Marriage Takes Hard Work - Encouragement for Today - June 16, 2017

Sharon Glasgow

June 16, 2017
Marriage Takes Hard Work

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You.” Psalm 63:1a (NKJV)

The grain bag was almost empty, so I reached deep to the bottom to get a scoop for my chickens. Suddenly, something scurried up my sleeve! I jumped and screamed and wiggled about, trying to free whatever was in my blouse. Within 10 seconds, a mouse jumped out of the top of my shirt! It’s a wonder we both didn’t roll over and die from fright right there on my barn floor.

I could tell story after story like this of the realities of farm life. From mice to midnight births, the adventures are endless … and mostly unseen. Perhaps that’s why many people love the idea of a farm — that picturesque place where the grass is always green, the animals graze contently and luscious organic food grows effortlessly.

Guests to my farm love watching the fireflies dance and the turkeys waddle about the fields. They enjoy roaming the nature paths around our property. With dreamy eyes, many say to me, “Oh this place is magical! I want a farm just like it.” I smile and nod, thinking to myself, If you knew the amount of labor my husband and I put into it, would you still want it?

Diligent farmers never, ever go a single day without working and laboring on their farms. Early mornings are required to feed the animals, milk the goats and water the crops.

They have to fight to protect the borders from predators that come to ruin their efforts. Vigilant oversight keeps foxes and coyotes from helping themselves to chickens and baby goats. Plus, there are fields to mow, poisonous vines to annihilate and a long list of other chores … all done in temperatures from zero to 100 degrees!

Only the farmers who love and cherish their farms daily have that beautiful, “magical” farm.

But if that farmer were to take a few months (or even weeks) off, and if they left their animals, crops and barns unattended, it’d be a mess!

Similarly, a good marriage is like a good farm. People love good marriages. We love to read about couples who renew their vows on their anniversary … about the elderly gentleman who faithfully visits his bride at the nursing home … about the husband and wife who stayed together through war and loss.

Long-lasting marriages don’t just happen. They need tender loving care — much like a farm. Predators threaten to destroy you and your marriage. And constant maintenance is required.

Here are some ways we can tend to our marriage:

Wake Up Early: One of the best ways to labor for our marriage is to spend time with God and His Word. Just like a farmer waters his crops, we can refresh our spirit with a quiet time. “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You.” (Psalm 63:1)

Protect Your Borders: At times, it can feel like our husbands are the enemy, but Scripture tells us that Satan is. He will throw many temptations our way to sneak in and devour our marriages — from gossiping about our spouses to looking up former boyfriends online.

God’s Word shows us how to protect our borders: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11, ESV)

Pull the Weeds: There are moments when I don’t want to farm anymore (like when a mouse runs up my sleeve!). But in the grand scheme of things, a mouse in my shirt is a small price to pay to have our farm.

There are some things I just have to get over. If not, resentment and bitterness will take root. It’s wise to get rid of them before they choke out respect and kindness toward our husbands. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV)

I’d always dreamed of living on a farm. Never, ever did I think it would require so many long hours, so much vigilance and such a degree of difficult labor. But all our hard work pays off — we’ve got the farm where the grass is green and the animals are content. When I think about it, our farm is magical. Our marriage is too, but we work really hard at it.

Dear Lord, help me tend to my marriage and protect its borders. Show me how to make it a marriage that glorifies You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

Could your marriage use some work? Maybe a little help in the romance department? If so, spice up your relationship and rekindle the passion with your mate through Sharon Jaynes’ new book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge. You’ll find this book and more (for yourself or a friend), here, in our marriage collection.

Visit Sharon Glasgow’s farm on her blog, and enter to win a gift for your marriage.

How much time do you spend protecting and tending to your marriage?

Take a stand against anything the enemy is using to devour your marriage. Memorize and pray Scripture over you and your husband.

© 2017 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Friday, 16 June 2017.