A Gardener’s Touch
A Gardener’s Touch
A bruised reed He will not break. (Isaiah 42:3)
Here in America, most people have a consumer’s mentality. When a consumer buys a product and brings it home and realizes there is a problem with it, he or she takes it back. As a consumer, you pay for something and you expect your money’s worth. You take no responsibility for the problem the product came with.
Often couples bring a consumer mentality into their marriages. Obviously, we all marry imperfect people, and we ourselves are imperfect. But many people become overwhelmed by the faults of their spouses. In fact, it is common for couples to wonder if they married the wrong person at some point in time.
Of course, the devil loves to point out your spouse’s flaws and problems because he is the accuser. To stop the devil in his tracks and to keep your spouse’s faults from overwhelming you and damaging your marriage, you must adopt a different mentality. I call it the gardener’s mentality. It is the opposite of the consumer’s mentality. Let me explain.
A gardener is a different breed. Say, for example, there is a tree or shrub in a gardener’s care that is unhealthy or has problems. A true gardener doesn’t accuse the seller or reject the plant. A gardener takes responsibility to do what is necessary to restore the plant to health. He or she asks the question, “I wonder what I could be doing that would cause this problem?” Or, “I wonder what I can do that will fix it and restore it to health?”
We can all thank God that Jesus has a gardener’s mentality toward us. Even though He is in no way responsible for our problems, He loves us and nurtures us to health. In Ephesians chapter five, men are charged with “nourishing and cherishing” their wives. Interestingly, those are both agricultural words. Even the word husband is an agricultural term (e.g., husbandman).
Related to marriage, are you a gardener or a consumer? If you are a consumer, you are most likely impatient and frustrated with your spouse’s problems. You take no responsibility to do what you can to nurture your spouse or redeem the situation. You probably think you might have made a mistake.
If you are a gardener, you see the problems in your spouse but view them much differently from a consumer. You are optimistic about them getting better because you are proactive and positive. Your caring behavior gives your spouse the encouragement and loving atmosphere needed to get better. Also, your prayers and obedience become God’s tools for redeeming your spouse and making him or her into the person God intended.
Talk It Out | Has your attitude toward your spouse been that of a gardener or a consumer? Identify attitudes and tendencies you would like to change, and talk about how to follow through on those changes.
Walk It Out | Buy a package of seeds and plant them (in a container indoors if necessary). As you watch the seeds sprout and grow into healthy plants, think about the positive results of nurturing care and how that applies to your marriage.
Created about 1 year ago