"A man reaps what he sows." Galatians 6:7
I am sitting on the farm my niece and her new husband now tend. And I can see there are so many lessons this farm can teach them and me, for that matter.
The idea of a farm can be very romantic. There are rolling hills, rich brown fields of dirt, wildlife abounding, trees that bear fruit, even a life-giving stream runs through this one.
Already, the ground has been tilled and fertilized. The bulbs planted months ago are delivering gorgeous blooms of yellow, pink, red, and purple. Seeds have been planted and, with proper care, will one day soon bear fruit, or vegetables as the case may be. A whole system of rain catchers and barrels and hoses have been set up to water the plants readily so they make it through any dry patches. Every day brings new and unwanted growth; weeds to be plucked so they don’t choke out the plants. And there are workers ready to lend a hand to make the work a little lighter, and to step in and step up when the work gets to be too much.
It strikes me that this work on the farm is much like the work that will go into this marriage. Now married just barely four months, this young couple is laying the groundwork for a lifetime together. They will need to do some planning and planting to make sure their future blooms. They will need to care for and nurture this relationship to make sure there is enough love showered and even stored up to weather the dry seasons. They will need to nourish each other so they will bear the fruit of loving well. They will have to carefully pluck out the things that may crowd out their time together. And they will have to be sure and accept help from others when they need it most.
Today I have watched this young couple, and my daughter too, do a lot of work to prepare for the growing season that has already begun. And I know that the work that lies ahead will be heavy, hard, and almost back breaking some days. But the harvest of a lifetime of love and dedication they reap will be worth every moment of work and effort they’ve sown.
A well-tended marriage doesn’t just happen. Like a verdant flourishing farm, it takes work and intention…and doing the hard things, the digging and tending even on the days you don’t feel like it.
How do you tend your most important relationships? What have you done to make sure your relationships can weather the inevitable storms of life? What can you do today to add a little nourishment, a little life-giving water to your marriage?