Monday, June 18, 2012
The marriage garden
I was hunched down, the sun hot on my back, picking at the little garden weeds to get them out of there before they became a big problem. I glanced over my little garden, ripe with possibility in new growth. I thought about what it will look like in another several weeks compared to now, and then at the end of the summer in all it's fullness, spent of all it's offerings. How will my tending to it compare then to now?
The answer came quick, knowledge gleaned from seasons past. In a few weeks, in the hot middle of summer, and in the coolness of Fall, my tending to this garden will be much the same. I will pull the weeds before they become too big to handle. I will surround my tender vegetables with plants that will attract bugs that are beneficial to the veggies. I will quickly get rid of bugs that will destroy my veggies. I will water it. I will prune it. I will fill it with nourishment from grass cuttings and kitchen scraps.
The fact that the plants and flowers get older and more mature doesn't mean that they become immune to disease and death. In fact, the very thing that will bring disease and death is neglect from me. So I will water even when I don't feel like watering. I will not despair after a particularly hot day leaves things wilty, I will just add a little more watering. I will pull the weeds even though it is hard, hot work, and I will do it before they become big with deep roots. I will destroy any thing that poses a threat to the growth of my precious garden. And if for some reason the weeds do get big and deep, or a particular plant seems to be struggling, I will do what is necessary to fix it.
And when I say, as I often do, that marriage is like a garden, this is exactly what I am talking about. No marriage, whether new or old, is immune to disease. No marriage can go without daily watering, nourishing, weeding, and pruning for long before it becomes overgrown and diseased. Every marriage, whether new or old, experiences really hot days where they are left feeling wilted. Every marriage benefits from having other couples around who are for their marriage and seek to encourage in that area. Every marriage, when properly tended to, yields fruit and blessing to everyone around them. Because just like a garden, the very thing that will bring disease and death to a marriage is neglect. And just like a garden, there will be weeds that pop up and threaten your marriage.
So I will daily seek to water and tend to the fertile ground of my marriage. And I will trust that the fruit that is produced will be a blessing to everyone around us.
And I encourage you to do the same :) You, your marriage, your spouse, your children, and the people around you will notice, and will be blessed.