The wise Vineyard owner realizes the importance of knowing their vines well. They’ll often walk the rows examining them for pests and blight in order to do what they can to keep them from damaging the growing crop. It isn’t hard work as much as it is diligent work. He also must watch for thorns and weeds that grow alongside the vines choking them of needed nutrients.
I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
(Proverbs 24:30-34 ESV)
What an excellent proverb to apply to our marriage vineyard.
Marriage isn’t hard if you do the things you know to do–which takes diligence. When we become lazy in growing our marriage for God’s glory is when the task becomes more and more difficult.
We’ve counseled couples who had neglected their marriage. They allowed parenting, work and a host of other things to distract them from doing the daily work of keeping their marriage strong and healthy. There were those where one or the other was unwilling to do the work and deferred it all to their spouse creating an offense, a breaking down of the wall so to speak.
How can we diligently keep our marriage?
How can we overcome our tendency to be lazy and put off until tomorrow those things we should be doing today? It may seem daunting, but the answer is simple.
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:5-11 ESV) emphasis added
Start today doing what you can to deny yourself and what you want, in order to serve and love your spouse by helping them with the things they want or need. This is humility on display and invites the Holy Spirit to come with grace and do what only He can do…restore your marriage vineyard.
Are you willing to go first? Are you willing to do all you can to help your marriage stand? If you’ve answered yes, then wait and see what God will do.