DISCLAIMER: Though this post was written before the COVID-19 pandemic, my heart continues to go out to those affected and those working tirelessly each day to serve our communities. As we move forward in the coming weeks and you feel that you need extra support, send me a message. I’m happy to pray for you, give advice via email on finances, faith or productivity. Don’t be a stranger.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
One day I sat down, and I wanted to map out the qualities I wanted in a husband – not the superficial stuff, the items that mattered. The bare minimum like respect, hardworking, kindhearted, etc. I needed to do this because I had been in an 8-year…let’s call it a “situation-ship”…and I needed to write down the basic qualities so I would not screw myself again.
In the midst of writing those things, my heart turned to this scripture and it hit me. Those are the qualities I wanted in a husband and partner.
And so those words were exactly what I wrote down. It was the opposite of what I had had before.
As I finished the last few words though, I asked myself – Cortney, could YOU reflect these qualities TOWARDS a partner? Do YOU reflect this in your life today?
Cortney was like “nah sis, not all of them.”
After being in an eight-year situation-ship that went nowhere, I could DEFINITELY see myself as longsuffering and good, but I had a little trouble justifying how I had or brought joy, peace, gentleness, faith, meekness, and especially temperance to the people around me. I was angry. Bitter even. I was battling depression. I didn’t know where I was going – I had completely run my life off course.
I remembered a saying I had seen on social media telling women to be a man’s peace and I just wondered how I’m supposed to be something that I don’t have myself. (How was I going to be something that I’m not supposed to be either is another blog post entirely.)
We go through life analyzing others at any cost – hoping they treat us with kindness or reflect love towards us. But what fruit does our own life reflect?
- Are you a loving person?
- Are you joyful? When people are around you, do you bring joy to their life with your presence, or are you constantly argumentative or complaining about things?
- Do you have peace? Could you provide a peaceful environment for someone – be a safe haven for a friend or loved one?
- Are you long-suffering with others? Or are you quick to snap, get an attitude when things don’t go your way? Can you bear with those who are weak in areas you’re strong in? Or do you make them feel bad because that’s the ONE thing you’ve got in the bag?
- Are you a gentle person? Caring? Are you careful with other people’s feelings? Do you think before you speak?
- Are you good? Good to others? Good to yourself? Good to God? (He’s surely good to us.)
- Do you have faith? Are you able to be faithful?
- Are you meek? Do you have the ability to be humble even when your ego could get in the way? Even when you know you’re right?
- Do you have temperance? Can you control yourself? Your actions? The words that come out of your mouth? How you treat someone regardless of how they treat you?
That day, I made two lists – one that I wanted my husband to embody and the other I wanted to live out each day in my life FOR my husband and anyone else I come in contact with. I learned that day to not get caught up in how I will treat a spouse, but to also to be more considerate of the family and friends I already have. You don’t start dating someone and all of a sudden become a caring person.
The bible talks a lot about examining ourselves. I encourage you to do that today. Ask yourself the questions above and dig deeper where you can. If you find yourself cringing a bit, you gotta ask yourself – what fruit does my life reflect?
Let me know in the comments what hit you. I can tell you they all hit me fam. Facts.