The randomly selected winner of Monday’s giveaway (journal and pen set) is Sharon Tavera who posted at March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm. Congrats! Please click here to send me your mailing address, and please reference the journal set.
I’ve spent nineteen years teaching my children to love each other, however, I would be lying if I said they always treated other with love.
When they were little, hurtful words were soon forgotten, but now that they are all teenagers, hurtful words seem to have a more painful sting. During those times when they can’t find anything nice to say or their patience or tolerance is spent, I have been known to try to make the most of that teaching moment.
I want them to understand that their actions, and reactions, towards their brother or sister is what they are planting in their relationship. Kindness begets kindness, and hatefulness begets hatefulness, and so on. You know, that whole “reap what you sow” concept – whatever you plant is what will grow. A concept which usually begets eye rolling and heavy sighs.
Funny how easy it is to teach our children these important life truths, but forget to apply those same truths to our own life – especially in marriage. But if the harvest we desire is a happy marriage, the seeds that we plant are the most important sowing we may ever do.
Why do we forget to plant seeds that will build up the marriage, but still expect good things to grow? Why do we plant weeds, and then be disappointed when we get weeds?! God has given wives an important job of being a faithful gardener in our marriages.
Genesis 8:22 says “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” This verse teaches us that there is always a time for planting, and a time for harvest, and it is never too late to start sowing good seed, and pulling some weeds.
Galatians 6:7 and 9 say, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.; Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” These verses explain how sowing seed and taking proper care of those seeds, will always produce a harvest, eventually. It is a fact.
The first question to honestly ask ourselves today is, what type of seeds are we sowing in our marriages?
The second question is, what seeds does God call us to sow in our marriages?
The third question is, are the seeds that we are sowing, and the seeds that God calls us to sow, the same?
Lets take a look today at a few of those seeds God desires that we sow, that will result in us harvesting a healthy, happy marriage:
#1 Seeds of Love: Unfortunately in many marriages, a woman may feel as if she simply does not love her husband anymore. Maybe she doesn’t think he is the same man she married. Maybe he has hurt her and betrayed her trust. Maybe he has not met her expectations. Maybe they have just spent so little time together over the years, that they have grown apart. Or we may love our husbands dearly, but don’t feel loved in return, so our desire to give love is stifled.
In any case, it is never too late to sow love, and it is never beyond our capabilities to find that love to sow, because Gods love comes from God, not from feelings. He can pour those seeds of love into our hearts, to reinvest into our marriages, even we cannot we cant find that love anywhere in our own willpower. The love that 1 Corinthians 4 talks about. Patient, kind and selfless.
But if we don’t feel it, how we can give it? Upon reading 2 Corinthians 9:8-11, we discover how to embrace this ‘loving-him-when-we-really-dont-feel-like-it’ concept :
“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.” (The Message Bible)
For anyone who is finding it hard to sow love into your marriages, even if for very valid and justified reasons, this is the perfect verse to tuck away in your heart, while asking God to give you the seeds to sow that you cannot find within yourself. For women who are still in love with their husbands, it might just be a matter of examining our actions to see if we are in deed sowing the love that we feel, or if we allow daily pressures and busyness to prevent us from outwardly showing, and sowing, those seeds of love.
#2 Seeds of Actions: We have talked about many ways to sow seeds into our marriages through encouraging words, protecting reputations, prayer, attitudes, time, faith, etc. Each time we sow love and invest through our actions and encouraging words, we are planting seeds that will bear fruit in our marriages.
Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV)
#3 Seeds of Blessings: If you are like me, it is the small unexpected gifts from my husband that I treasure the most. One he simply gives out of love – just because. God gave the life of His son, just because. Not because we deserved it, or because we had a birthday, but just because of His infinite love for us. In the same way, God calls us to bless others, especially our husbands, just because, by lovingly planting seeds of blessing.
Proverbs 11:15 The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (MSG)
#4 Seeds of Intimacy: This is a topic that most women want to avoid, especially since it is typically more important to the hubby, than to the wife. But if a wife fails to plant seeds of intimacy in the marriage, then seeds of discord and emotional distance will be planted instead. Sexual intimacy in a marriage is crucial, and without it, weeds are guaranteed to grow.
1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. (NIV)
Even if intimacy seems to be a thing of the past, it’s never too late to start doing some planting. The time is always right to begin sowing those seeds of intimacy, even if it requires the supernatural strength and courage of God to overcome feelings of awkwardness, distance, hesitation, resentment, neglect, loneliness and sadness.
As seeds are planted, even those seeds that we didn’t want to plant, the harvest will eventually begin to grow, and flourish. In time, those seeds that we planted through the strength and grace of God, may turn out to be the exact seeds that save a marriage from being choked out by an over abundance of weeds that had been growing for years.
2 Corinthians 9:6 says this, “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (The Message)
DAY 12 CHALLENGE: START DOING SOME PLANTING
Take a long, hard look at your marriage garden, and ask yourself if you have been planting seeds of love, sweet actions, blessings and intimacy, or if you have been fertilizing weeds instead? If you recognize a need to focus on sowing seeds from God into your marriage garden, instead of those of your own choosing, commit to tilling up some new ground and planting a fresh new harvest.
It may not be easy, and sometimes effective gardening is hard work, but the sooner we begin to sow, the sooner we will begin to reap a harvest that is a blessing and just maybe, an answer to prayer.
Planting seeds & pulling weeds will always pay off.