Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6.7-9
I was at an event recently where a 91-year old man gave the keynote address. Boy, I hope I look as good as him when I’m that age. He was articulate, quick-witted, and gentle, even though what he said was highly convicting.
His topic came from a passage in the Bible – Galatians 6.7-9. This passage fueled the six points of his message. Although he didn’t apply them specifically to marriage, I’m going to. You reap what you sow. This seems highly obvious. If you plant a sunflower seed do you get an oak tree? Yet, how many of us fail to consider this simple law of nature and how it applies to the words or deeds we sow into our marriage. Are you sowing bitterness and expecting affection to result? Think again.
- You reap more than you sow. Not only does the type of seed you sow dictate the product that results, it multiplies. A little bit of ungratefulness yields a lot of hesitation on your spouse’s part to keep providing the support they do. Failing to keep your word one time creates a huge chasm in the level of trust you are privileged to receive from your husband or wife.
- You reap later than you sow. If you think you’ve gotten away with something, then maybe you have – for now. Sooner or later, though, it’ll come back to get you. Plants don’t sprout right after you cover the seeds with dirt do they? Sooner or later they poke through the soil, stretching out toward the light. Rest assured, the good things you sow into a hurting marriage may take awhile to have an effect. The bad things are like that too. Eventually, they’ll see the light of day.
- You have no excuse for sowing in ignorance. How foolish it is to be unaware of how to cultivate the best marriage possible. Are you guilty of simply floating through your relationship with your spouse, not paying attention to the nurture and attention you should be offering the relationship? Do you find yourself wondering why you are experiencing conflict, apathy, or a lack of intimacy? You are sowing something into your marriage all the time. Perhaps it would be in our best interests to take a look at what we’re planting.
- You need to sow in your area of need. Feeling neglected in one area of your marriage? Think about a complementing need of your spouse and start investing in that for them. If you do not know what those things are for your spouse, then it is your job to figure it out. Try reading His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. William Harley. You’ll begin to understand the areas of need in your own life, and likely in your spouse’s too.
- You have to sow something to reap something. Similarly, your marriage isn’t going anywhere if you just put it on auto-pilot. There’s no free pass for anyone. So if you see someone who has a good marriage, it didn’t just magically appear. You can bet they’ve been sowing the right things and now they’re being rewarded with a great harvest after the time they’ve spent cultivating their relationship.
Now I know why this man who has lived the better part of 100 years was still full of such life and vigor. It’s the result of what he’s been sowing.
What have you been sowing in your marriage?