Gardens are a good source of fresh air, and as well as a hobby to many people. When gardening, you care for the plants and nourish them as often as possible. In the same way, we care for our marriage and want it to thrive, flourish and succeed. Today we are going to look at marriage as a garden.
Gardens are in need of constant attention and tending. We plant, fertilize, pull weeds, plan out areas, and rotate crops to preserve the soil. Our marriages require the same types of attention. Expecting our marriage to grow and prosper without putting in any effort is like expecting our garden to grow without any water, sunlight, or weeding.
You can have high quality seeds and dirt. Plant them with care, water them and watch them sprout and then get busy with life and the weeds take over so that those seeds end up producing few if any yield. Everyone’s life goes through chaotic times but it is important to give your marriage the attention it needs to thrive, and not put it on the back burner. It takes every day, every week small positive interactions to produce positive and healthy yields. Even five minutes of purposefulness makes a considerable difference!
Another analogy we can look into today is Gary Chapman’s view of love as a tank. Chapman wrote “The Five Love Languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate.” In his book he uses the analogy that we all have a love tank with fluctuating levels for fullness. If you have yet to read this book, I highly recommend it. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
The theme of the book is that different people have different primary ways of feeling or being filled with love. The five love languages that he describes include: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. When we speak their language then we can fill their tank quickly and efficiently with these five approaches. When we speak a less potent love language (perhaps our preferred language, but not that of our spouse) we still add to the tank but it fills at a much slower rate. By knowing how to fill our spouse’s tank, we create a more loving and complimentary marriage.
Every person has a love tank, a place of emotional strength that can help fuel them through challenging times. Because real love is always unconditional, we need to fill it in unconditional ways!