Parents and children. Friends and co-workers. Siblings and in-laws. Marriage and dating. Our lives are filled with relationships. They are amazing and challenging, inspiring, and just plain hard. Isn’t it true that in many of our connections with those we love the most, we experience communication breakdowns, discouragement, and unmet expectations? As we depend on Christ to do within us that which we cannot do on our own, we (and our relationships) will be strengthened and filled with “the fruit of the Spirit.”
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. All are necessary when navigating relationships, but sometimes they can be seemingly lacking or straight-up missing in our lives! Maybe patience with a child has been running short lately. Maybe life has thrown a curveball and peace seems slim-to-none in your heart. Maybe you’re just simply tired and your reserves are low, leaving you lacking kindness and gentleness toward others.
There is no shortage of relationships that can feel like they’re out of our control. However, one thing that always remains true is that we have direct access to our God who made and knows each of us. When we put our faith in Jesus, we’re made alive in Christ and His Spirit lives in us. And with the Holy Spirit comes the fruit of the Spirit. As we learn to rely on and surrender to the help of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit will begin to saturate our lives and influence how we love others.
As we read through the story of Ruth this week, look for the fruit of the Spirit on display in this amazing story of love and redemption. Consider how you see – or might not see – His fruit showing up in your life in and through your personal relationships on a daily basis.