One who plants a vineyard quickly discovers there is much work
and devotion involved in caring for the vines.
In our society we have become so far removed from the farmer’s perspective; we want fresh produce so we go to the store or local farmer’s market to buy what we need. We do this without thought as to what it took to get the fruit there in the first place!
Here are some basic tips for growing a vineyard:
- Farmer’s must be patient.
- They must properly prepare the soil by removing stones and weeds and old roots, mixing in good nutrients.
- They must nurture and water regularly, especially the first year – watering heavily to encourage deep root growth.
- All fruit must be pinched off the first year encouraging a greater crop the next.
- Diligently protect the new vines from pests like wasps – which will strip the grapes of their skin in order to feast on the meaty flesh.
In marriage, as in farming, these truths apply.
This is why Jesus often used farming metaphors in order for us to understand more clearly what He was teaching. He is patient with us as we grow in wisdom and Truth. And we must learn to be patient as our marriage makes slow and steady progress.
We must also be diligent in our pursuit. A lazy farmer has no hope for a healthy crop. Left to itself a vineyard will:
- produce weeds not fruit.
- be vulnerable to the little foxes that come and spoil the fruit.
- be open to outside harm – like wind, drought, floods and pests.
- hindered by becoming root bound.
Cultivating patience must be practiced diligently in order for there to be fruit in the years following. No matter how many years you’ve been cultivating your marriage vineyard – these truths always apply; we will never outgrow our need to be patient and diligent. It is what encourages growth in godliness. Some years our fruit will be abundant and other years will barely produce enough to sustain us, yet God is faithful!
Even though the farmer does all these things,
he is still dependent on God for the growth – so are we!