I was taking out the garbage one day, and noticed something small emerging from the ground. When I bent over and pulled back the dirt, I found a tiny hydrangea bush, and I was shocked. Earlier that summer, I haphazardly plopped a hydrangea bush in the ground right next to the recycling bins, and promptly forgot about it. It was not my smartest gardening move, but in spite of my negligence, this little plant was holding her own.
Unfortunately, I treat various aspects of my life in the same way I treated this plant. In my neglect and forgetfulness, I can easily fail to invest in the things I know are important. Oftentimes, I’ll see growth and progress, but it’s slow, sometimes barely noticeable.
On the other hand, when I carefully tend to specific areas in my life—my children, our home, commitments at church—they flourish. A little bit of love, a gentle word, a thoughtful gesture, and an act of kindness can work together to produce something beautiful.
During these years of raising young children, I’ve been very diligent to ensure my children have what they need in order to grow and thrive. I plant seeds, water, weed, and carefully tend to the soil of their everyday lives. Of course this isn’t wrong. I’d be remiss to ignore them. But sometimes, I’m so engrossed in my motherhood that I neglect my marriage.
Maybe you can relate? Children require a lot of time and attention. Their needs often feel much more urgent than our husband’s. So, we set aside our marriage and hope for the best. Most of the time, our neglect is not intentional, and we might not see drastic changes. Just like my hydrangea that grew in spite of its location near the trash and its lack of water, our marriages will probably keep growing. What might happen, though, if we were as intentional with our husbands as we are with our children? Could our marriages be stronger and healthier? Would they flourish?
Planting seeds in our marriage doesn’t require grandiose plans or unrealistic goals. We’re simply looking for ways to tend to the soil of our marriage in everyday moments.
A flourishing marriage starts today. Right here, right now, as we plant seeds of love through our thoughts, words, and actions toward the man we committed to love for the rest of our days.
This is Day 9 of a series: A Diligent Wife