Day Six: Joy Juice
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11
Every time I go to the farmer’s market, I am seduced by the nice, dark green kale—I’m a huge kale fan. Although these beautiful leaves are loaded with nutritional benefits, they can be somewhat bitter. So, my favorite way to prepare them is to add a large handful to my morning beverage. I know this may sound like a terrible idea to you, but stay with me.
I am a low-key, non-exact food preparer early in the morning, so I need something that is quick and easy. This is where my morning juice comes in handy. Over the past few years of making these healthy beverages, I’ve learned that one needs a good balance of fruits and greens to really enjoy them. For instance, if my juice consisted mainly of kale it may be a bit bitter. We need the fruit, to balance it out and make it more desirable.
Marriage is the same way. We need to have a good balance to fully enjoy it. The Bible tells us we can do that with just the right ingredients. In Galatians 5, He tells us that He gives us the fruit— the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Notice that the first ingredient is love. All the other fruits flow forth from love. The truth is this: we don’t have the ability to love—committed and sacrificially—without the power of God and the Holy Spirit working in us. Without this supernatural love, we won’t be able to fully enjoy the other fruits—including joy.
Without the Fruits of the Spirit, we tend to live a bitter, angry and unforgiving life that inevitably spills into our relationships, especially marriage. And let’s face it, love requires sacrifice. Love isn’t a feeling; it’s a decision—a decision to love, to be kind, gentle, patient and forgiving. Not because we feel it, but because we choose it.
Jesus tells us to remain in Him and His love so that we will be filled with joy. “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11) When we remain in Him, we love because of His love for us. When we love, all the other fruits begin to flow and what do we end up with? Jesus’ gift to us—joy juice!
For her: Are there any fruits you need to add to your marriage? Do you stop during the day and chose joy?
For him: Does your day flow with good fruits? Do you use them out of obligation, or do they flow out of the love you have for your wife?
For us: Are you regularly missing some important ingredients in your relationship? Do you enjoy more sweet fruits and less bitter bites?
Used by permission. Cornerstone Christian Fellowship