The Garden

Friendships, Relationships, and Marriages can be like gardens. They all require hard work and dedication in order to reap the benefits. Some, like a garden can be beautiful, vibrant, and satisfying. As for an actual garden, if we are familiar with the Bible,we may envision the first home of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden which provokes a delightful image in our minds so vivid we can almost smell the fresh scent of fruits and vegetables. But in order to bring these images to fruition growing a garden full of delicious fruits, herbs, and vegetables or growing a successful marriage, the soil, be it of the literal garden or the soil of our hearts, both must be well cultivated, made suitable and appropriate for the purpose in which it’ll be used. Both soils must be loosened, dug around, and turned over to promote the growth of its intended use. This preparation is essential because in paradoxical fashion both can become hard, firm and lacking malleability. Only when this dutiful process is achieved can the planting begin. This calls for more than simply throwing seeds into the soil, covering them up hoping for success. Its more than sticking plants into the ground waiting for them to magically sprout. Just as its more than marrying someone because they have a pretty face, fantastic form, financial stability, or social status and expecting it to flourish into something beautiful and long lasting.

Let it not escape our attention that just like Satan slithered his way into the garden of Eden planting seeds of lies, mistrust, and the ultimate betrayal, that still centuries later wrecks relationships and marriages, there’s also an enemy that lurks threatening the growth of your vegetable garden. The Weed!! His presence may indicate an imbalance in your soil. A weed by definition is a plant growing where it isn’t wanted. There are many different types of weeds but one of the most problematic weeds is the pigweed. It has traits of a human. Its fast growing, tough and can get quite large. It’s so dynamic that despite its ability to create cracks in the sidewalk and choke out an entire vegetable garden, ironically, it’s very edible when the leaves are young and tender full of vitamins. A very deceptive and tricky sort of weed, an unapologetic patron much like Satan, that has the ability to provide nutrients on one hand while sneakily destroying with the other.

How does one rid himself of such a weed that disguises himself as an angel of light possessing a dangerous duality that tears down while feigning the semblance of stability and support? There are many things you can do to get your weeds under control, with most gardeners using a variety of methods to ensure the health of their gardens. But one sure fire way to resolve this issue is good ole back breaking, knees in the dirt, blood, sweat and tears, hard work!

Isn’t this how we grow healthy friendships, relationships, and marriages? We put in our blood, sweat, and tears to weed out those negative characteristics, cruelties, failures, and past traumas, that have hardened the soils of our hearts leaving it untilled, unweeded, subjected to suppressed years of neglect, overrun with a lack of emotion that reveals itself through the window of our cold eyes with no words being uttered.

Much like the gardener who diligently plants and weeds in order to feed his family, the gardener who plants to grow a friendship, relationship, and ultimately a successful marriage, has to be wholly dedicated to his garden as well. He plants seeds of unconditional love, attentiveness, and truth. He waters them with meaningful conversations, fertilizes with patience understanding the seeds he planted won’t grow overnight. When it’s time for the weed to protect his precious garden, his choice of tool is the word of God that’s alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. Out of the many different methods of weeding, there is no better tool than God’s word in the Bible. His word gets to the root of the matter which is necessary because as long as the root remains in the soil of our hearts, the weeds of destruction will continue to resurface periodically. No chemicals or machinery will prove more resourceful than the master gardener himself, Jehovah God!! So, become imitators of Him enhancing your gardening abilities if you want to achieve the highest quality of a fruitful friendship, relationship, or marriage that you can possibly grow! Writing by: Connell L. Howard #234626

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