Blog posts that provide encouragement for marriage and family success.

Watering the Marital Garden

Today begins the first of a five-part series on improving our marital communication.

What does watering our (marital) garden look like? Well, most of the tips I’ll be sharing with you on this website are watering strategies. For now, let’s boil it down to kindness, forgiveness, humor...and kissing!

Do more of these every day and you’ll be watering your garden regularly.

I enjoy listening to audiobooks when I’m walking with my dogs. We usually do 2-3 miles so I have 40-60 minutes to listen. I generally mix up fiction and nonfiction. This week I’m listening to Knit Together by Debbie Macomber. She retells a great story she heard from her pastor. The punchline is that the pastor says that in marriage the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence - it’s greener when it’s watered.

This struck me as a fantastically simple truth! It's true that we often look at other people or other relationships and think they must be better than ours. It’s far too easy to be drawn in by the public view of people, especially if you are on social media! Everyone puts their best face for the public to see - you know, the “highlight reel.” We rarely see dirty laundry, bowls with stuck-on oatmeal, mom without makeup, and hair looking like a birds’ nest. So it’s easy to think that “their” lives must be better than ours. If we had a kitchen like that - husband that sends us flowers - kids that pick up after themselves - more money - more time at home - more of anything - then our lives would be better and we wouldn’t have this constant companion of dissatisfaction.

Yes, the truth of watering the grass we have is sublime. I was listening to the radio the other day and one of those little “better living” segments came on. The host was discussing the feeling of being married to the wrong person. He said if this is the person we married, she/he’s the right one. Even if you seem incompatible now. You made a commitment to honor and cherish the person forever so God expects you to keep that commitment. The only way we can keep that commitment is to water it. Daily. Sometimes multiple times each day.

Next post we'll talk about watering with kindness. In the meantime, be thinking about the various ways you might water the garden of your marriage.