One great experience I have had in life is completing a marathon. After years of training and a a few failed attempts, in 2011 I ran in the inaugural Kobe Marathon.  It took longer and was harder than I expected, but the final 400 meters were amazing. I felt my heart might burst with joy. When I crossed the line, it was pure euphoria. I did it! As tired as my body was, my spirit was soaring!

But what if I had got to the finish line and then thought, “I’ve got so much to do. Work is busy. My family needs me. Forget it, I don’t need to cross the line.” Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? After all the time spent working towards the goal, why would I not cross the finish line and enjoy the victory?

Truth be told, this is the way many couples live their married lives. They never celebrate victories. They rarely enjoy themselves. Let me explain it this way…

Marriage is like a garden. There are four basic principles to having a great garden.

  1. Prepare your soil for planting. Make sure it has a correct balance of nutrients. Choose the seeds to grow the fruits and vegetables that you want to eat.
  2. Care for your garden. Make sure it has enough water, sun and fertilizer.
  3. Protect your garden. Don’t let bugs, weeds and overgrowth cause damage.
  4. Harvest. Have a feast! Share with others! Enjoy!

You may be thinking, “Is that fourth step necessary to state?” After all, who would spend all that time working in a garden and not eat from the harvest? I think most people would agree.

Marriage is like a garden. Just like a garden, it takes hard work. It has a foundation of values, into which we plant our goals and dreams. It requires care and feeding so that our partnership grows. A marriage requires protection so that our partnership is not damaged. And after all the hard work, there is a harvest.

However, I think too many couples spend all their time and energy on work and obligations, and then never get around to enjoying their marriage. Even when the harvest is right before their eyes, like delicious fruit on a vine, they never bother to enjoy it! What a shame!

Of course no one would tend a garden only to leave fruit rotting on the vine. Why do some couples never ‘enjoy’ their marriage. This must stop!

Here are three reasons why you need to have a harvest in your marriage.

  1. Doing so will refresh your hearts and souls. You need to enjoy the blessings of achieving your goals.
  2. If you have children, they need to see a healthy example of partnership and enjoy being a family. This will especially help them in the future if they marry.
  3. The community of people around you are impacted by your relationship. Neighbors, co-workers, schools, all will be blessed by your partnership.

We’ll talk about these points over the coming weeks. For now, here is one question to think about. Are you enjoying a harvest in your marriage? 

Don’t get to the end of the race and not cross the finish line. Don’t leave fruit on the vine. Don’t fail to enjoy your marriage.

It is time for a harvest!

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