How to Be Married 50 Years And Love It!
The Fruit of Marriage
In the natural, the fruit from a fruit tree or vine contains the seed for the next generation as well as the food for the season. Likewise, a godly marriage bears fruit or food for the marriage itself and for others to partake, but also seed for the next season or generation, not just their children but people they influence.
As they exemplify a godly and holy marriage, that seed is planted into other couples to strengthen their marriages. The Kingdom of God is based on multiplication, not addition. If each godly married couple would plant that seed in just two other couples, in turn who would influence two others, think how this would multiply. They pass on the life of Christ that works within their marriage. This would bring forth much fruit in the world.
Fruit is not saving souls, for only God can save. The fruit we bear is the manifestation of the nature and character of Jesus Christ within us. A seed can produce only what it is. If you plant the seed from a Jonathan apple tree, it will bear apples as the inherent nature of the tree. The apples will look like Jonathan, taste like a Jonathan, cook like Jonathan and even spoil just like Jonathan. Furthermore, the seed contained within that apple will produce, not a peach tree or even another variety of apples, but a Jonathan apple tree. .Applying the same truth, from the pure seed of Christ within a born again believer, that person can manifest only the nature of Christ.
Jesus said, "...for the tree is known by his fruit" (Matt. 12:33). You know a Jonathan apple tree, not by its bark or leaves, but by the fruit it bears. Furthermore, you do not declare who you are, that you are a Christian. Others do. How? By the fruit you bear. The mark of a Christian is not how many spiritual gifts he manifests. Remember that gifts are given but fruit must be grown.
So the fruit of a marriage is the manifestation of Christ in that marriage. Yet we may find some children of godly parents separating from their spouse. What went wrong? It was not the seed, for the seed of Christ is perfect. Something choked the Word and example set by the parents. What was it? It wasn't the devil, but was the cares of this world (Matt. 13:22). These cares of the world can take on may forms to destroy a godly marriage.
In order to produce life, a death must take place. Jesus made a profound statement in John 12:24, KJV, "Verily,verily,I say unto you. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Here He spoke of Himself, not just His death, burial and resurrection, but the production of fruit in the many-membered body of Christ, fruit that contains that seed of Christ for the next generation. The "eth" from the word "bringeth" in the King James Version refers to continuous action. That is, that ":Christ seed" will continue to bear fruit for generations to come.
Similarly, death must precede resurrection, a basic principle of plants and the spiritual life of man. We were crucified with Christ; we died with Him and rose again with Him (Rom. 6:6-8; Gal. 2:20). In the same way, in a godly marriage each partner has to die to self. A seed planted in the ground must die and lose its identity as a seed to become the embryo for the new life and new generation.
Likewise in a marriage, each partner must die to his or her own identity as a single person in order that it may produce life in the marriage. On the other hand, when both husband and wife strive to do their own thing, demanding their own rights in the marriage, you end up with nothing but strife. But when they give up their own identity, they become one. The fruit matures in such a marriage, bringing forth a new entity, a new life, a life that in turn gives of its fruit to other couples to partake. Furthermore, the fruit that they pass on (the manifestation of the life of Christ in their marriage) contains the seed for the following "generation," that is, their own children or other married couples.