What can you add to your marriage that will make it blossom with beauty?
In Part 1 of this post, we looked at ways to spruce up your “marriage garden” by removing dead things, pulling out the weeds and pruning where needed, all topics about what needs to go. I hope you took the time to talk together about where your marriage might need a bit of rejuvenation. If not, make plans to have such a conversation in the next few days.
Today we will consider ways to enhance your marriage garden to make it as beautiful as it can be.
Fertilize and Overseed
Just like soil gets depleted and needs to have fertilizer added, and grass tends to thin out and needs overseeding to stay full and healthy, your marriage needs a bit of regular reinforcement as well.
Where are the depleted areas of your marriage? What can you add to your marriage that will help to make it strong and beautiful for the long haul? Where are you stuck? What areas has the Lord shown you where there is the opportunity for more growth and beauty? What are the negative conversations that you have over and over again but never seem to resolve?
It could be that some amendments need to be added to the soil of your marriage to address these problems.
Is there a book or course you could take that might take your relationship to the next level? (Check out my new Bookshelf page.) Do you need to learn how to communicate better as a couple? Do you need the input from another couple to help you get past persistent problems? Do you need counseling or the perspective of a pastoral staff? Do you need to work on making positive changes to the atmosphere of your marriage? (See tips on how to do this in a post I did for Hope at Home called You Can Change the Weather.)
There are lots of resources available to help strengthen and invigorate your marriage. Make a joint game-plan for what you will do to enable your marriage to flourish more fully. If the changes seem too big in some areas, discuss what small steps you can take to start in the right direction.
For me, putting in new flowers and plants is the fun part of springtime gardening. I enjoy strolling through the gardening center and picking out beautiful or unusual items to plant.
When you step back and look at the overall garden of your marriage, think about what could be added the bring out the full beauty of your relationship? Is there a marriage ministry in your church you could join (or start)? Are there a few other couples with good marriages you could connect with and maybe do a book study together?
Think and talk about what new experiences you want to enjoy together. Are there romantic places you’d like to see together? Is there something new you’d like to try in the bedroom? Is there a non-marriage related ministry that you have a passion for and could invest in as a couple? It’s important to regularly dream together and to imagine what the future of your marriage could look like. Just as important is to make a plan for bringing your dreams into reality.
Obviously, you should be careful not to put too many new plants into your marriage garden at once. Think about what would enhance the landscaping that’s already established without crowding out what is already well-established. I’m assuming you have already done your pruning work and have dug out the dead stuff to make room for these new things.
Understand the Seasons
I’ll wrap up this garden metaphor by saying that, like a with physical garden, you have to be aware of the seasons. Things like pruning, planting, and fertilizing need to be done at the right time in order to produce the best results. As your work on your marriage garden, prayerfully take into account the season your marriage is in. Times of stress or struggle may not be the best time to do major renovation work on your marriage. Or it may be just the time.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and your spouse into taking the right steps at the right time. He is for your marriage and eager to lead you in ways that make your marriage blossom like a beautiful garden.
I’ve just updated the Resources section of my website. There you will find my Bookshelf with reading recommendations as well as a list of my Recommended Blogs. If you’re looking for something to reinforce and enhance your marriage, these two resource lists will give you lots of ideas.
And of course, there’s no better place to start adding beauty to your marriage than by reading my new best selling Kindle book, The Path of Intimacy, which is now also available in paperback. Check out the Introduction for free.