So I spent this morning in my gardens with a plan of just doing a quick trim on some rose bushes and then getting on to all the weeds that have invaded my flower beds. But on closer inspection the two bushes I was going to give a quick trim were actually in trouble due to the lack of care I have shown them during the early part of the season ( haste makes waste!)
While they were covered with roses both blooming and spent something had eaten most of the leaves to shreds and a lack of formal pruning had left the bushes with a tangled mass of live and dead wood crossing and gnarled and leading to a lack of air circulation under the bush which lead to some rot and mold. So while from the street level these books looked big ( taller than me) and healthy upon closer inspection some serious and painful intervention was called for!
So out came the clippers and the gauntlet gloves. What was needed was some hand to hand combat with the intention of saving these bushes through the act of pruning. If you are not one to garden then you don’t know the serious business of pruning a rose bush, it is either it or you and usually in the end both of you come out a bit scared and traumatized but one thing about it.. it is not fast work and it gives you time to think.
So as I sat there one by one clipping out the dead wood, the twisted canes and the mangled foliage I had time to think how ~pruning~ was important in many parts of our lives and most especially our marriages. And how in fact my rose bushes were a nice little metaphor for marriage and the care it needs.
While many marriages can look good from the outside, it is their underbelly that really tells the tale. It is how the marriage holds up through job loss and crisis and bad news and old highschool girlfriends ( or boyfriends) on the prowl that makes or breaks a marriage. It is the connections and caring bolstered during the good times that builds the walls of defense to hold tight during the bad times.
If and when things start to go wrong is when pruning also needs to happen in a marriage. Perhaps its Facebook, is there any chance that FB is hurting your marriage? How about blogging? Online gambling? Fantasy Football? Nights out with the girls or guys? How about obsessive mothering?.. Sports? Shopping? How about your friends, are they a support or a hindrance to your marriage? If they are not in a healthy marriage I can bet they are not going to do anything good for yours.
Of course every list is different but if there is something that is not feeding your soul or your marriage what is it doing in your life? Maybe it is time for some pruning~