Marriage Meditation — The Fruit of the Spirit Is Self-Control

By Bill Arbuckle
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Getting Started

  • Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
  • Read today’s marriage devotion.
  • Share today’s question with your spouse.

Today’s Devotion

Scripture Reading

  • Galatians 5:22-23 — “The fruit of the Spirit is … self-control.”
  • 2 Timothy 1:7 — “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
  • Titus 2:11-12 — “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in the present age.”
  • Luke 9:23 — “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ ”


Self-control. What comes to mind? Saying no to chocolate so you can trim your waistline? Getting up for an early morning run so you’re ready for that 5K? What about your marriage? What does self-control look like in a marriage? Is it biting your tongue when you disagree with your spouse’s plans? Or choosing to believe the best when they’re going through a difficult situation?

Regardless of how you define self-control, you have to admit that it’s not easy to do. And because it’s difficult, you might think of self-control as something negative — always saying no to things you enjoy. But there’s much more to it. Have you ever thought of self-control as saying yes to something better?

The fruit of the Spirit is self-control. This means that you have a choice — you can give in to your natural tendencies or invite the Holy Spirit to control your words, thoughts and actions. Just think of what your marriage can become when you choose to respond to your spouse with God’s love and strength. Instead of reacting to your spouse’s mood, you can step out of the way and let God work on his or her heart.

Like all of the other fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness — self-control is a God-powered behavior. He generously offers His grace and strength. Your marriage matters to Him. He cares about you and your spouse. Will you choose to let Him be in control?


Heavenly Father, fill me — fill our marriage — with Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Amen.

Today’s Question

Where can I — where can we — step aside and give God control of our marriage?

More Resources

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