Two years ago, we purchased a repo home which had been abandoned about five years before that. The original home’s owner was very meticulous, and the yard and landscaping had been very well maintained. Flower beds were carefully planted and tended, beautiful dogwood trees spaced evenly around the yard, with some myrtle trees sculpted like mushrooms. There was even a little kidney-shaped pond by the bottom step of the back patio. We’re told that at one time, it was one of the most beautiful yards in the entire area.
But the meticulous owner finally passed away, and his home fell to a yard butcher. The little pond became muck, beautiful dogwood trees were cut down, whole flower beds ripped out, and even the sprinkler heads were uncerimoniously mowed down.
Then something happened, and the house was abandoned. A water leak, a ruined floor, walls turned to mush and then removed, and a partial clean-up left it in deperate condition. And that was just the inside. The yard suffered as well.
In order to keep the whole neighborhood from going downhill, Mr. Bill the neighbor faithfully mowed the front yard. When we bought the house, the flower beds were totally overrun, the bushes were a tangle, and there were gaping holes where stumps of dogwoods quietly rotted away. We had a big job to do.
A year later, after many sweat-hours, 5 stitches, and a few tears, I sat on our back patio enjoying the fresh evening summer breeze. The cardinal who lived in one of the newly-shorn bushes by the patio was chirping goodnight as the shadows lengthened in the small grove of trees beyond the neatly mowed yard. I watched as the bat came out of the forest and began his erratic flapping in the darkening sky, and sighed with contentment listening to the spring peepers and their chorus in the sweet little pond.
It had been a big commitment, and a lot of work, but it was worth it.
I thought about my life. Buying a home wasn’t the only big thing I’ve ever done. Isn’t marriage an even larger one?
Having a Happy Marriage requires commitment. Your relationship doesn’t end the moment you say “I Do.” In fact, it’s just beginning.
Having a Happy Marriage requires work. Now we need to remember, work is a good thing! Some people say that work is part of the curse in Genesis, but Remember that Adam was created to “dress and to keep” the garden. It was his job, his responsability. And woman was created to be a help meet (or fit – a helper who is perfectly fitted for the job) to the man. So work is not bad. Work is your life’s calling, so let’s work on our marriages.
Having a Happy Marriage requires growing closer to God. Have you ever heard of a love triangle? Well, here’s a different sort of one: Imagine a triangle with God at the top, and the husband and wife on each side of the bottom. As the husband and wife get closer to God, they naturally get closer to each other. I heard that illustration many years ago, even before I was married. My husband and I have just had our thirty-first anniversary, and I found it to be absolutely true!
A better marriage = HOPE, and hope is a beautiful thing.
A happy marriage is like a dogwood blooming in the spring, a neatly manicured lawn, or a beautiful little shimmering pool. It may take commitment and work, but it’s well worth the effort.