By Shari Miller, Contributing Writer
Some of the most beautiful gifts God gives us can easily be taken for granted. We get naturally accustomed to these things being in our lives and just assume they will always be there to enjoy. The truth is, most things take work to grow and cultivate. Just like a garden needs to be tended, to mature and produce a bountiful harvest, so do our marriages.
Marriage is one of the most precious gifts that God has given to mankind and it’s up to both the husband and wife to make sure to plant, water, and weed it to make it grow.
Planting our Marriages
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
In His Word, God tells us that the surest way for a marriage to stand firm and not be torn apart, is for it to be based on three things, God, the husband and the wife.
When this type of solid foundation is laid, it creates a legacy for future generations to look back on and learn from.
The planting of a good and fruitful marriage happens when husband and wife are on their knees, seeking the Lord’s guidance in prayer, and turning the pages of His word to learn about His will for their lives.
Watering our Marriages
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
The way you water and nourish a marriage is through loving one another. The gift of love can be shown to our spouse in a variety of ways. Both the husband and the wife may have different love languages, so it’s important to stay in tune with your spouse and what they need to feel loved. The following ways are just a few ideas that will bring the streams of living water flowing swiftly through your marriage.
- Tell your spouse everyday that you love them.
- Listen to them.
- Kiss them passion.
- Ask them how their day went.
- Hold the door open for your wife.
- Respect your husband.
- Never talk bad about your spouse to anyone ever.
- Date your spouse.
- Never call each other names.
- Help your spouse cook dinner.
- Help with household chores.
- Watch the children for the afternoon so your wife can take a break and relax.
- Bring home flowers to your bride.
- Make your spouse their favorite desert.
- Give your husband the weekend off, let him relax and have fun.
- Never yell at your spouse.
- Mow the lawn for your husband.
- Tell your wife she is beautiful.
- Be your husband’s biggest cheerleader.
- Ask your spouse how you can pray for them.
Weeding our Marriages
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 (NIV)
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV)
“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 (ESV)
The weeds of selfishness and pride can quickly spring up in a marriage if they are left unchecked. A marriage is a bond between two people, with God at the center. It’s not about one person demanding their own way, and stomping their foot until they get it. It’s about give and take, honoring and respecting, thinking of the other as more highly than themselves.
Take time to do yearly, monthly, or even weekly check ups on your marriage. Ask you spouse how they feel about your marriage and what needs to be changed. Be willing to compromise and put aside self for the sake of the other.
Marriage isn’t about self, it’s about two coming together to be made more into the image of Christ, as they follow His will and His ways. In marriage you need to nourish your garden, and bloom where you’re planted so God can finish His perfect will in your lives.