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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Water your own Garden

It has occurred to me that many spouses do not water their garden adequately. "What is she talking about," you say, "I don't even have agarden!" You may not have a garden in the traditional sense, but do you know your marriage can be likened unto a garden as well? Within the institution of marriage is a sacred foundation whichs should be carefully nurtured so that it may beautifully thrive. Within this proverbial small plot of land, we must till the soil so plants may breatheand spread their roots, yanking out weeds which may choke them and prevent the seedlings from growing. Within this same godly terrain, it is often necessary to built up a small fence around the garden, to prevent hungry animals from stealing what we have carefully planted and nurtured. Lastly,every garden needs plenty of water and sunshine, but the radiance I speak of now, refers to that which comes from the Son, not the sun.
As the most attentive gardener, a truly thriving marriage needs the loving care of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and protect this institution from all forms of ungodliness. As I previously stated, many people who find themselves in a less than fulfilling marriage, stand where they are because the two caretakers of the garden did not realize how important it is to constantly care fortheir sacred terrain. Every husband or wife is guilty of this at one timeor another, including myself, and it is especially easy to neglect those things which are not clearly visible, yet are the very foundation of a successful marriage. Fail to water things such as love, honor, and respect,and the very roots of marriage begin to weaken. Ignore such things as smallun-addressed hurts, and leaves begin to wither. Ration much needed water,and the once fertile soil of marriage begins to dehydrate. Water someone else's garden and not your own, and watch your garden quickly turn in to abarren desert where thorns and thickets now replace beautiful blooms.Cross-contamination also quickly spreads because a garden sprinkled with polluted waters is just as deadly asfailing to water at all. I've spoken to many discontented spouses, hearing such comments as,"She doesn't care about my needs," "He doesn't listen anymore," "What happened to the romance?" Each one of these concerns is a seed which has the potential of becoming a flower or a weed. What determines the future of each seed is if we will take the time, energy and care to dig down deep inthe soil, and to offer each seed the gift of ourselves. Are there un-addressed issues? Then address them! Are there hurts and neglects? Then heal them!
Just as it is wise to water our own gardens, we must also regard our relationship with God just as tenderly; taking care to water our faith with the word of God, and pulling out weeds which may threaten our walk.
How does YOUR garden grow?
(Contributed by Melanie Schurr)