Monday, February 20, 2012

Intentional Marriage - You Reap What You Sow

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:7

We reap what we sow. It’s purely common sense. This principle relates to every area of our lives – if we eat tons of unhealthy food (sow junk food) we will be overweight and miserable (the harvest of junk food). If we are sarcastic with our children and easily exasperated with them (sowing seeds of bad attitudes) we will have disrespectful, sassy children (the harvest of a bad example).

I am so grateful for the teachers and mentors in my life. Recently, one of my teachers talked about how we can misname harvest in our lives for circumstances. In marriage we can say, “we’ve grown apart.” But that is not a circumstance of our marriage, it is a harvest of sowing very little seeds of quality time together. “We’re so busy with the children right now, we almost live like roommates!” That is not a circumstance of having children, it is the harvest of not making your spouse your priority above the children.

We are constantly sowing seeds into our marriage, whether we intend to or not. Each choice we make is a seed we’re planting. How we greet our spouse in the morning, how we respond to an unkind word, the expression on our face, how we speak of our spouse in public, surprising our spouse with a special date night, leaving our spouse their favorite snack on the seat of their car… all of these things are seeds that we sow into our marriage and in due time, they will yield a harvest – some good, some not so good.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
2 Corinthians 9:6

This verse is very convicting to me. Sow generously! I know that I want to reap a bountiful harvest in my marriage, but a bountiful harvest requires a lot of work – and not just one day of work, but a lifetime of it! The process of farming is simple, yet very involved and a lot of consistent work. The soil must be properly prepared, the seeds planted at a specific time, the ground nurtured and cared for so that the seeds have a healthy environment to grow in. Rocks, weeds, animals and pests must be removed daily so that they don’t kill the seeds that have been planted. Once the seeds start to grow, some need to be pruned to stay healthy. There is a lot involved in the process of growing things, but if we stay committed, we will reap a wonderful, healthy harvest in time.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

God will not be mocked! We will not sow selfishness and discontentment and reap a joyful, healthy marriage. God will not be mocked.

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:8

As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
Job 4:8

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:18

Last week my husband and I went away for 3 days together to the central coast of California. We stayed at a precious little Inn on the ocean with a wonderful patio where we sat for hours, cuddled on a love seat, watching the waves and seagulls.

Our Inn packed us a picnic breakfast each morning that we took on a walk
and stopped to enjoy along the sea.

During our days we went antiquing (my favorite), wine tasting (his favorite), olive oil tasting, and finished with some amazing meals. It was a wonderful time of sowing good seeds into our souls and our marriage. On our last day, I sat in the love seat and looked through the guest book journal that was in our room. I started to cry as I skimmed through entry after entry of couples who shared how rejuvenating their time was there. They laughed, had great conversations, cuddled, sat quietly… I could sense the rest in their words and I could feel the life giving memories they made. Seeds were sown. As I wrote my own entry, I included the passage that we all reap what we sow and I knew we would reap an abundant harvest from the seeds we sowed at that little Inn.

What do you want to get out of your marriage? What do you want to harvest down the road? What can you be planting now that will yield that crop? Remember, every choice you make with your words and your time are seeds you are sowing. Every dollar you spend, every place you go, every conversation you have are seeds you are sowing. Make a choice today to sow seeds into your marriage to please God and watch the fruit grow!

CHALLENGE: What are you currently harvesting in your marriage? Take some time to think about what you want to harvest out of your marriage and make a decision to plant seeds that will yield that harvest. Remember that hard work lies ahead and you won’t see the fruit of those seeds for some time, but don’t give up! God promises that at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up!

This will be my last Intentional Marriage post for awhile. I pray that God richly blesses your marraige and protects it from the enemy. 
Next week I’m going to start a series on Monday where I’ll be sharing
a personal journey I’m currently on.
I hope you’ll join me!
Happy Monday!

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