The fruit of the Spirit is love. At least according to Galatians 5:22. Have you ever wondered why love is listed as the first quality of this fruit? I recently began a study on Philippians. You may know this book to be Paul’s most joyful letter. Likewise, the fruit of the spirit is joy. However, without love. there is no joy. In just the first week of this study, I studied other scriptures that tell us the true meaning of love and why it comes first.
what is true meaning of love?
How we define love will affect our understanding of the fruit of the Spirit. If you think love is romance and sexual chemistry, you’ll probably be led astray. Likewise, if you think love is accepting others who live in sin without passing judgment, you’ll miss it. God’s love is much richer and deeper. His love may not even look like love in the eyes of the world. Therefore, let’s look at a few different passages in the Bible that better explain what love is.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, we read that love is necessary to every other aspect of Christian living. Love is patient and kind. By the way, these are also listed within the fruit of the Spirit. However, there is a reason that love is listed first. Kindness and patience cannot exist without love. In addition, these verses tell us that love keeps no record of wrong. It rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, and perseveres. Love lasts. It is greater than faith and hope.
In Colossians 3:12-14, we are told to dress in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. Furthermore, it says that love is what binds these things in unity. In John 2:15-17 we read that we should not love the world or the things in the world. It lists these things as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. these verses help us to gain a picture of God’s love. However, we still might not be sure we know exactly what love is.
how do we know what love is?
I John 3:16-18 says that this is how we know what love is. Jesus laid down His life for us. In the same way, we are to lay down our lives for others, giving of ourselves and our possessions. These verse tell us that love is action and truth.
Explaining this type of love to children might seem difficult. Check out this blog for how to best explain it to children.
3 practical ways to grow the fruit of the spirit
Want to understand how you can grow love and the fruit of the Spirit? For example, are you hoping to be more loving, joyful, peaceful, or patient? Similarly, becoming kinder and gentler and showing more self-control. These are not just character traits. They are qualities that are produced through us by the Holy Spirit. Our lives should cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of our most important things.
This model includes 3 practical ways and it works! I have seen how God produces the fruit of the Spirit through me and the teachers, parents, and students I’ve worked with. It includes the three practical areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. In these areas you’ll see seven steps that you can implement in your life. Consequently, you will be a fruit-bearing vessel.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, I promise we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us.