“And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”- Isaiah 58:11
I’ve always wanted a garden, so I began gardening a few months ago. By gardening, I mean a novice attempt at planting seeds and hoping for the best. This resulted in an unmanageable amount of cucumbers and beans, which would typically be good. I harvested a few massive cucumbers that brought so much joy and delight followed by some bitter, unripe failures. However, the beans were in such overabundance they became an unruly mess.
One Saturday as I worked tirelessly in the blazing afternoon sun with beads of sweat rolling down my face, I realized it was time to uproot what seemed healthy and alive but, in fact, needed a complete overhaul. As dried-up weeds and dead plants took over my garden, the Holy Spirit showed me that this was also the state of my marriage. Pests were infested throughout and needed to be removed. What appeared so green and full of life in certain areas was actually a ruse from the enemy. It distracted me from what was wilting and dying underneath, resulting in the destruction of everything else in its path. Friend, is your marriage healthy from within so that God can bear fruit, or does it look like mine did?
Mamas, to keep our marriages strong, we need to better care for and tend to our marriage garden in complete surrender and humility.
Jesus is calling us to:
1. Allow Him to prune all dead debris in our marriages. It’s our job to first repent to the Lord for any sin issues we have brought into our marriage while entrusting our husband’s sin to the Lord.
“In returning (repentance) & rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” – Isaiah 30:15
2. Remove any insects or pests. Secondly, we need to embrace change and push through the pain that exposes our sin, trials, or suffering. This often happens through humility, the conviction of sin, greater self-awareness, accountability through God’s Word and church community, and any resources or tools the Holy Spirit provides (i.e., Christian counseling, etc.) When we ignore, suppress, or avoid what’s underneath our garden beds, it only leads to further decay versus fruitfulness.
3. Restore your relationship through reconciliation and peace. Finding a solution may not always be possible or just yet. Reestablish the relationship and make peace, as much as it relies on you. Rely on God, focus on your role and responsibility, and then wait in prayer.
“God has restored our relationship with Him through Christ and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. God was in Christ restoring His relationship with humanity… He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and He has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. We are Christ’s representatives… We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
4. Sow new seeds with intentionality and depth in mind. Focus on growing your roots deeper, looking to and trusting only in Jesus, not yourself, your husband, or your past. Ask the Lord for new eyes to see your husband as He does and practice giving grace and forgiveness to him daily, especially when he doesn’t deserve it. Friend, that same undeserved grace has been extended to you today, moment by moment.
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” -Isaiah 30:18
5. Maintain a healthy garden by growing vertically with Jesus! Jesus is our trellis, our guide upon which we grow upward and onward to produce a healthy harvest of fruit! We need to mature with our Master Gardener’s help, not fall back into old and unhealthy rhythms and patterns. Just as my cucumbers ended up messy, sideways, and out of control, it’s crucial we keep Jesus our first love and fix our eyes on Him, not looking horizontally at our spouse, expecting him to fulfill and satisfy our deepest longings, or trying to fix and change him.
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12
If you are disappointed or in despair over your marriage today, know that God is near and always rooting for you. He will give you what you need when you need it most; there is still hope to be had and beauty to be restored!
Love, Krystle Gray & The Help Club for Moms Team