Abounding in Fresh Fruit

The single woman faces many challenges in living a holy and submitted life before the Lord, and it is vital in our walk with God to evaluate the fruit that we are producing and how to maintain that fruit in our life. God’s Word has the key to ensure that we produce fruit that remains. The fruit of the Holy Spirit strengthens us and enables us to bear good fruit in the midst of any challenge we may face. 

Juices dripping from the vines. Eye-catching colors neatly displayed. Light citrus aroma filling the air. Few things compare to the sight, the scent, and the taste of fresh fruit. Walking through a farmer’s market or even the fresh produce aisle of the grocery store is an exhilarating experience for me. I am lured by the sight of the luscious peaches, the succulent strawberries, and the juicy watermelon. Instinctively, I fill my basket and hurry home to arrange my fruit bowl only to find its freshness and luster wane by the end of the week. I question how my fruit spoils so quickly—is my house too hot? Is the temperature in my refrigerator too low, or did my fruit simply ripen too soon? What causes my fruit to rot so quickly?

So it is in our Christian lives. As women of God, we are called to bear fruit. We know “the fruit of the Spirit is—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23a)—and we know how they look in practice. In fact, we strive to model a bountiful supply of good works and can spot right off when the Spirit’s fruit is not evident in others.

Nonetheless, the daily grind of life often zaps our ability to manifest the fullness of the fruit of the Spirit, and the freshness of our fruit is compromised. We find ourselves frustrated, argumentative, and ill at ease. Oftentimes as single women, it feels as if our struggles are even more complicated. Because we seem to be facing these battles alone, our singleness creates additional distress, and it feels nearly impossible to be fruitful. Is it even reasonable to expect us to be kind, gentle, and patient as we face fierce battles alone?

We are not exempt from the struggles of life. The washer will go out. The faucet will leak. The kids will mess up, and the car will run out of gas. We instinctively become grumpy, agitated, and coy, and our fruit quickly sours and grows bitter for those we love most, even though we want to abound with fruits of love, joy, patience, and kindness. The reality is that when we are overwhelmed or disappointed, we are still sowing seeds and producing fruit. How we handle our disruptions is evidence of the freshness of our fruit. Thus, the question, how do we as women of God retain good fruit during the trying times of life?

Continuously bearing fresh fruit requires daily watering, pruning, and cultivating of our spiritual vines. Frequent self-checks of our emotions and of our verbal and nonverbal interactions and responses to others help us to retain a fresh anointing. We cleanse our hearts (and spirits) by consistently taking time to read, meditate, and speak the Word of God. The Word describes this as the “washing of water through the word” (see Eph. 5:26). Our everyday reading, meditating, and declaring of the Word produces consistent watering and freshness.

Pruning requires frequent self-checks. What are you allowing to attach itself to you? Take note of your fruit. Has it become bitter? Has is it molded or soured? Do you allow hateful words, angry thoughts, or bitter attitudes to take root in your heart?  Once these take root, they sprout and grow. Thus, you must take care to root them out and cut them out of your heart. In John 15:2, Jesus says that the Father “cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (NIV).

Lastly, we retain the freshness of our fruit by spending time in God’s presence through prayer, praise, and worship. Acts 3:19 declares that the “times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord” (KJV). It is in our constant surrender to God’s will that we experience refilling, refreshing, and renewal in our spirit. As we lie prostrate before God with our hands lifted in submission to His will, our thoughts, attitudes, and conversations can be renewed with fresh anointing and power.

So, my dear single women, I pray that you abound in fruitfulness as you navigate the vicissitudes of life. Be mindful of the quantity and quality of your fruit. As you water, prune, and refresh your branches in God’s presence, you will produce the Spirit’s fresh fruit of peace, joy, patience, and kindness. May you always abound with fresh fruit.

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