There is a war between the flesh and the Spirit that will only end when God changes us in a moment in the twinkling of an eye to meet Him in the air. When God fills us with His Spirit (Acts 2:38) we become the temple (dwelling place) of the Holy Ghost. That is God in us the Hope of glory! The Holy Ghost does not force us to do what is right. We have choice. We can choose to be led by the Spirit, or allow our flesh to take over. We are to treat others as we would treat God. How do these facts impact relationships?
If every believer would study and live out God’s instructions in Galatians 5: 14 – 26, we would have marriages and families overflowing with God’s love, joy and peace. God tells us to “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” If you do this, you are doing the whole law of God. Vs. 15 NLT says, “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” Vs. 16 NLT – “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Vs. 17 – The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.” You notice it says ‘let’ (allow) the Holy Spirit guide your lives. We have choice either to follow God or follow Satan’s selfish desires that are in the flesh – the old nature. Vs. 19 – 21 tells us, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Here’s the secret to love joy and peace: Vs. 22 – NLT – “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
I have said this hundreds of times in teaching, counseling and writing — if we want love, joy and peace, we must be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and have self-control in how we treat one another. Strong’s #5544 definition of kindness defines being Holy Ghost controlled: “Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.”
When you study Ephesians 5, we learn husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. When the husband loves with a sacrificial love, a godly wife will not be able to resist her loving man! When there is conflict in a marriage, if you follow scripture you can be kind (Ephes. 4:32) in the middle of a disagreement. It takes Holy Ghost control. Be kind (above definition) and respectful – allow the Holy Ghost to control you instead of your flesh.
My parents, who loved God and loved each other, raised me. They showed me by example how to allow the Fruit of the Spirit to work in every day life. They were no more special to God than anyone else. They just allowed the Holy Ghost to rule their human desires. If we surrender our selfishness to God, all of us can do the same. It breaks the heart of God when husbands and wives are cruel and rude to each other. It’s not godly! God looks at our hearts. We are to respect one another in the command to love others as you love yourself. Why would we treat others better than we do our spouse and children? It’s because we allow our selfish flesh to be in control instead of the Holy Ghost. If we are quarreling, angry and selfish toward each other, God says we will have no part in the Kingdom of God! An angry selfish attitude is just as sinful to God as adultery, fornication and viewing pornography. This is a serious issue with God. He will not allow sin to enter into heaven.
If parents do NOT show the love of God by the Holy Ghost, how will the children learn to be godly? God said in Deuteronomy 6 we are to teach our children when we wake up in the morning, when we sit down, when we walk along the way and when we go to sleep at night. Do you have love, joy and peace in your family? If not, you can choose to ‘let’ the Holy Ghost control you instead of your fleshly desires. God is coming soon for a Bride without ‘spot or wrinkle.’
We can’t play ‘church’ or ‘religion’ any longer. When we pursue a vital relationship with God and want to please Him more than anything else in our life, it will include being loving and kind to others no matter the situation. We will answer to God for every word and action. Are you going to be controlled by your flesh or by His Spirit? This life is short and eternity will be forever. What we do now determines where we go at death! What we are in the home is what we really are. In my book, GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE, I share in detail what pleases the Lord in marriages and family. It’s not difficult. If we do not surrender our lives to God, our eternity will not be in heaven.
© Carol Clemans – September 2013 – www.carolclemans.org – firstname.lastname@example.org – (636) 448-0121 – Counseling or schedule speaking.