Galatians 5:22-23 reads: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.”
These 'fruits" are beautiful and inviting characteristics that true Christians long to have in their lives. Spiritual maturity teaches that it is called 'the fruit of the Spirit', because it is only through the Holy Spirit that these flourish in our lives. Our efforts to produce these can fall flat, but when our prayer is to let these fruits come forth, God equips and guides us and enables these to flow from our hearts.
These fruits are to be shared with others and will point others to Jesus and His goodness. For Christian women, God's Word encourages us to teach the younger women. Let's be reminded that there is always a woman younger than us who we have the privilege of sharing and showing the ways of godliness to.
Let's look at how powerful the fruit of the Spirit can work through us in practical ways as we seek to be a blessing and godly influence in the lives of younger women.
Love. First, we must love them. Love them exactly where they are, love their differences, love their music, love their ideas, just love that God is raising up young women to carry the torch of the gospel and serve Him. we must love these ladies like Jesus has loved us all these years.
Joy. We must show joy as these young ladies move into leadership. We must be full of joy as they succeed and surpass us in knowledge, gifts, talents, and service. We must remember that everything we have is from Him and for Him.We're not called to compete, but want to have full joy as we see God use these women He has called according to His purpose.
Peace. We want to walk beside them in peace. When they see us, we want them to know we am on their side and are here to support, not criticize.
Patience. May we ask that God to have and show true patience. We have experienced the long suffering of our Savior over and over again. There has been no limit. These young women need us to show the patience that we have received. To be a listener, not a know-it-all, to allow them to try, and whether they succeed or fail, we will be ready to help them try again.
Kindness. Kindness seems like it should be an easy fruit to produce as a Christian woman. but when challenged by someone,we must show kindness.we do this by being kind—kind in our tone, actions and conversation.
Goodness. God is good, and He wants us to reflect His goodness in all we do. This means showing goodness by praying good into all our endeavors. We are called to do everything for the glory of God and that means striving to be excellent, and to do our very best at every task every day.
Gentleness. Oh to want the fruit of gentleness to be taught and caught in our own life. Gentleness means letting go of our own desires and plans and being ready to share when and how the Lord leads. May we be gentle when young sisters need guidance and even more gentle when they make mistakes. We will gently share and teach, the way God has gently taught us when they ask.
Faith. Does a woman of faith have to be reminded to have faith? Oh yes! There is no greater testimony to every person around than when a person truly believes that God is in control. Women’s ministry is full of surprises and changes. May we be reminded that God is faithful and will do what He has promised. May we commit to be faithful to these young women.
Self-control. Showing self-control as we minister together is a must. Let them to see that God can control our emotions when they are in His hands. We may need to control the urge to tell them how we did things back in the day. We may need to control the urge to “preach” a little sermon when they don’t agree with us. But let's let them see what the fruit of self-control looks like in a woman of God.
The passage in Galatians goes on in verses 24-25: “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
As older women, may we be ready to walk alongside, not out in front and certainly not holding back, the young women God is bringing to serve His Kingdom purposes. Just as Elijah and John the Baptist worked to prepare the way for our Lord, so we are all on the same team. We are all “forever sisters” in Christ!