I’m no gardener, but I have gardened once or twice.
Gardening is extremely rewarding because you get to enjoy first hand the fruits of your labor, but gardening is just that; labor.
In order to have a fruitful garden you must do two things: plant seeds and pull weeds. If you want a fruitful marriage, you must do the same.
Think back to your wedding day. Wasn’t everything perfect? At that point your “garden” was a beautiful tilled plot of land, full of potential and promise. Now here is the question: from that day till now what have you been doing? Have you been laboring or lazy?
In gardening, lazy shows up rather quickly in the form weeds, which is why to have a fruitful garden you must plant seeds and persistently pull weeds.
Lazy in marriage shows up too, because marriage is not a neutral project. If you don’t labor to pull weeds and plant seeds, weeds will overtake your marriage and choke out the life it was suppose to give.
So if you want a better marriage, it’s time to get out the gloves and start pulling weeds. Weeds like selfishness, business, harshness, apathy, inattention, screen time, hobbies, etc.
But don’t just pull all the weeds that choke out your marriage, also plant seeds that will grow and give life to your marriage. Go on dates, pursue your spouse, complement them, encourage them, serve them, spend time with them, etc.
If you’ve ever tasted garden fresh produce, you have a hard working gardener to thank for that, because gardens don’t just happen, they happen through labor. But if you have ate from a garden, you know the fruit you taste is worth the labor.
Great marriages don’t just happen either, they happen through labor. So stop just hoping your marriage will get better as you sit by and watch. Instead pick up the hoe and get to work. Start pulling weeds and planting seeds, and give your marriage the life it needs to be all God intended it to be.
Now send this post to your spouse with this question, “Honey, what weeds do I need to pull?”
(The gardening metaphor came from Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect”.)