A spouse living out “goodness” in their marriage can seem like a trait that we can take for granted because it will happen naturally, doesn’t it? Frankly, before researching for this post, we hadn’t given it much thought either. But when we researched how goodness is used in the Bible, we were amazed at the implications for marriage!
God wants and expects us to display goodness in our marriage. In fact, It should permeate who we are in three distinct areas:
C.S. Lewis wrote that people are “mirrors, or ‘carriers’ of Christ to other men.” (Mere Christianity) The core of who we are in our character as men and women should reflect Jesus to our spouse. We should BE good.
As we have been looking at the various fruit of the Spirit the central prayer has simply been: “God, I yield myself to your Spirit. I choose to let you lead and direct me. I will obey you.” To drill deeper into our character as a husband or wife, ask God to help you reveal Jesus to your spouse by:
- Having the desire to serve as Jesus served you
- Being truthful in all your words, actions, and intentions
When goodness from the Spirit permeates our lives, we make deliberate choices to do good. This goes deeper than nice acts like picking up our underwear from the floor, or doing basic household tasks. Doing good is a conscious action which brings benefit to our spouse. It infuses “goodness” into their life. Things like:
- A note of encouragement when they are struggling—letting them know you believe in them
- Knowing what would refresh your spouse and figuring out how to provide that for them
- Giving your spouse a break from a chore that they really don’t enjoy doing
- Providing a long back-rub or foot-rub to bless them—with no expectations of it going further!
Pray about it! Ask God to reveal to you how you can DO goodness toward your spouse. We can assure you—God will show you!
Goodness in you will choose to build goodness in your spouse. The most powerful way you can influence your spouse toward goodness is to encourage their spiritual growth. Some ways you might do this are:
- Free up time for them to read their Bible and pray
- Encourage them to get connected in Bible study or small group at church
- Pray for them to grow closer to Jesus. (We encourage you to do this privately so your spouse doesn’t feel prayed AT vs. FOR)
- Be sure they have your blessing to spend time with godly friends
- If your spouse isn’t yet a Christian, we would strongly recommend you purchase a book written by our friends, Lee and Leslie Strobel called, Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch. You can check it out here.
As the fruit of goodness is displayed through you, the two of you will experience greater joy and connection with each other and God as you build your marriage!