Our culture is one of busyness. We are always rushing, always going. We often commit to more than we can handle. We say yes when we know that we should have said no; adding one more thing to the list of tasks that has already grown out of control. We fill our schedules with commitments and fill our lives with stress. In order to keep our promises and meet all of the responsibilities that we have heaped upon ourselves, we spend our days running here and rushing there.
At the end of each busy day, we drag our weary selves back home and lament over the still overflowing list of things that must be done. The list of so many yeses that should have been noes.
We come home to a place that should be a haven. A fortress of peace that keeps the world and it’s worries outside. A place that allows us to rest and re-energize for tomorrow.
But instead of peace and rest, we stress over commitments that must be fulfilled and tasks that must be finished.
In the midst of all the busyness, we often neglect the most important commitments that we have made. We often neglect our relationship with our LORD and with our spouse. We neglect our families. By doing this, by allowing them to go untended, uncared for, we often let them wither, and sometimes, we even let them die.
A relationship, specifically a marriage, is like a garden, and we are the caretakers of that garden.
In order for any garden to grow, to flourish, it must be planted in good soil. It must be fertilized and watered consistently. The gardener must be diligent in watching over and protecting the plants from any weeds or parasites that threaten to damage, overtake, or destroy the garden.
If the gardener is diligently faithful in this task, the plants of the garden will not only survive, but will grow, flourish, and yield a bountiful harvest.
Should the gardener be distracted, and place his attention and effort elsewhere, the plants will be stunted and unhealthy. They may wither. They may even be choked out by weeds or destroyed by parasites. If this happens, not only will there be no harvest, the plants will die and there will then be no garden.
In the same way, we are the caretakers of our relationships and our marriage. If our marriage is deeply rooted in our faith and fertilized by time spent together in prayer and study of the Word of God, it will be intertwined with the will of God. It will grow strong and healthy. It will yield the fruits of His Spirit, as we grow, both individually, and together, as one, in a deeply rooted relationship with our Heavenly Father.
But if we are distracted and overburdened, we will neglect the care of our relationship with our Father, with our family, and with our spouse. When this happens, the cares and worries of this world sneak in like weeds and parasites. They choke out, uproot, and overtake with doubts and fear, worry and temptation. As these things eat away at our relationships, they slowly die and we are left with nothing but stunted and withered stalks of despair, loneliness and pain.
I pray that you and I will be faithful and diligent, taking care to watch over our gardens, helping them to grow strong, yielding a harvest that brings honor and glory to our Father in heaven.