Scripture Texts: Mark 4:10-41; Proverbs 1
We fashion ourselves as amateur gardeners. Each year we start the seeds, care for the small sprouts and eventually plant outside. Last year as we went through the process we noticed our small sprouts were staying small, if they started at all. After many different tests and exploration of the possibilities we determined the primary reason our sprouts were struggling was the soil.
The soil you plant something in makes all the difference in the world. Jesus picks up on this when he explains the parable of the sower. The soil the seed is planted in has a direct impact on the fruitfulness of the plant in the long run.
Any marriage can become a fruitful marriage. Regardless the starting point with attention and intention, any marriage can blossom into a thing of beauty. Also every marriage, regardless of its starting point requires effort to maintain its fruitfulness. A neglected marriage, like a neglected garden, will only produce weeds if not cared for.
The nutrients of a marriage are found in a handful of ways. Time together is always needed to tend the soil of a marriage. We must always work to feed our marriage by doing things that will build strength, like devotions together. Often the greatest strengthener of a marriage are the compost seasons of life. Those challenging and messy moments that are easily mistaken for manure, are often the times that test the soil of a marriage the most. These times also have the ability to produce healthy soil that will in turn produce a fruitful marriage.
Each seed in Jesus parable had different soil to start with but each had the same potential. Each seed had a different level of effort required to thrive but each had the potential to thrive. These two things are the same with every marriage, if we are willing to tend the soil.