Seeds are quite interesting to me, because I know of no seed that resembles the plant it becomes. Not even close. When buying seeds, I purchase only based on the picture on the package. Without the picture, I have no idea of what I am buying.

This reminds me of a humorous scene in Secondhand Lions, a movie about two elderly brothers raising their young nephew. After buying seeds from a traveling salesman, the three set out to plant their own garden. Each row is labeled for the seed planted there.

One day, the three are tending to the garden when the nephew realizes that all the plants look the same. He begins to question what is in each row, and it gradually dawns on all that each row is planted with only corn. “All those seeds did look alike, come to think of it,” says one brother. They had been swindled by the salesman, and were left with a promise of nothing but corn!

In a marriage, seeds are the goals, expectations and desires we have. They are the answer to the question ‘what do you want from your marriage?’ We sow what we want to reap. So begin by asking one another what kind of harvest you want.

If we are not intentional to define goals, we end up with a ‘garden of only corn.’ Wonderful as corn is, I suspect most of us do not want to eat it all day, every day.

Goals for a marriage can be as varied as seeds in a garden. Many marriages may have common goals, yet overall, each marriage will hold its own unique mix.

Here are the goals that my wife and I have for our marriage. These are not listed in an order of importance, and the number of goals (ten for us) is not a magical number.

  1. Love and acceptance.
  2. Mutual respect.
  3. Well-being. (Spiritual, emotional, physical.)
  4. Forgiveness and grace.
  5. Sex.
  6. Have a family.
  7. Safety. (No DV)
  8. Joy and fun.
  9. Generosity. (Time, money.)
  10. Communication.

While discussing our goals, my wife and I found adding the adjective ‘healthy’ to each goal  is beneficial. “You are a jerk and I hate you,” may be communication, but saying so (even if you feel that way) would be of little benefit in the midst of a disagreement. Therefore, we have a goal of healthy communication. Likewise, healthy sex is sex that respects and fulfills the needs of each partner. Otherwise, sex can become shallow and self-serving.

When planning a garden, you think about what you want to harvest. If you plant cucumber  seeds, no amount of watering, weeding and wishing will give you tomatoes. If all you plant is corn, corn is all you’ll get. Gardeners, from pros to amateurs, give special attention to what they plant because they want a harvest.

Likewise, in marriage, we need to select seeds for a harvest. Start with the end in mind. We should be able to identify goals and expectations and know what we want to receive from the relationship. As a couple, do you know what you want from your marriage?

The movie Auntie Mame is the story of a woman raising her orphaned nephew. In one scene, in response to her secretary’s reluctance to make the most of life, Mame declares, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”  People are at then banquet, but no one is eating.

The same can be said of marriage! Marriage is a banquet, a feast for body, soul and mind! Yet most people have no idea what they want from it. It is like standing in a buffet line, unable to make up one’s mind on what to eat, and then settling for a plate of burnt toast. No!

What do you want from your marriage partnership? “I don’t know,” is not an acceptable answer! Why not take a few minutes right now to write down some of your ideas. Then share your ideas with your partner.

Don’t settle for anything other than a banquet feast when it comes to your marriage!

Next: No dumb answers! MarriageFooter