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Encouragement for Today - Mar. 4, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 04
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March 4, 2008

 

The Marriage Garden

By Melanie Chitwood

 

“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands” Proverbs 14:1 (NAS)

         

Devotion:

I was feeling so frustrated that my husband was not making some changes I’d asked him to make - changes that I thought he should make. As I was telling God my frustrations, He gave me a picture of how I’d been treating my marriage. It could really apply to any relationship. Picture this as I describe it.

Imagine your back yard and in one corner of the yard is a huge garden filled and overrun with weeds. You know you need to take care of that garden, but you also know it’s going to take a lot of work. But then you remember you have a big John Deer lawnmower. You can just use that to plow down every weed. So that’s what you do. You hop on the John Deere, plow down the weeds, wipe your hands, pat yourself on the back and say job well done. Sure the weeds will grow back, but you can just mow them down again.

 

Then your eye spots another garden in your yard. Not as big as the first, but also filled with tall weeds. Well, I’ll just use the lawnmower again, you think to yourself. So you walk toward the garden to assess the situation, and then you notice there’s already a gardener there. This gardener is working slowly and carefully. He yanks out by hand each tall weed and deposits them in a trash pile that’s growing taller. Well, that’s going to take a long time, you think to yourself. Let me tell him about my lawnmower. You slowly walk toward the garden, and as you draw closer, you notice beautiful flowers, hidden by the weeds. The gardener sees you and beckons for you to join Him. You stop. You have a choice. Do you join the gardener in tending the garden, or do you insist that you use the John Deere?

 

God showed me that I was treating my marriage and its challenges like the first gardener. I was just plowing through, trying my own methods of fixing things, and leaving decimation in its wake. Not to mention my repairs were just temporary. I sensed God saying to me, Let me be the Gardener of your marriage. Let’s try my gentle ways. I will help you uncover the precious treasures in your marriage.

Talk honestly with God in prayer about your marriage. If you see that you are using the John Deere method of gardening in your marriage, confess this sin to God and ask Him to be the Gardener of your marriage.

 

Dear Lord, thank you for my husband and my marriage. I want the marriage you want me to have, Lord. I confess that I try to do my own gardening many times. I surrender myself, my husband, and my marriage into Your hands, Lord, acknowledging that You alone know the best way to tend to the garden of my marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

Related Resources:

 

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

 

Personality Plus for Couples by Florence Littauer

 

Encouragement for Your Marriage in Everyday Life

 

Application Steps: 

Identify the pesky weeds in your marriage. Pray with open hands as you surrender each one to God. Ask Him to be the Gardener in your marriage and to deal with each weed the way He sees is best.

 

Reflections: 

In what ways do you treat your husband like a pesky weed? In what ways do you treat him like a beautiful flower?

 

In what ways can you “put on love” (Colossians 3:14) for your husband?

 

After reading today’s key verse, think about ways you can “build your house” - strengthen your marriage - rather than tear it down. Commit to doing one idea this week.

 

Power Verses:

Colossians 3:12-13, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the lord forgave you, also should you.” (NAS)

 

Colossians 3:14, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (NAS)

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org

 

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