hope my thoughts and ideas may spark some of your own!
"Your house is like....love."
Consider this article my first installment in this series because I believe that a loving home is a home that is filled with the Lord and with the 8 remaining fruits of His Spirit.
It is our great joy that He would live among us. Please enjoy this original song and stay tuned for more articles on this topic....
And check out this fun Fruit of The Spirit Song!