Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control.” You may have heard about the fruit of the Spirit and wondered what it is and how it relates to our Christian faith.

In this series, each fruit will be explored and related to our everyday lives. Just like physical fruit needs time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As we mature in our faith, all the characteristics of our spiritual fruits will grow as well.

Love is probably the most well-known fruit of the Spirit, but it also may be the most misunderstood. Love is translated from the Greek word ‘agape.’ The Greek language has multiple words for love, including ‘eros,’ which is sexual love, and ‘philos,’ which is brotherly love. Agape is a perfect love from God.

Jesus used the word ‘love’ 51 times during his teaching. In John 15:17, he used the word ‘love’ in a command, “These things I command you, that you love one another.”

One of the most important traits of Christian character is love, a fruit indicating the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christian-based love always seeks to do the right thing.

I Corinthians 13, also known as the love chapter, tells us that love is patient, love is kind and love never fails. In the world we live in, love often fails. We see it in marriages, families, relationships. Even as imperfect Christians, we often fail at love.

In society, we have overused the word ‘love’ in ways that minimize the depth of what real love is. We say we “loved the movie” or we “loved those blueberry pancakes” or we “love” a Facebook post.

God demonstrates His perfect, selfless, agape love to a world that is often confused about what true love is.

As a child of God, we need to strive to show others God’s love through us. Whether it be reaching out to a friend in need, volunteering in a mission, giving our time to a cause—reach out in love, and let the fruit of love ripen inside your spirit. John 13:35 tells us, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”