“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” – Galatians 5:22.

How would life be different if we exhibited the fruits of the spirit in all our family interactions We would be walking billboards of God’s existence and wisdom, and more importantly, we would be striving for God’s standard for the family rather than our own. The fruit of the Spirit is something demonstrated through relationships. We walk by the Spirit when we love our neighbors as ourselves. We walk by the Spirit when we show kindness to the friends who betrayed us. We walk by the Spirit when we demonstrate patience with our children. We walk by the spirit when we love our spouse. We are to grow to think and act more like God does, and the fruit of the Spirit helps outline the path of a Christian.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, ““But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” 

Each of these is a characteristic of the Holy Spirit’s active presence in our daily activities. Imagine if our families were characterized by the fruits of the Spirit? Wouldn’t this be an ideal family?  Love doesn’t refer to warm feelings but to a deliberate attitude of good will and devotion to others. Love gives freely without looking at whether the other person deserves it, and it gives without expecting anything back. Loving like that, would raise the bar in a family. Joy is being glad completely independent of the good or bad things that happen in the course of the day. How would family life be different if we focus on God’s purposes for the events in your life rather than on the circumstances. Peace is the absence of turmoil, but calmly trusting that God is in control. That family would be less affected by bumps in the road.   

Patience is the ability to endure treatment from life or at the hands of others without lashing out or paying back. Kindness is at work in a person’s life when we look for ways to adapt to meet the needs of others. Goodness in your desires to see goodness in others, even when that person is a weird or annoying member of the family. And faithfulness: our natural self always wants to be in charge, but Spirit-controlled faithfulness is evident in the life of a person who seeks good for others and glory for God. The fruits of the Spirit reflect the nature of God. Let me say it again: imagine how happy and fulfilled a family would be if it was characterized by the fruits of the Spirit? 

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is in direct contrast with the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 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.”  This type of fruit reflects our nature.  

Exhibiting and living our lives in accordance with the fruit of the Spirit will take your family closer to being the ideal family.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How are the fruits of the Spirit more than mere niceties? Do you think that they are radically countercultural in their true form?
  2. What fruit do you most recognize in yourself? In your family? What fruit of the spirit would you like to see more evident in your family?
  3. Can the fruit of the Spirit in your life be reproduced in your family? If so, how? 
  4. What would it look like in your life or family if you exhibited the fruits of the Spirit?