Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sow Generously--Reap Bountifully

By Becki Robinson
Greene County Marriage Resources Coordinator
(Submitted to Xenia-Gazette)

I had a favorite plant that just died recently. It was a beautiful purple “butterfly” shamrock. Actually it was a purple Oxalis Triangularis. I am not really good with plants but I had carefully tended this plant for nearly a year. Then we went on vacation. It was only for a week and I thought that my plant would be fine. It wasn’t. Now my purple flowerpot (it matched the plant) is empty. I have been trying to revive it, hoping that somewhere under the soil there is still a spark of life but so far my plant still appears to be lifeless.

As much as I am grieving over the death of my plant, I know what killed it….my neglect. I had discovered the basic principle of reaping and sowing. “A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7) Plants are living organisms that require sunlight, air, water, and nutrition. When one of these is not present the plant will die. It’s that simple. If I want to be able to continue to enjoy the beauty of my purple butterfly shamrock, I have to be willing to invest my time, attention and resources consistently.

About the same time that my plant died, my husband, Rex and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. As I looked back over the past thirty years, I realized something about marriage. The relationship of marriage is a lot like my plant. Marriage is not an institution but a living covenant. The marriage covenant requires a living man and a living woman. For the relationship of marriage to thrive, it must be nurtured just like my plant. For a marriage to grow and endure through the years, both the husband and the wife must be willing to invest their time, attention and resources consistently.

However, too often, our marriages are taken for granted. We begin to neglect this living relationship. Not necessarily on purpose, but the relationship seems to be going along fine and life is busy. We begin to focus our time, energy and resources on our careers, our children or ourselves. Then one day we wake up and discover that, like my plant, our marriage has begun to wilt or perhaps even die. The good news is that unlike my plant, a marriage can be revived when we begin to reinvest our time, attention and resources consistently and purposefully.

My question for you today is: Are you sowing into your marriage? Whether you are just beginning your marriage or celebrating your 30th anniversary you need to be nurturing your relationship. Whether you consider your marriage to be thriving and healthy or struggling and gasping for life, you need to be sowing into this vital union. Second Corinthians 9:6 says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. If you take the time to sow generously into your marriage you will reap a bountiful harvest.

The Marriage Resource Center has two upcoming opportunities for you to sow into your marriage. Our RINGS marriage seminar will be offered on Saturday, August 21st from 8:45am to 5:00pm at Emmanuel Baptist Church. Our marriage retreat will be held on September 10th and 11th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Beavercreek. The retreat, First Comes Love Then Comes Money, will feature The Money Couple. For more information or to register for these opportunities please visit our website at .

Plants are easy to replace; marriages are not. I encourage you to recommit yourself to investing your time, attention and resources into this awe-inspiring relationship of marriage. Sow generously and be prepared to reap an abundant harvest.