I don’t like bugs very much. When I run into one on the sidewalk, I look for a way around without getting to close. But when bugs come into my garden, I know that I cannot ignore them. If I ignore them, they will eat my fruit.

Today we will talk about unhealthy relationships that can steal the fruit of our marriage partnership.

Just like we need to protect our garden from bugs and animals that will eat the fruit, we also need to protect our marriage partnership.

For example…

‘Ladies, your girlfriends call and invite you to get together for coffee. After ordering and talking about the kids, the real discussion begins. Everyone begins lamenting on how often husbands aren’t home, how unhelpful they are around the house, and how selfish they can be. Nothing good is said about husbands, but everyone feels good because at least no one else is happy about their marriage.’

‘Guys, you are never home because you spend too much time at work. (By the way, the economic bubble burst in 1988. ‘Nomi-cation’ (a word combing the Japanese word ‘to drink’ and the English word ‘communication’, and symbolizes co-workers drinking together to facilitate communication and relationships) hasn’t improved the economy. Stop using it as an excuse to stay out late and get drunk.) When you aren’t working, you don’t help around the house and you only think of yourself. You spend too much time looking at porn, and then lament that sex with your wife is no longer satisfying.’

This way of speaking may be too strong. But, speaking plainly, unhealthy relationships will ruin your marriage harvest.

“Wait a minute! Are you saying that my friends are harmful? Or that my work is harmful?”, I think some of you are asking.

Yes, I am. When friends and work come between you and your partner, then they are harmful. I am not saying ‘all’ friends and work are bad. I am saying unhealthy relationships will destroy a marriage.

Meeting with friends is good, but spending the entire time criticizing your spouse is harmful. Even if you never say anything directly to your partner, your heart will develop a critical attitude. Your attitude will affect your behavior toward your partner, and even if you say nothing, they will ‘hear’ you.

Working hard is good, but spending all day at work to prove you are a hard-worker, and then having no energy or time left to give your spouse and children, is wrong. Work hard, yes. But don’t believe that sacrificing time with your partner and family for the sake of work is noble. Doing so will rob you of a healthy marriage partnership. And that is not noble.

And men, no matter how often it’s recommended, looking at porn will never help you to have great sex with your wife. Stop looking now. Your wife deserves to be your sole desire. Your children deserve your wife to be your sole desire. Porn destroys great sex.

Do you have unhealthy relationships coming between you and your partner? The examples above are common, but there are also many others. The first step to getting rid of an unhealthy relationship is to recognize that it is unhealthy. If you discover one, please don’t despair. Be brave. Share it with your partner. (Follow the guidelines.) Then talk about what you can change to make the relationship healthy.

I want every marriage partnership to be healthy and full of joy. Let’s get rid of pests that get in the way. Let’s seek a great harvest.

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