By Crystal Aldridge
My husband and I have attempted to plant a garden a few times in the years we've been married, but we have never had a successful one. We would start strong and have big dreams of all we would do with our abundant supply, only to allow our crops to succumb to weeds, pests, and dry ground. We could never reap the benefits due to our neglect.
In gardening, there are necessary steps to take to help ensure a flourishing and fruitful harvest, and there are some steps we can take to help us have a flourishing and fruitful marriage. I have to admit I gave up on my tomato plants, but I desire to have a marriage that pleases the Lord and will reap the blessings of doing it God's way.
It takes work, but it is worth it.
When planting a garden, first, you must prepare the soil; in marriage, our daily heart preparation is a must. Intimate time with the Lord is a necessity, and we should be determined to meet with HIM every day. In John 15:4-5, Jesus says, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Our relationship with the Lord is the seedbed for our marriage. To say we don't have time, and to go day after day without meeting with him, is to be like the foolish woman that the Bible says plucks down her house with her hands.
We typically make time for what we want to do. If spending time with the Lord is essential to you, you will make time for Him. If it's not, or it has not been of late, then ask yourself why? Is it a lack of planning? We plan everything else we do. Try to set a time and place to meet with the Lord daily. Is it the battle with the flesh to sleep a little longer, watch TV a little longer, or look at your phone a little longer? Could it be a sin you have not confessed that has caused distance in your heart between you and the Lord? Identify what it is and ask the Lord to help you.
My husband thanks me from time to time for purposing to maintain my devotional life. He realizes there are things he can't fix for me. He knows there have been many times my attitude was different after spending time with my Lord. There are longings in my heart that only my Savior can fill. To expect my husband to try to fill them is unfair and impossible.
There are days it's easy to make time and days it isn't easy, but it is always needed and beneficial.
When planting a garden, you must know when and where to plant your seeds for them to thrive and be most productive. There's a lot to learn. In our marriage, we need to be willing to learn. As a new wife almost twenty-two years ago, one of my prayers was that I would have a teachable spirit. We were blessed to be in a wonderful church with a pastor and pastor's wife that taught by example and God's Word, but it was up to us if we were to learn and grow or ignore godly counsel and instruction.
Proverbs 10:8 says, "The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall." vs 14 says, "Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." vs 17 says, "He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth."
I am still learning. How teachable are you?