Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
One doesn’t get up in the morning, look into the mirror and exclaim “I think I will let my marriage get rocky today!” The very thought of that situation makes us laugh, albeit nervously, telling ourselves that we would never let that happen to our marriage. We go about our days, patting ourselves on the back, reminding ourselves that we have a Godly marriage. A marriage that is maybe a little cracked and marred but safe from the world, safe from being “like their marriage”. We move through our days together, feeling a little put out over this, a little bitter about that, perhaps even a teeny bit angry over that one little “if he would only”.
Sure, we haven’t had a date night in months. But he works, I work, we both can’t seem to make our schedules work. There are the grand kids, the yard work, the cooking, the cleaning. There is small group, men’s bible study, women’s Journey. Oh and don’t forget the volunteer work with the ministry, church on Sunday, and that event I volunteered to help with. I just don’t think we can fit one more thing into our schedule. I mean really. Didn’t we just take the grand kids to the movies last week? Doesn’t that count?
A few weeks ago, my sweetheart brought me a beautiful planter, filled with all sorts of bright, colorful cuttings. Every morning I glance at it in passing, smiling at the thought of him thinking of me when he went to the store to pick up milk for the baby. Yet this morning something seemed different. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the leaves were a little droopy, the edges of the ivy were turning brown, the bright red of the “I have no idea what that is” was fading to pink. It occurred to me that all I had done was admire the planter. I had forgotten to water it.
And so it is with our marriages. At first, they seem bright and colorful, full of all the things that make us smile. We proudly put our marriage first. We are a couple, a team, always together. We lay out our plans for early morning Bible study, family review time every Sunday, date night every Friday. Then work calls us out of town. Family comes to visit after church. One of you is a night owl, the other a morning person. You miss a day here, a week there, a month goes by and you have barely seen each other. The colors get a little dim, the edges a little dry and brittle, the days get a little droopy.
In Amos 3:3 God asks the question “do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet?” A simple yet powerful statement on what it takes to keep our marriages bright and full of color. “Whatever you put your time, energy and money into will be more important to you. It’s hard to care for something you’re not investing in” (from the movie Fireproof) Invest in keeping your marriage vibrant and full of beautiful colors. Don’t let it fade into the gray of sameness. You may not get up every day planning to let your marriage fail, but if you don’t get up with a plan to make it succeed it will start to wilt and lose its beauty. Take a walk, hold hands, write a love note to each other, bring joy back into your married life. You may not be a master gardener but if you place your marriage into the Hands of One who is, God will bring all the beautiful shades of color back into the garden of your marriage.