Tending the flowerbed

The following is taken from an article I wrote for http://www.renewingromance.co.uk/:

Think of your relationship like a flowerbed. When you plant it, you spend time tending it and watering it until it grows and blooms. It’s easy to make the mistake, once it’s blooming, of not tending to it so much but, once it is in full bloom though, you still need to keep watering and weeding it or it will get dry and choked by the weeds and will start to wither.

Get your watering can out and your gardening gloves on and start tending that flower. It may be hard, messy work at first but a little dedication will result in a thing of beauty growing again.

Then…. keep tending it. It only takes a little work to keep that flowerbed healthy!

I was relating this specifically to the romance in our marriages. When we first fall in love, we do things that surprise even ourselves to feed our relationship and make our romance and love bloom like the most beautiful flowerbed.

Then, over time, we slowly stop working so hard at it and can, eventually, let it go to ruin. We can get to the stage where we don’t to anything at all to keep our romance alive and then end up blaming our spouse for the problems in our relationship.

If we’re not careful, the end result of this can be a total breakdown in our marriage and it can even go as far as divorce.

Obviously there are many other reasons for divorce, but many of them would be solved if we just spent a little more time preferring our spouse and giving them the place in our lives that they deserve.

I don’t think I had quite made the connection  with how that is so true in our relationship with God, until someone in our evangelism class was talking about it the other day.

When we first become Christians, we are full of zeal and enthusiasm and can’t get enough reading our bible, talking to God and spending time with other Christians.

Over time, that enthusiasm fades and we gradually slip into a place where we do almost nothing to maintain our relationship with God. We don’t read our bibles, rarely pray, don’t spend much time with other Christians and just don’t make God a high priority in our lives.

Eventually, for many, this leads to a state of virtual ‘divorce’ from God.

Are you in that state, or heading there? Do you want your relationship with God to be better than it is?

Relationships take work – from both sides.

God is willing to put the effort in. Are you?