My name is Tara and I kill flowers.

I love flowers. I think they are beautiful; however, I can not seem to keep them alive. I have bought all kinds of flowers in the two years since we moved to town. Every time I buy a new flower I really hope that this one will make it.

I want to be a good plant mom.
I want to have a beautiful front yard and back porch.
I want people to look at my flowers and think they are the most beautiful things ever.

But…

I don’t do well at taking care of the flowers. I forget to water them or I give them way too much water. I leave them in the same little container I bought them in and I never change the soil. I don’t put them in the sun or I never take them out of the sun. I don’t do the research to see what they need. In fact, I really don’t do anything with them. Typically I sit them on my back porch water them for a few days then stop. I have planted a few of them in my yard but that didn’t help either. Well, there is one exception, a miniature rose bush that I bought at Winn Dixie about a year ago. That little fighter has suffered all of my neglect and has even gotten run over by a lawnmower a time or two but somehow it is still hanging in there but that is a testament to that little flower not to me.

My passive desire to have pretty flowers is not strong enough to withstand my neglect of them! Wanting something alone is not enough, even if you want it really bad. You have to put in the work to cultivate what matters.

According to Google cultivate means to improve, grow, raise, develop, or maintain.

What we cultivate in our lives is what flourishes and becomes something beautiful! It is the things that we spent time on and invest in that grow to there full potential. And this is true in other areas of our lives as well. If we want to be healthy we have to eat right, work out, and get rest. If we want a closer relationship with the Lord we have to go to church, read His Word, and pray. If we want a happy marriage we have to invest in it. We have to give it our time, resources, and care. Simply wanting to be healthy or a closer relationship with the Lord or a good marriage is not enough. All of these things and many others in life have to be developed and maintained.

So how do we cultivate our marriage?

You have to work the dirt.

 There may be some “weeds” in your marriage that need to be pulled up first before you can start cultivating the good. Maybe there are past hurts and hang-ups that need to be addressed. Maybe there is some forgiveness that needs to be received or extended. Maybe its time to be like Elisa and let some stuff go!

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to have a happy marriage. You have to be willing to get some dirt under your fingernails. Not everything in marriage comes easily. Sometimes this takes repetitive sacrifice and effort. Try to remember that the best things in life are worth the effort.

It may start out with just one of you “working the dirt”. We have to start somewhere. Don’t give up! No one likes the part of planting where you have to get down and get dirty but the harvest is always worth it.

Plant the seed more than once.

If a harvest is what you are after you have to plant more than one seed. Think about a farmer, if he wants corn he plants a whole field of corn, not one stalk. Then he has to continue to tend the field until it is time to pick the corn. If he plants the seeds but never fertilizes it or waters it, just like my flowers, the crop will die.

We have to be consistent in our cultivation. I once heard a story of a wife that was unhappy. Her husband never told her that he loved her. One day she mustered up the nerve to say something about it. He seemed confused that she would even ask this question. Of course, he loved her. She asked him why he never said it to her if that was how he felt. His answer was simple. I told you I loved you once my mind hasn’t changed so why would I say it again? Did the husband love the wife? yes! Was it being felt by the wife? No! He planted a good seed but he was not cultivating the relationship! Cultivating is a daily process, not a one and done deal.

You grow what you sow?

What do you want to see grow in your marriage? I heard a sermon recently where the pastor said your seed will multiply in kind, and that is so true. think about it, you don’t plant corn expecting a potato. So if you want your spouse to speak kind words, plant kind words. If you want respect, plant respect. The list can go on.

You are going to get exactly what you plant. You can’t be passive about this. Good things do not just grow on their own, you have to plant them! Take a day and do a checkup. What are you planting in your marriage? What are you not planting in your marriage?

Strengthen your roots.

According to Google- Roots act like straws absorbing water and minerals from the soil. Tiny root hairs stick out of the root, helping in the absorption. Roots help to anchor the plant in the soil so it does not fall over

Planting a crop always begins in the dirt with the roots. The roots are where the plant gets everything it needs to grow. The roots have to grow deep before the plant can grow tall. If the root system is weak the plant will die. It may look beautiful on the surface for a short time but before long without the proper root system, the plant will no longer be able to sustain the elements. That is why so many marriages that look so beautiful on the outside end in divorce. The flower was pretty but the roots were weak and because of that flower was not getting the nutrients that it needed for survival.

So how do we do ensure that we are getting all the nutrients we need in our marriage to survive? We have to do be rooted in Jesus! If we are not anchored in him we will not be able to maintain our relationship in the way that He designed it to be maintained. You can cultivate all day long but without that root system in place just like the plant the relationship will suffer.

We have to go to church together as a family, serve together, get into your Word both together and as individuals. We need to pray with and for each other. We need to ask the gardener for help! Once we get rooted in Jesus we will start to see life change not only in our marriage but in all areas of our lives.

Genesis 8:22 says,
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

As long as the earth remains the principle of seedtime and harvest will work. You just have to apply the principle.

So here is a formula for a healthy marriage.

rooted in Jesus + cultivation on your part= strong, beautiful relationship

Remember just wanting a beautiful marriage is not enough to make it a reality. You will have to work the dirt but when you put in the work oh my what a beautiful harvest you will have!

We believe in you and we are praying for you!

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