If he or she doesn’t portray the fruit of the Spirit now, he won’t portray it after “I do” either. Fruit isn’t produced by marriage, fruit is produced by the Holy Spirit. If he isn’t in deep fruit changing relationship with God now, it won’t happen just because you say “I do.” The devil is after too many marriages for us to choose trees with no fruit in hopes that the tree will change from the fertilizer of our love, commitment, nurturing, buying, loyalty, sex, and catering. None of that produces fruit.
If they get jealous, angry, unkind, selfish now (opposite of love), you can’t change it. If they’re moody, down, depressed, and angry all the time now (opposite of joy), marriage won’t change it. If they always worry and stress about what family, friends, exes, and the children think about your relationship now (opposite of peace), you can’t change it.
If they run from commitment and keep leaving you now or show signs of instability (opposite of longsuffering), marriage won’t stabilize them. If when you feel weak or are going through a tribulation and they are short, rude, and impatient now (opposite of gentleness), marriage won’t change it.
If he has too much pride to call back and say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. This is all my fault,” you can’t change him. If he soaks up all the love and benefits and doesn’t put you (and your children) first now; if his heart isn’t in a good place toward you, not others (opposite of goodness) and his words and actions don’t align with the Word now, you or time can’t change it.
If she is in the Word because of you but never studies regularly on her own (opposite of faith), you can’t make her faith stronger. If he thinks more highly of himself than he ought to now (opposite of meekness), he will be haughty when you marry him. If he’s had a long day and is exhausted or things didn’t go his way and he is short and rude and abusive emotionally or physically toward you now (opposite of temperance), your love won’t change it.
A tree is known by its fruit. Fruit can be good or bad. Only a deeply rooted connection with the Vine will produce the fruit of the Spirit – good fruit. You cannot change a person. You can’t force something that doesn’t fit. Relationships are under attack and will require a team effort in spiritual warfare. Only God transforms but God also warns. Take heed to the signs. If God says this tree is not for you, leave it alone. Jené Elaine Walker