Mel Lawrenz has written a wonderful book called Patterns, in which he points out ways to develop the patterns in your life that will allow the Holy Spirit to work within you, allow you to embrace these characteristics and make them a part of your daily walk with God and with one another. This is just one resource of many that can assist you in creating a life that will exemplify the "Fruit of the Spirit."

I challenge every couple interested in attaining a deeper relationship with one another to take just these two passages, Galatians 5:22-23, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and mediate upon them. Decide as a couple to "digest these fruits," to embrace these ideals and ask God to shine his light of wisdom and insight upon you both as you delve deeper into the meanings behind these enduring truths.

Make a pledge to one another that these are the standards by which you are measuring your relationship. Take them one by one and embrace them without reservation, until you fully understand them and can more easily put them into practice. Be patient with one another, as enlightenment, comprehension and mastery will be attained at your own individual pace (remember that patience and kindness are two of the cornerstones of this formula)!

Remind yourselves that embracing each one of these values is a daily choiceChoose to lead a peaceful life, Choose to be joyful, Choose to exercise self-control. It is within the power of each of us to practice these qualities, to make them habits, part of our personalities and to apply them in our relationships with others. But it has also been my experience that I need the Holy Spirit to keep me moving in the right direction, to pick me up when I fall, and to forgive me and give me a fresh start when I lose my way.  

If both of you will subscribe to attaining these attributes, individually and as a couple, then you will have embraced an abiding formula for creating a long and happy marriage. You will have built a bridge that stretches beyond your differences. And you will have found a light to illuminate your path as you walk together into your future. All it takes is for both of you to digest the "Fruit of the Spirit."

Aren't you feeling a bit hungry?

"Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other's faults because of your love." ~ Ephesians 4:2

Deborah J. Thompson is a writer, artist and Stephen Minister.  Please visit her website for additional "Reflections" on Life and Marriage. She has just finished the first draft of her first book, Your Life, Your Choice, which gives 5 simple steps to harness the power of your choices and bring more Love, Joy and Peace into your life. She can be reached at