Doubling Our Joy

Last week Tom was weeding my flower garden, while he let me float in the pool.  I know, he is an amazing man!  🙂  However, his helping hand ended up accidentally breaking off the top half of my beautiful pink dahlia plant.  He didn’t mean to, it was an accident, but I was sad.  I figured it was the end of this plant for this year, and grateful I still had a purple and yellow dahlia to provide me many more beautiful flowers.

But just the other day, while I was watering my thirsty garden I noticed an amazing thing – new growth on the broken dahlia plant.  There was hope after all!

How like marriage this metaphor is – we offer to help our spouse, but somehow end up making things worse.  At times it would appear we’ve gone too far, yet as the days, weeks and months pass, amazing things happen – new growth appears.  We realize what we thought was devastating was only an opportunity for growth to occur in an area we didn’t know needed growth.

I have carefully pruned my roses knowing exactly where and how to cut the stem in order to prevent damage. This time, however, Tom wasn’t pruning at all.  He was simply trying to help.

Marriage is filled with such moments.  We live closely connected to someone very much not like us.  We say things and do things that cause pain.  Sometimes it’s not intentional, just insensitive.  Sometimes we may use cutting words on purpose in the heat of the moment causing a break in our communication.  It would seem at times there is no hope.  But we are not alone in the conflict; God is present and uses such times to help us see what we’ve done – the damage our careless words have left behind.

As Christians the Lord in His kindness and faithfulness provides conviction of heart.  We see the damage we’ve caused and ask forgiveness.  As the rains of repentance come, new growth appears.  Surprisingly, instead of one branch producing beautiful flowers there are now two branches – doubling our joy.  What looked hopeless for a season has become more fruitful than we imagined.  This is love; this is grace, and it is beautiful!

Through The Grapevine: How have you discovered new growth in your marriage?  Did it take days or months?  Did you experience unexpected joy in the process?  Share your story with us – we’d love to hear from you.

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 40 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Doubling Our Joy

  1. Emily says:

    SUCH a necessary perspective for me today! I too too too often catch myself only looking at and pointing out areas that my hubby “messed up” or needs to change in… but in doing so, I’m missing the amazing, selfless things he’s doing to bless me day in and day out. So thankful for your fresh, biblical perspective this morning 🙂


  2. Matt says:

    My dad, an accountant, talks about his ‘investment theory’ of relationships: investing in my bride by way of time, listening, closeness, support, and (if needed) space will pay dividends down the road. One of those times when I need those dividends is when I mess up and ‘cut the flower’ as you put it; or, as he would put it, when I make a withdrawal from what prior relationship investments have earned. Had I not invested when I was ‘flush’ (able to give love to my bride), I wouldn’t have those savings to draw on when I messed up.

    I am continually amazed at how my bride can forgive me and move on, especially when there is some love in the account to spare 🙂

    This is my first time commenting here; you sound a lot like my parents, married for 45+ years. Blessings upon you.


    • Debi Walter says:


      Thanks for this excellent comment. What a great metaphor your father gave you. We do well to listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before us. We welcome you to our Vineyard, and we hope this won’t be the last time you share your comments with us! Have a great day!

      Tom and Debi


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