As I was sitting outside the other day, the sun was shining and I was watching my husband toil away at the yard work he enjoys so much. In a short time, the yard was green; freshly cut and the lines were sharp and crisp. It looked great from where I was sitting but at a closer look, the grass was not as perfect at it appeared. There were weeds scattered everywhere and they really disturb the beauty of all the hard work my husband had done!
The weeds got me thinking about the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13.
What if Jesus was speaking to a group of married people and, if so, how does this relate to marriage?
Matthew 13:24 Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared."
Jesus was not speaking of a physical “sleep”, but about the spiritual slumber that most of us walk in. So many of us are busy being part of this world (working, shopping, cooking meals or raising children) that we forget to spend time with Jesus. As Mark and I lived in this world with all of its demands, we fell into a deep spiritual slumber and the enemy was ready to show up. He first planted seeds of discontentment and selfishness, but they quickly grew into monster sized weeds; alcoholism and adultery.
Our field, first seeded with Love, was invaded by weeds while we were sleeping!
In Matthew 13:28, we read: “An enemy did this," he replied.
The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?"
“No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”
Too often, you remain oblivious to the weeds until they have invaded your field and they begin to choke out the love. In response, you quickly begin pulling them out. You pull and pull at them! You dig and dig to get to the root! You just want them gone, but is this what Jesus would tell us to do?
Clearly not! He explains that the wheat (love) and the weeds grow intertwined with each other, and in your efforts, you are pulling out more than the weeds. Often, your attempts to “de-weed” your marriage are stripping your field of wheat (love) and before you know it, your field is completely empty!
What is the answer for a marriage filled with weeds, according to Jesus? I don’t have the exact answer and I can’t speak specifically to your marriage or situation but here are a few pointers pulled from the pages of Matthew…..
#1 Grow. Your love and the weeds must be allowed to “grow” together! This is necessary to avoid pulling out that which is good in your marriage. You will have to stay focused on the love not the weeds and God will require your complete commitment to His plan for the harvest!
#2 Time. Jesus determines the time for your harvest. Your job is to continue caring for the field, despite the weeds. Continue treating your spouse as God expects….with love and respect.
#3 Until. To allow both the weeds and the love to grow, side by side, you must believe what Jesus said …. His words were “until the harvest” Not maybe, not possibly, but UNTIL! It is only a matter of time before HE will call for your harvest!
#4 Expect hard work. Jesus tells us that the path leading to the harvest is paved an additional step. You have to deal with the weeds first! This step will be more about dealing with your own weeds and building your own faith than correcting your spouse’s habits. Your spouse will be traveling on their path and in time, they will have to deal with their own weeds!!
#5 Then. Only after you have you have put in the time and energy caring for the field, having waited on Jesus and are finished putting the weeds at the foot of the cross, do you get to bring your harvest into His barns.
For me and my marriage, Jesus called in the harvester once I was finished dealing with my biggest weed -my desire to control every aspect of my life. As I was working with God, God was working on Mark.
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