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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Does Your Marriage Need Weeding?


(not our actual garden... but a picture of a very similar garden...)

We have had a lot of rain the last few months.  And last summer and fall were pretty busy.  As a result, I have been pulling weeds.  A lot of weeds.  Some pretty big weeds, and some weeds with pretty strong roots.  And lots of baby trees that have decided to take root among the weeds.  The worst part of it all, is that some of the weeds I am pulling are in places that I had already pulled and cleaned out just a few weeks ago.  But the rain and the sunshine in between…and probably the neighboring weeds that I haven’t gotten to yet, have all conspired to replenish the weed population in those places.  


I hate weeding.  It is hard on your back and knees, it is very tedious, and it is never ending.  I have a long standing hate relationship with weeding.  I remember as a little kid being asked to do some of the weeding in the flower beds.  I remember being told that it doesn’t do any good to pull weeds if I don’t get the roots out, too.  But I hated weeding, and I wasn’t vey good at it, and the ground was pretty dry, so all that happened way back when was that the tops got torn off the plants until they just came back.

One thing I’m learning about weeding is that, like Henry Fonda says about parenting in the movie, “Parenthood”, it never ends!  I suspect that if I ever get to the point where I have some of the garden and flower beds weed free with rich and loose soil, then keeping them that way  may not be as bad as getting them that way.  But I’m probably wrong.  Somehow I think weeds are bound up in the Genesis curse where Adam is told that the ground is only going to bear fruit through the sweat of his brow.  It sure has turned out that way!

I think a lot of things in life need regular weeding.  I think a sometimes divorces occur because the couple didn’t do a good job of weeding in their marriage relationship.  I think sometimes people give up on their faith or quit going to church because they haven’t done a good job of weeding in their spiritual life and their faith has been overwhelmed.  I think a lot of people, probably including me, don’t do a very good job of weeding their daily schedules to match their desired priorities.  I think a lot of times there are weeds going wild in our thought lives.

I also think we make the mistake of assuming in all these areas that weeds once pulled don’t ever need to be pulled again.  Or that areas of our lives once cleared will stay cleared without effort forever.  But that is wrong.  We never get done.  And just like weeding in a garden, sometimes it takes a lot of work to get rid of life’s other weeds.  There is always something new to learn, more opportunities to pursue.  A marriage is never a completed task, it is always an ongoing venture of growth and change.  Our spiritual journey is not one of having arrived, but is about the journey itself.  Our movement toward purity will not be complete this side of heaven, but is a living work of grace that beckons us forward on a daily basis.

Are there areas in your life that need some weeding?  

Some behaviors that need to be pulled?  

Maybe some of your relationships have developed some habits that need to be removed and discarded.  

Or maybe life has just gotten cluttered with too much stuff.  

At least, that’s some of the things I got to thinking as I was pulling out all those stupid weeds.  And there are still more weeds out there waiting to see me tomorrow.  But I promise, I won’t turn it into another blog!

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