Here is the truth: we have issues. Our yard is not perfect! In our lawn there are patches where rocks have assembled themselves and decided to protest the greenery that used to reside there. The rocks won – in two little places. One patch forms an oblong oval and the other little circle has sprouts of grass reminiscent of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Both patches are ugly and take away from the overall look of the otherwise nice lawn (which my husband and father planted all on their own.) Because of these two patches we have had to look closely at our care regiment. When we look at the lawn those two places let us know that we have some grass issues, but we also have alot of land to celebrate. There is alot of grass that is moving in the right direction although the patches and weeds draw our attention away from the beauty.
When I think about marriage, I get the same kind of feeling. There are so many beautiful things about our marriage, but there are a few little ugly patches, rough seasons, touchy subjects that pull attention away from the beautiful and demand and overwhelm our attention. Seeing those ugly patches forces us to look at the root of the issue. A bunch of rocks ended up in the same spot on our lawn. If we leave the rocks there, they don’t cooperate nicely with our growth plan. Same with marriage. If you see some rocks that could ruin your marriage and you leave them there, guess what happens. Growth stops and pain starts. Things could get ugly.
We know that we have to care for our marriage. It’s not enough to simply say, “We’ve got issues,” and then move on. Neglect hurts the big picture. How do you “care” for your marriage?
- Feed it the good stuff! Be intentional about what you put into your marriage. Guard your ears! Guard your eyes! Be purposeful about what you take in. It is so important to take time to build your marriage. Go on retreat. Read the Word together. Pray for one another.
- Weed often. Get rid of rocks. Be on the lookout for anything that causes danger to the marriage. Anything that builds a wedge or a wall between you must be plucked out. Its not enough to pull it at the surface, you have to get to the root of it. Your marriage is worth it.
- Water it. Refresh your marriage by spending time with your spouse. Leaving love notes. Take time to appreciate the gift that your spouse is to you. Dream together. Bless one another!
- Expect growth. In education we say, “You inspect what you expect.” Look at your own marriage. Measure it against the Word (not any other couple). When you find ugly patches address them. Enlist godly assistance if you have to. Grow together and keep watch for anything in your marriage that hinder growth.
A perfect marriage is not possible, but a pleasing marriage to God and your spouse is a worthy goal. Weeds and rocks come, but they don’t have to stay. We have issues, but we serve a God whose purpose for putting us together is so much bigger than our issues.
Focus on the beauty of your purpose for ONENESS in your marriage! These things will help you appreciate the green grass you have and focus on making it grow healthier and stronger forever.
What can hinder growth in a marriage? Please leave a comment.