I’m sitting at my computer and I can hardly move. Why? Because I spent and hour and a half weeding my garden this morning before it got too hot. Every time I weed I wonder why it is that I wait until they’re nearly up to my eyeballs before doing so. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but my body feels as if I was in a boxing match and lost. I even have scratches from my rose bushes. Why do I wait until weeding is so hard, instead of doing it each week when the weeds are little? <sigh>
The answer is simple. I don’t like getting dirty and sweaty, but I love having flowers in my garden. I love taking a bouquet to unsuspecting friends just to brighten their day.
I was praying while weeding, and I sensed the Lord remind me of the fact that weeds need no cultivation.
All one must do to have them is–nothing. They grow healthy and strong with no attention whatsoever. But my roses on the other hand need constant care, pruning, deadheading, fertilizing, etc. How I wish it were the other way around. Gardening is hard work, but the results are rewarding. It’s certainly not for the lazy or slothful. Anything worth growing is going to take hard work, and your marriage is no different.
It’s true. Marriage is so much like a garden, or a vineyard for that matter. 🙂
Those who give it the care it needs on a daily basis will be able to capture the weeds of trouble before they have a chance to go to seed. When a weed goes to seed you can be sure they’re multiplying at a fast rate. All it takes is a little summer breeze for them to germinate elsewhere. My yard is proof positive!
In our marriages we bump up against each other in so many ways, and I’m not talking about physical intimacy, we like that kind of bump. 😉 Conflict comes in so many ways and for so many reasons. And it seems to always come when you don’t have the time to talk about it. Or worse, it comes late at night and sleep gets the best of you both. There’s nothing worse than waking up the morning after an unresolved conflict. Talk about a hangover!
So how can we purpose to go after the weeds of conflict in our relationship?
One way is by asking good questions. When you notice your spouse is quiet, don’t assume they’re just in a bad mood. Try to find out when their thoughts took them to a place of doom and gloom. Many of us don’t pay attention to the thoughts that race through our minds. We should.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
(2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)
So much conflict comes from dwelling on the negative or critical. We make assumptions thinking we’re right, but the only way to know for sure is to have that talk. Your spouse may be reluctant to speak out. Encourage them by leaning into them rather than pulling away. It may be that what’s bothering them has nothing to do with you or your marriage. By assuming the worst, rather than think the best of our spouse, we stir up a lot more weeds than necessary. Kind of like taking a dandelion and blowing the seeds in your spouse’s face. Not the picture of an encourager is it?
We are each other’s partner. When we said I do, part of it was committing to be the one available to help, serve and love more than anyone else. Remember? When you looked in their eyes on your wedding day, you had no idea this would be back breaking work, but it is.
The adage is true that says, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
We couldn’t agree more. And since marriage was God’s idea and it’s for His glory, there isn’t anything more important to tend to on a daily basis, excepting your personal relationship with the Lord.
Does this seem too hard? Do you dislike confrontation? Would you prefer to close your eyes to the trouble until things calm down? If you do, it may seem that things have been resolved, but unless you get both hands in there and pull the weed out by the roots, this issue is sure to come back and bring all kinds of other weeds with it. Just ask my aching back!
So, are you a weed-puller or a weed ignorer? How about your spouse? What would it take to get your hands dirty in your marriage?