11 Aug The “Goodness” Fruit
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT CHALLENGE
The “Goodness” Fruit
In Galatians 5:16, the word of God tells us to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In a couple of verses further down, we learn that the fruit of the Spirit is; Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance ~ Galatians 5:22-23.
Wives, let’s talk facts! It is hard to be good to a “bad” man! But then again, what we call bad is most likely an extreme. If your husband forgets to take out the trash every now and then, or forgets one of the three things on the grocery list that you clearly wrote out, or comes home late and miss dinner time once or twice a week…he is not considered to be a bad man. Because after all, he does work and pay most of the bills, is faithful to date night, and still manages to attend one of those marriage seminars that you drag him to. So to use the word bad would be a stretch. But still how do we continue to show goodness on the days that we feel like throwing in the towel?
Let’s look at the story of Abigail and Nabal….
In brief summary, this is the story of a woman with beauty and brains, a woman of wisdom and understanding who had a stubborn and foolish husband named Nabal. David and his troops were laying low because they were on the run from King Saul. They were short of food and supplies and realized they were near Nabal who was a wealthy man. David sent his men to ask him for help. Nabal insulted David and the men and they went back to tell David what happened. David got extremely mad and told 400 of his men to prepare for battle. One of Nabal’s men told his wife Abigail what happened and the bible says that “she made haste”. In other words she responded with a sense of urgency. She was sharp and quick on her feet to respond to correct her husband’s wrong doings. She gathered together food, supplies, and sheep and she took it to David. She met David and his troops as they were on their way to slaughter her husband, Nabal and his men and she could have been in the slain as well, who knows. When she saw him, she jumped off of her donkey and greeted him by bowing to the ground. She asked for forgiveness on her husband’s behalf and she pleaded that they would not bring any harm to him or her household. She also said that she knew that God will deal with her husband for his ungodly ways and she asked David that when He does if he would “remember” her. Abigail arrived back at the house to tell Nabal what she did but he was drunk so she waited until the next day. His heart turned cold because he was upset about what she did. God struck him 10 days later and he died. When David heard this news, he remembered Abigail and sent his men to get her so that he can take her to be his wife. (Refer to I Samuel Chapter 25)
What I love about Abigail is that despite her husband’s actions, she was still good to him. Even though he was considered to be a bad man (He was ruthless). Abigail did not allow his unwise decision stop her from showing goodness nor did she allow it to hinder her from walking in her ministry as a wife. The bible said that she made haste. She didn’t ponder on options as to whether or not she should be good to him or not. She realized that other lives were also at risk if she did not respond quickly. Abigail acted as an intercessor for her husband by going to David on his behalf. And when you keep reading the chapter, she kept referring to her husband as her lord. Yes, women referred to their husbands as their lords! His sarcastic and condescending behavior didn’t change who he was to her. She still showed respect! Talk about showing goodness!…Abigail did that!
Just like Abigail was able to show goodness to her husband even though he did not deserve her goodness, as godly wives we should act within the very same realms. We should not allow our husband’s behavior to distract us from being a good wife. We should make haste and be quick to respond with wisdom and a sense of urgency to intercede on our husband’s behalf whether it is acting in the natural or in the spirit to fix what needs to be corrected. When we get weak in being good, we need to emerge ourselves in the word, in prayer, or find a video from a trusted preacher on YouTube and let God minister because I promise you that HE will. But you have to be intentional! Your responsibility as an intercessor for your husband is detrimental. It not only benefits you but it benefits everyone in the household from you to your children.
I know by first hand experience how much our flesh kicks and screams to show goodness especially when you have every reason not to. But because we are born again believers, we choose peace. We choose what is important to God and that is being a witness to our husbands. If I’m having a hard time showing goodness to my husband, I have a sidebar conversation with God. I talk to him about everything that my husband is doing wrong and then ask Him what is He going to do about it. The Holy Spirit quickly convicts me about my wrongs and ask me what am I going to do about my own faults. What I continue to realize is that the entire time that I am desiring God to perform a work in my husband, HE is desiring to perform a work in me.
So what do we do when we don’t see change yet in our husbands and we’ve been good for an upteen number of years? Do we throw in the towel because the journey is too hard? Do we threaten our husbands with words like divorce or separation? Do we quit on God once again because we are tired of waiting? Today I encourage your hearts to be like Abigail and attend upon the Lord without distraction. Don’t follow your own understanding because you will make an unwise decision. But instead trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths ~ Proverbs 3:5-6. The work that you desire to see in your husband is not just so that you can be a happy wife. The work that God desires to do in your husband is so that he can carry out God’s assignment for him on earth. Your heart’s desire should be to see your husband live out his purpose as to why God put him here on earth and in return you will be benefited. Your husband is God’s first and then he is your husband. When he falls in line with God, everything else will fall in place.
If your prayers towards your husband seems to be more about him changing for you, then I pull on your heart strings to change your words of prayer. Focus on your husband being the man that God created him to be. If you are having a hard time showing goodness to your husband on hard days, ask the Holy Spirit to refocus your focus so that you are able to attend upon HIM without distraction!