The Good Soil, Day 4
I love gardens. There is something wonderful about wandering through rows of flowers, plants, and trees. All of life began in a garden. I feel like anytime I’m in a garden, I feel alive, like this is how life was meant to be.
I recall one summer I came home in between semesters at college. I asked my mom if I could have the very special job of taking care of the garden. My grandfather and I went to the store and purchased plants, flowers, soil, tools, and even my pair of purple gardening gloves. I spent hours in the garden that summer, tilling the soil, planting the flowers and bushes, weeding, and watering. I was pretty proud of my accomplishment by summer’s end. I had a beautiful garden full of impatiens, lilac, marigold, and even some herbs. When I returned to college, I left my mom a brief note telling her how much I appreciated the opportunity to grow things and how to tend to the garden in my absence. When I returned at Christmas, nearly everything was dead, including the marigolds, and they are a hearty flower.
You see, my family was busy with work and school and life and didn’t have time to take care of the garden. I was a little miffed at the time, but I don’t blame them. Gardening is hard work and it takes a large amount of time to be successful and for the flowers to thrive. Marriage is much like a garden. Your marriage requires some tenderloving care in order to thrive.
In Matthew 13:1-9, Jesus tells the parable of the seeds. Only the seeds that landed in fertile soil thrived. The seeds that fell on the footpath were eaten by birds, and the seeds that fell in rocky shallow soil withered and died, and the seeds that fell among the weeds were choked out. Similarly in marriage, you need a good bed of soil, a solid foundation, in order to grow, free from obstructions like footpaths, rocks, and weeds.
Plants also need sunlight to grow. It’s a minor miracle that plants get the energy they need from the sun through the process called photosynthesis. The sun is a source of energy and heat for plants. Similarly, your marriage needs energy (something that propels you to action and sustains your relationship) and heat (something that keeps your spark and passion alive).
Plants also need water to stay alive. Plants typically need about an inch of water a week. Too much water and they can drown. Too little water and they can dry up and die. Water gives the plants much-needed hydration and keep the soil moist so the plants can continue to grow. Similarly, your marriage also needs water (quality time, communication, and dates) in order to stay hydrated and healthy.
This is not the season of planting. November 4th is in the late end of harvest. As much as I like gardening, I enjoy the harvest more. There is something exciting and wonderful about enjoying fruits and vegetables and herbs from my own garden. Like the seasons in nature, there are seasons in your marriage. There will come a time where you will begin to bear fruit, evidence of the work you and your spouse have put into your marriage.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything under the sun – a time for planting and a time for harvest. When you, as a caretaker in the garden have done your job – preparing the soil (we can liken this to premarital counseling and the conversations you and your husband continue to have), planting, giving the plants plenty of sun and water, and assuring that weeds and bugs do not choke out the plants, you can expect a good harvest.
Think about the kinds of things you want to accomplish in your marriage – the kinds of fruits you would like to see. Proverbs 31:12 reminds us that a godly wife does her husband good, instead of harm all the days of her life. Galatians 1:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Seek to do your husband good. Take care of the garden of your marriage. Examine the soil. Throw out the rocks. Pull out the weeds. Give your full energy and attention. Keep your marriage bed warm. Water your relationship with plenty of quality time together. And when the time is right, simply rest and enjoy the fruits of your work.
Lord, I thank you for the wonderful garden of my marriage. I ask that you equip me with the tools to care for what you have given me properly. Help me to see the weeds and rocks that get in our way. Help me to put the proper amount of attention and energy into my marriage. Help me to make sexual intimacy and passion a priority. Help me to water the relationship with quality time and communication. Allow me to enjoy the fruits of our work in our marriage. I ask your blessings upon this garden. Amen.
This is Day 4 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2016. Sign up here. Join us on the forums for the challenge of the day and participate in a supportive community.