Blogging? Huh? What is this?
What are all these buttons? What are stats?
Pages, links, categories, appearance, font, keyboard…….
it’s been so long. I’m sorry little blog. I’m so sorry. And readers, I’ve been here but not here. Blogging is hard. It really is. I don’t think most people know how much time goes into putting together a blog post. I have had about 15 subjects, tons of notes written, conversations about topics, convictions, desires, dreams, visions, goals…….so much going on about what to write and I have written nothing. It feels overwhelming to write because I want to write, but I want it to be worth it. And I want it to be good. So let’s give this a whirl…..
Today is Wednesday and for the past few months I have tried to occasionally post for Wifey Wednesday along with other bloggers on the net. My marriage is kind of a big deal. Not because we’re so awesome at being married but because we truly believe it is our number one most important earthly relationship. And it literally encompasses my entire life. So ya, I talk about marriage a lot.
Lately I have been chatting with friends and family about their marriages, relationships and the struggles we all inevitably have. I was struck last week with that mind-blowing knowledge that we are now THAT couple. The one that others come to for advice. The ones who have been around the longest in some circles. We are the couple with history and longevity. And that feels weird. We still fight about the same stuff so how in the world can we help others who fight about the same stuff?
Here’s the secret: we plant, we tend, we wait and we harvest. And some years…..we summer fallow. Your brains just broke, right? You’re wondering if I made a typo or if I’m drunk or what the heck I’m talking about, right? Bear with me.
I 100% believe in the principle of sowing and reaping. I believe that whether you believe in the Bible, in morality, in right and wrong, in evolution or regeneration or any form of spirituality, our world is completely founded on certain principles which cannot be avoided. Take gravity for example. Gravity is a scientific principle but even if you don’t understand the science of it or know that it is science, you know that if you jump off a bridge, you are going to fall into the river below. You know it without doing it.
Planting seeds- sowing- is a principle. You cannot plant seeds without expecting some sort of growth. You cannot plant corn seeds and expect potatoes to grow. If you plant corn, then corn will grow. But planting is more than just seeds. Planting involves soil, rain, sun, fertilizer and tending to the weeds that will grow too. Planting is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t a one time effort. In order to reap or harvest, you have to plant. And then you will plant again the next year, and the next and the next. Planting and harvesting takes planning, work and time. There is no other way. Without planning, work and time your seed is worthless and wasted.
This is marriage: planning, seeds, work, time and harvest.
You can plan to get married for years. You can plan your wedding, your dress, the food. You can plan out who you want to marry and what your kids will look like. You can plan where you’ll live and where you’ll work but without the seeds……your plan will fail.
I see couples do this a lot. They plan and they buy seeds. But they haven’t got a clue how to grow a garden. You want to know how to grow a good solid relationship? Talk to a farmer. I’m serious. Find a farmer; go have coffee on coffee row of your nearest small town on a weekday morning and find out how long they’ve been at it. Ask them how many years it took them to grow a bumper crop. Ask them how many years out of the last 20 they lost more than they made. And ask them why they keep going back year after year. The Farmer knows…….it takes seed but then it takes work and patience. Work and time. And it takes a lot of knowledge about the kind of seeds you’re planting and what kind of soil you have to work with.
I could probably write a book on how the principle of sowing and reaping applies to marriages and relationships. You can’t harvest what you haven’t planted.
Let me say that again: YOU CANNOT HARVEST WHAT YOU DID NOT PLANT.
Men: Do you want a woman who drops everything when you walk in the door after a long day? You cannot have what you did not plant. If you want tender love, plant tender love. Tender words, tender thoughts, tender gifts and tender touch.
If you want respect, you need to sow respect.
If you want humour, plant humour.
If you want a joyful home, be joyful. Don’t be angry and pouty.
If you want to have dinner at the table every night, help get it on the table every night.
If you want the dishes done, help do the dishes.
If you want a rested wife, let her have a nap.
If you want happy, content children then spend time making them happy and content.
If you want to feel loved, then give love.
If you want him to be romantic, then show him what romance is.
You see, we all want these things but so often we make our spouse responsible to do it all. We put all of the pressure on the other person to make it happen. But YOU need to be the person YOU want to be with.
Can you understand that? All of the things you want are things that your partner wants too. But each of you is responsible to plant the seeds. You cannot harvest what you haven’t planted.
Earlier I mentioned summer fallow. For those who don’t understand farming this may be a foreign concept but you will be surprised to know that farmers often leave a field unplanted for a season or two. It can seem counter productive especially when land is at a premium and the bills keep piling up. Why would anyone want to forfeit an entire year’s earnings? Because sometimes the soil needs a rest. Planting and working the soil takes its toll. After a while the land can stop producing bumper crops. It can even stop producing half-decent crops. The farmer knows that the soil needs a break. I don’t want you thinking that this means that separation in marriage is acceptable or even healthy. But I will say this: taking a break from planting the same crops, doing the same things, having the same plan year after year after year can drain a marriage. Just like farmland, marriages need a change. Marriages need new life. Marriages need a chance to try something new. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore and you’re not seeing the same harvest that you once were, it’s time to make a new plan. New goals. New dreams. New visions.
I remember after our 4th baby was born and we knew we were done having kids, there was a bit of fear that set in. What’s next? Of course, it took a few years to get out of diapers, toddlers and preschoolers but soon we had 4 kids in school and no babies in the house. All of the sleepless nights, physical exhaustion, needy babies was gone. It is hard to go from one way of operating a household to something completely opposite. From demanding babies to independent almost-adults. It’s different. And it’s where a lot of people suddenly stop farming. They stop planting seeds. They stop tending the crop. They stop fertilizing. They stop investigating new techniques. They stop GROWING.
You can NEVER EVER EVER stop growing in your marriage. You can never stop. You can change the way you grow. You can try out new techniques(that’s the fun part! ). You can even get new equipment and buy a bigger farm but you can never stop growing. Couples who stop growing, stop being couples. Are you getting this? Is this too much? Because I can go on and on about this. The number one reason why couples split up, give up and get divorced is because they stopped planting, stopped growing, stopped harvesting and stopped planning what happens next.
You don’t get married, pull up a chair and say “hey, we arrived, we’re done planting”. No, you’re just getting started.
You get what you plant. If you plant nothing, you will get nothing in return. Ask a farmer.
7-8 What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.