Last weekend one of the worst weather systems we’ve ever seen marched across the south and midwest like a fierce army. There wasn’t much anyone could do except hide and pray. Entire towns were swept from the landscape like debris. It was a day we’ll not soon forget. If you were in the path of the storms, you will never forget it.
On Saturday we were told this same system would be heading our way. Although it wouldn’t have the same punch, there would still be high winds and lots of rain, possibly hail. Tom was going out of town from Sunday to Wednesday, so we only had Saturday afternoon to prepare.
He got on the roof to clean out the gutters. I went to work pruning my roses, planting my dahlia bulbs and fertilizing everything for the soaking rain.
I tell you all this because while we were busy working I realized how much preparing for a storm relates to marriage. When you know a difficult season is coming in your relationship there are things we can do to get ready:
- Cleaning the gutters can be compared to cleaning out offenses. Are you holding onto any struggle you should be getting rid of? If you know there is a difficult, stressful time ahead, then get rid of the trouble weighing you down. Don’t allow past offenses to effect your ability to weather the storm. Gutters aren’t meant to hold things. It’s sole purpose is to redirect the flow of water during a storm. Are the gutters of your relationship cleaned out? If not, plan a day to do so.
- Pruning the roses can be compared to trimming our schedule of busyness. Re-evaluate what you spend your time doing. Is it producing life and beauty in your marriage? Or would it be better to cut it out of your life to some degree or completely? When we take the time to do this, it allows fresh growth and health into the relationship.
- Planting flower bulbs is making yourself ready to bless your spouse during the hard season. The work it takes to plant the bulbs seems effortless, but there isn’t immediate satisfaction because all the work you’ve done is buried under the dirt. It is unseen. Patience is needed and a willingness to wait. When we face difficulty, it is important to be patient and wait for your spouse to be ready to bless you in return.
- Fertilizing the plants can be compared to us praying for our spouse on a daily basis. The Bible encourages husbands to love their wives by washing with the water of the Word. May our busyness not allow us to neglect the most important disciplines of a well-tended garden i.e. marriage–prayer and Bible reading.
Storms will always come and go in our marriage. What we do to prepare for them makes all the difference as to whether our house will still be standing when the storm passes.
How do you prepare for difficult seasons?
Note: Our hearts and prayers go to those who are suffering from the devastation of last week. If you would like to make a donation, visit Samaritan’s Purse.