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Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.

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A FRUIT-FULL MARRIAGE: PATIENT LOVE *

GALATIANS 5:22-26

Sermon Objective: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

INTRO:

>>This sermon begins with a video titled “Hillbilly Patience”<<

Does that strike a nerve with any of you? It does with me. You see, I am also an unfinished soul and patience is a developing virtue within me. It is one that is maturing as I keep in step with the Spirit.

Did you notice how patience is most fully needed in relationships? When patience (with another flawed human being) is absent there is the potential for real disruption.

Let’s face it; patience is one of those topics that a lot of people would rather avoid discussing. There seems to never be a shortage of stories about our impatience.

I heard the story of a man and his wife who were awakened at 3 o’clock in the morning by a loud pounding on their door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger in the pouring rain is asking for a push. “Not a chance” says the husband- “It’s three o’clock in the morning!” He slams the door and returns to bed. “Who was it?” asks his wife. “Just a drunken stranger asking for a push” he answers. “Did you help him?” She asks. “No, I didn’t-it’s three in the morning and raining out.” ‘Well, you’ve got a short memory” says his wife. “Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down on vacation and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him.” The man does as he is told and gets dressed and goes out into the pouring rain and calls out into the dark. “Hello-are you still there?” “Yes,” comes the answer. “Do you still want a push?” calls out the husband. “Yes, please!” comes the reply from the dark. “Where are you?” asks the husband. “Over here on the swing” the drunk replies. (SOURCE: from Joe Bedy on Sermoncentral.com.)

I am not sure who the man needed more patience to deal with, the drunk or his wife but I am sure that at that moment patience was required.

I know many of us have grieved over our failure with patience and prayed for God’s grace and patience to grow within us. One young wife was praying and she said,

I pray for :

Wisdom - to understand my man;

Love - to forgive him;

And Patience - for his moods;

Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength, I’ll beat him to death. Amen.

But seriously, patience is so essential in any relationship. Especially the marriage relationship. And yet, it is often more neglected, overlooked, excused, and abused in marriage than in any other. Is it not true that we are often less patient with our spouses and children than we are our co-workers and our neighbors? Why is that!? I don’t know, but, again, I contend that it is in the marriage relationship that we show how deep, authentic, and mature the Spirit’s fruit really is.


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