Kindness is loving and serving your spouse the way they needs it. Wives, this would mean serving in his love language as well. We all know how to be kind to our spouse, but being consistent can be challenging for all of us. Kindness may take some forethought or planning ahead.
Most of us know what our spouse needs to feel loved. Kindness is consistently giving that gift. Kindness is also anticipating a need and meeting it before it is requested. I don’t always get kindness right, but I can say that when Lisa asks for something to be done and I already did it, I feel kind. Goodness for me is staying in a right motivation toward my spouse.
To me, faithfulness has a whole lot more to do with being consistent. I need to do what I say, say what I’ll do, follow through on commitments, pick up the kids when I say I will, and keep up with things around the house. Yes, faithfulness means romantic or sexual fidelity as well.
Gentleness is more of an attitude of service, rather than being superior. It also means not gloating when you happen to be right about something. Gentleness can make a marriage so much smoother day in and day out. There is no need to be harsh or rude toward the one who has committed their life to you.
Lastly, but not least, is self-control. For me this means I just don’t have to say every silly thing I think. I can restrain my fleshly impulses that want to get even or make things fair. Self-control is a mature fruit. I definitely have to be able to discern the silly from important, and decide if something is or isn’t worth a conflict. Self-control also means that it’s not always about me. I think that’s what makes self-control challenging to my flesh.
Marriage is a great photograph as to how I am doing with the fruits of the Spirit. This is the part of the relationship where my spouse gets the fruits of the Spirit, or the fruits of my flesh. I realized I am the chef and I get to decide daily which fruit my spouse receives. I have even had an accountability partner help me on this, and I was amazed at how much more I could choose to be more intentionally fruitful toward my wife.
Take some space to reflect on these fruits as they pertain to your spouse. You may or may not be more fruitful outside of the marriage, but I want you both to reflect on what kind of diet you are feeding your spouse. Give yourself a grade 1-10 or A B C D F in the fruits listed below.
Fruitfulness His Her
Love ___ ___
Joy ___ ___
Peace ___ ___
Patience ___ ___
Kindness ___ ___
Goodness ___ ___
Faithfulness ___ ___
Gentleness ___ ___
Self-Control ___ ___
To read more about the Fruits of the Spirit in Marriage, purchase Miracle of Marriage by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. While you are reading this book or researching this topic, if any time questions come up we are here to answer any questions. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at heart[email protected].
Douglas Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including Servant Marriage, Sex, Men and God, Intimacy; and his latest, Worthy: Exercise and Step Book.