Fruitful or Barren - What Will Your Spouse See?
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. (John 15:1-8 MSG)
When you are living in a spiritually uneven marriage, your husband becomes a fruit inspector, even if he doesn't totally grasp the concept from a Christian standpoint.
He looks for evidences of your conversion. He sees your reactions to everyday struggles. He watches to see if you'll acknowledge him for something he's done for you. Do you have fruit for him to appreciate, much less notice?
Jesus told us we would bear good fruit when we abided in Him. That means we are to stay in an intimate relationship with Him which entails Bible study, praying, and following His commandments. Fruit bearing is a result of living in total surrender to Him.
The following is an excerpt from an article in the magazine In Touch by Dr. Charles F. Stanley:
The wisest decision you can make is to set your heart, mind, and will on doing whatever is necessary to grow up in Christ. Then whenever the Lord gives you a specific responsibility of any kind, you will be prepared and equipped to fulfill your calling. Here are some spiritual markers of a believer.
The Fruit of Spiritual Maturing
Spirit-controlled character (Gal. 5:22-25)
Stability of sound doctrine (I Tim. 4:6)
Passion for Christ and His calling (Phil. 3:7-14)
Increasing love for one another (I Thess. 3:12-13)
Ability to gently exhort others (II Tim. 2:24-26)
Discernment (Heb. 5:14)
Godly wisdom (James 3:13-18)
Increasing holiness in behavior (I Peter 1:13-16)
In the New Testament Jesus used the fig tree to illustrate spiritual hypocrisy in the religious community of His day. Here is one such passage:
Now in the morning, as He [Jesus] returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” And immediately, the fig tree withered away. (Matthew 21:18-19)
Jesus cursed the tree because it should have had some fruit on it naturally – simply as a function of its fruit-bearing nature and tendency to blossom nearly year-round. He correlated the tree’s lack of fruit to the nation of Israel’s spiritual deficit and moral corruption. The Jewish people had forsaken God and rejected Him time and time again. The religious leaders made a mockery of the original intent of the Law and had burdened men with hundreds of man-made rules and regulations.
Fig trees in Jesus’ day were abundant and as common as an oak or maple in your front yard today. Everyone had a fig tree and they dotted the landscape in the hillsides surrounding Jerusalem. In the Old Testament it often represented prosperity. In I Kings 4:25 we read that “every man was sitting under his own fig tree.”The fig tree makes a good shade tree, often growing up to 20 feet or more. (John 1:43-50)
Many times fig trees were planted alongside the grapevines and flourished in the well-maintained vineyards. Fruit often appears before the leaves which don’t appear until right before summer. Two crops of fruit appear: one in the spring which is eaten fresh, and the other in fall which is often dried during the winter.
The first time a fruit tree is mentioned and named in Scripture is in Genesis. Fig leaves were sewed together and used to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:7) The fig leaves are roughly the size of a human hand and are hairy on the back side.
So, let’s talk about OUR fruit (or lack thereof). How do we assure a year-round crop of eye-pleasing, mouth-watering fruit? How do we stay connected to the Vine and grow as a follower of Christ?
We go back to our passage in John 15:1-8. We abide. We make Jesus the hub of our lives. As the Apostle Paul says in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and have our being…” What should our fruit look like?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I just happen to know a really great Gardener, and His fruit is always ripe.
Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “MissionPossible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Visit