Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Lessons on Marriage from the Garden

on February 18, 2013

We had a very mild winter here in Southeast Texas, and Spring is creeping in. Lots of early blooms are out– and the weeds are beginning to wake up too. Our neighborhood is called “Enchanted Forest” and before Hurricane Rita, our yard was full of beautiful, mature oak trees. (Now we have a few tall skinny ones left.) Part of having a “forested” yard is that very hardy vines grow alongside those trees, and when you plant shrubs, the vines continue to grow up among them. They are not vulnerable to Round-Up and most foliar weed killers- you have to dig them out, and many times the bulb is WAAAAAYY down deep.

Cross vine is one of our worst invasive vines. When you let it go too long, it will completely strangle a poor azalea bush.


When I finally got around to rescuing this pitiful bush, look at all that came up: there was lots more growing underground that you couldn’t see. Bigger than the bush it had covered up.


Can you guess where this is headed?

This is what a single little crossvine sprig looks like: Innocent enough, right?


But look what’s lurking below: Look very closely to see the leaves and visible growth: Most of it is below ground.


Kelly’s post at Exceptionalistic immediately came to mind when I pulled this rampant weed up by the roots.

Here’s the deal: Lots of time, I counsel you to overlook things. After all, “Love covers a multitude of sins,” (1 Peter 4:8) and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7). However, you must also LET THEM GO. (Think of hanging the toilet paper the wrong way, or not at all, kicking the sheets out, procrastinating, etc…) If the issue so serious that you can’t let it go, and it interferes with your feelings for your spouse, it needs to be dealt with. Maybe it’s the symptom of a deeper problem- you resent his golf days with his friends not because you don’t want him to spend time with his friends, but you feel neglected. Or maybe there is a lack of transparency in the relationship that shows itself in tiny, unimportant little ways. In these days of separate Facebook accounts, telephones, the all-important “confidentiality” that the medical and insurance worlds insist on, and the blatant “porn mode” internet browsers, it would be very easy to begin to hide things from your spouse.

There are many issues in a marriage that will grow underground, like the roots of my crossvine. Left on their own, they can overtake your whole marriage and choke the life out. You must pull them up by the roots and dig out the bulb. Is it hard? Yep. Painful, tedious? You bet. Will it leave scars? Oh yes.

But our God is the God of comfort, healing, and rejuvenation. He not only gets rid of the problem; he replaces it with something better than it was before!

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
 … to comfort all who mourn,
  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61:1-3

9 responses to “Lessons on Marriage from the Garden

  1. Hi Auntie Em, I hope you come to Wedded Wednesday and link up this great article there. I think it’s a great compliment to what my post is about today. Thanks for sharing some great “seed” of wisdom!

  2. Patty Sumner says:

    Hello Auntie Em! Came to visit via Spiritual Sundays…So glad I did. What a great analogy..I have always said gardening was full of illustrations for scripture…You are so right! There are so many temptations out there…..if we give in just a little… pretty soon…..we have a garden full of weeds or we have allowed the temptation to dig in deep..takes lots of work to clean it up.. Our marriages need to remain sacred and respectful…it is better to talk it out and clean it up…fast….I am following along. I hope you will stop by and visit and follow along with me too. So happy to visit with you. Looking forward to many more visits…Blessings!

  3. I really liked the example you shared with the crossvine. That was powerful!! I have been noticing that it is easy to ignore behavior that erodes the marriage relationship (like complaining -even mild complaining that you didn’t intend on being a complaint) because your husband might not enjoy what you are saying. We accept these things and hardly think they are wrong.

    It is hard for me to imagine how it is spring in Texas. What do you call ‘winter’?? LOL!! Snow needs to be on the ground with temps under 32* 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home as I really think this will be an encouragement to other ladies.

    • Auntie Em says:

      I hope it encourages! Thank you for your encouragement of me; I appreciate it so much.
      We had a winter that was mild even by our standards! Only a few nights dropped to freezing- for us, enough snow to cover the ground is a once in 25-or-30 years occurrence! Schools shut down– people can’t drive– we just stay home and have a snow day! That’s as long as it usually lasts.

  4. christy joy says:

    Hi Auntie Em! This was a great analogy. Boy, stuff really can grow under the brush of day to day life can’t it? And spring up at the worst time. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I hope you continue to link up with us for Marriage Mondays on HWC!

  5. […] School has been out for 3 weeks and I’ve been working, working. working in my yard and garden! I’ve learned some lessons about gardening, and many of these translate to marriage really well. (If you missed the first “Lessons on Marriage from the Garden,” you can read it here.) […]

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