Introducing - We've Got Spirit Tee!
And now, for the rest of the story.
I've wanted to do this forever.
When Gordon and I first started dating, a big part of our relationship was centered on the Fruits of the Spirit.
They're found in Galatians 5:22-23, but to save you some time, they are:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
We determined very early on that as long as our relationship produced "good fruit," we'd continue dating one another. That's not to say that we were always patient, or even at peace about what the future held for the both of us.
But in general, he and I were working toward the same idea: were we better together? Did we challenge each other to be kind and hospitable to others? Were we kind to shop owners and restaurant servers? Did we find joy together? Was there love here?
The answers were yes.
The passage was such an important part of our relationship that they were in our wedding vows.
This isn't to say that if one of us gets upset that the other put dish soap in the dishwasher (him), or that one of us orders Jimmy John's to the office instead of grabbing leftovers from the night before (me), that our relationship no longer bears fruit and that we should dip out.
This isn't to say we do any of it perfectly and if we don't, we're done.
It's to say that broad strokes, we live out our relationship with these traits in mind. Like, if our marriage had a mission statement, it would be this verse.
I wanted to base it off those really fun shirts I've seen with the different show characters names? You know, like those "Rachel&Ross&Phoebe&Joey&Monica&Chandler" shirts? To me, they're so clever - and I couldn't think of a better way to list out the traits that we're meant to embody.
Or attempt to embody, at least.
This has been such a fun process and good practice in the art of "if you can't find something you want, make it yourself."
And while sometimes, I know that wearing a faith-inspired t-shirt can be like having a fish on the back of your car in an infuriating traffic jam, I'm hoping that these words – these fruits – will be something others will be honored to share and strive for in their lives.