A handful of years ago I decided to plant my very first garden. I was newly divorced at the time, and living in a 500 s.f. apartment. It was so little I had to go outside to change my mind. HA! Despite that, the place had a huge yard and a wonderful spot for a garden. Anticipation coursed through my heart as I plotted and planned. I mapped out every possible angle even drew little carrots and onions up the rows. Anxious to get started, I started the project early with some string bean seeds. Seeds are cheaper, right. So I went to the store and bought the little soil starts and planted those beans in little cups. I watered, (probably over-watered) sat them in my tiny bedroom window and watched. Every night I would pray for those beans. For weeks, I’d race home from work and look in their tiny dishes and wait. Nothing was happening. A few more weeks went by and still, nothing.
Finally, in total frustration, I asked the expert–my mother. She said sweetly, “Terri, you need to put them in direct sun, this window is under your back patio how were they ever going to grow?” We had a good chuckle over it because I was sure that ambient light was helping, but it was direct sunlight they needed. Beans are sun-hungry lil’ darlings. It seems so obvious now, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Those beans were never going to grow no matter how much I prayed and begged God to make them grow, because of missing the main ingredient, sunshine.
Relationships are like string beans.
- Relationships need the right soil, called God’s Word. Agape is the nutrient that comes from the soil of God’s Word. Agape is not an emotional decision, it is a freewill choice. You choose to be kind and patient, even when someone doesn’t deserve it. The master gardener can help you in any area you need it, from getting rid of fear, or jealousy to determining the right mate. Just like in the green house fertilizer adds nitrates to the soil, God can add nutrients through his word to your love life.
- Relationships need the full sun. Like string beans need time in the direct sun, relationships need lots of one-on-one time. Time together builds trust, respect and friendship. Have you ever heard, “I met my soul-mate.” You’re soul is your personality, your likes and dislikes, your soul mate means that you share those quirks with another human being out there. Exciting huh!
- Relationships need regular watering. The water of relationships is communication! You’re love life is yours. It’s what you make it. But I guarantee that it will improve when you have regular fellowship with each other. I’m not talking about the coordinating your calender kind, I’m talking full-fellowship. This is the person of all the people, you should be able to talk to. So have a heart to heart talk, and do it regularly.
- Relationships need pruning. On a plant, if there is a dying part the plant works to make the sick part better until it drains completely and dies. It’s recommended to prune the sick part and let the plant concentrate its energy back on the root system and new growth. In relationships sometimes there is too much time and energy being poured into non-fruit bearing activities. Activities that divide you as a couple or cause you to fight. I say, prune it, and fast. God can help you identify these and work through them as they come up and even before they come up.
- Relationships need transplanting. Sometimes when you are dating you realize the inevitable is going to happen or needs to happen. Girls… SAVE YOUR BEANS and transplant your heart back into God’s garden. Or if you are married and realize you accidentally got yourself surrounded by weeds (toxic people) that are sucking the life from you, it’s time for a transplant. Then get right back to the business of growing those beans.