Have you ever looked at another married couple and said to yourself, “Why can’t my marriage be as perfect at theirs?” The adage that goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” can most certainly be applied to marriages. Sincerely speaking, there are many times I have been guilty of looking at and admiring other marriages other than my own. The question is, how do I stop peering over the fence? Is there a way to make the grass in my marriage grow and flourish to the point where others are learning from it?
Coming up are my thoughts on how to build your marriage ‘grass.’
1. Plant the best grass on your lawn
Gardening gurus will tell you that to get the best lawn, you must select the correct variety of grass for your region. Other factors to consider are the soil, availability of water and the climate. You also need to plant the grass correctly so that it grows in the right pattern.
In the same way, get the best grass for your marriage lawn. Choose the right partner to walk with you on your journey, a person with whom you will make a great team. Don’t just marry anybody because you are getting older, or you are under pressure from your family. Remember, you have to live with this person for the rest of your life. If you are not in agreement from the beginning, your marriage grass will not grow!
Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (NLT)
Once you plant the grass, you have to take care of it. A little fertilizer and spray here and there, as well as lots of water, will give you the desired result – the perfect lawn that is the envy of your neighbors.
The marriage grass also needs lots of care. Don’t assume that once you ‘hook’ a life partner, you can relax and leave everything to work itself out. On the contrary, as soon as you are pronounced husband and wife, the real work begins. The regular dates you had while getting to know each other now become a necessity as you seek to build your intimacy.
God’s intention is for the married couple to become one. If you truly want to be the married couple that God intends you to be, put in the work. Nurture that grass!
Ephesians 5:31 “As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.'” (NLT)
After the grass has grown and looks nice and green, many people forget that it needs weeding. Weeds aggressively destroy a lawn by taking up space and nutrients that are meant for the grass. The result? A horrible- looking lawn!
There are many things inside and outside your marriage that can destroy it within a short time. One partner may have issues with selfishness, envy, and unrealistic expectations. The other partner may have a challenge with boundaries in relationships outside the marriage. You must be on the lookout for the little bugs that can chew into your marriage. Once you identify them, get rid of them before they do any damage!
Song of Songs 2:15 “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” (NLT)
The little foxes will always turn up when you least expect them. Be on your guard.
Caring for a lawn is a full-time job. It needs to be trimmed, replanted, sprayed and watered often. Tending to a lawn is hard work, but the result is well worth the investment.
Do you consider your marriage to be an investment? How valuable is it to you? Are you prepared to put in the time and effort to learn your partner and build your relationship? The marriage relationship needs constant nurturing so that it can grow. If it remains dormant, both partners will feel suffocated, and it will die.
The writer of Hebrews puts his view of marriage forth in this verse:
Hebrews 13:4a “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” (NLT)
Let us commit to honoring our marriages by remaining faithful to one another, as God requires of us.
Are you now more equipped to tend your marriage ‘grass’? Great! Keep it looking fresh, inviting and green, and soon people out there will be wishing they had a marriage like yours!