To say I don’t have a green thumb is such an understatement. I don’t have a small amount of disdain for yard work; no, it’s my nemesis. Every time I think I have our weeds taken care of, it feels like a blink of an eye before the unwanted botanic life returns.
There aren’t many things I covet. I don’t really care about a bigger house or a nicer car, but I do covet anyone who has the luxury of a yard service. I can cut grass with the best of them, but it’s the weeds in the flowerbeds that’ll make me cry. I hate flowerbeds so much that I asked to have ours weeded and trimmed for my birthday present last year. Not a dress or a necklace, just please don’t make me pull weeds again.
So, when a good friend of mine recently spoke about how we each need to “tend our garden,” it brought back such a vivid picture that it hasn’t left my mind. If I treated my marriage, my children, or my friendships like I do our flowerbeds, I’d be in a world of hurt. What a garden needs, and what every relationship needs, is not annual heroic effort, but consistent, intentional, frequent attention. Nothing extreme and dramatic… just consistency.
So today, the question comes to you:
How’s your garden?
If you’re married, what does your marriage garden look like? When the smallest of weeds pops up, do you catch it and pull it while it’s simple… or do you overlook it until its roots are deep and it requires gloves, a trowel, and significant effort to really get it out?
If you’re single, how’s your garden? Do you raise and resolve conflict quickly in your friendships and in your dating? Do you make sure you slow down long enough to ask good questions and have healthy dialogue?
No matter your age or marital status, we also need to remember that there’s more to gardening than just pulling weeds. We must be proactive to water and fertilize what’s healthy. What’s good and God-honoring in your relationships right now? Celebrate those things. Your celebration is like fertilizer to a young flower bud. What gets celebrated gets repeated, so celebrate what’s working while you gently remove what isn’t.
We may be right around the corner from winter, but please don’t forget to tend your garden year round.