We finished up our series on "Tending The Garden Of Your Marriage" on Hearts Igniting Radio with a LIVE broadcast at the Minnesota State Fair (checkout the podcast here). We thought this exhibition of giant prize-winning vegetables was the perfect place to talk about the best growing conditions for a great marriage.
We can take a marriage "master gardener" class from the story of the very first couple and their very first garden. The atmosphere of Eden was perfectly established by God for marriage to flourish as He intended. Here's what it looked like:
Unhindered Connection With God - Being completely free of the disruptive power of sin, Adam and Eve had perfect relationship with God. They walked and talked with Him (Genesis 3:8). Through Christ Jesus, we have access to this same intimate connection with the creator of the universe through the Holy Spirit and our relationship with Him helps us to love well.
Unity Without Uniformity - Genesis describes the unity between husband and wife as being "one flesh". This oneness is not the same as uniformity. In fact, we see that while Adam & Eve were both created in the image of God, neither of them had all of His attributes but each carried unique characteristics of His nature.
Naked and Unashamed - In Genesis 2, there is a powerful statement that defines the mark of perfect love. It says that Adam and Eve were "naked and unashamed". This is a condition of true intimacy. We are made to be fully seen, fully known, and fully loved. To experience true love we need to create a safe place for vulnerability where we are not ashamed of physical or emotional nakedness.
Valuing Free Will - God values free will so much that He took the risk of letting Adam and Eve choose to love Him through obedience or to choose the forbidden fruit. Through this He shows us that true love is created through the power of choice and can not exist where there is fear, control, and manipulation.
Marriage on Mission - Companionship is only part of the design for marriage. Equally important is the shared purpose that God gave to Adam and Eve. Their marriage had a mission to "be fruitful and multiply" and to influence the Earth. That mandate to mankind hasn't changed - the shared purpose of each marriage is meant to bear fruit in unique ways and the beauty of our oneness in meant to bring glory to God! (John 17:23)
Ignite Your Marriage
1. Consider and discuss as a couple: Which of these 5 areas are you strongest in? How do each of you contribute to these great growing conditions in your marriage?
2. Consider and discuss as a couple: Which of these 5 areas would you like to grow in? What are some things you can do as a couple to see that happen?