Marriage Takes Hard Work

Marriage Takes Hard Work

June 16, 2017

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You.” Psalm 63:1a (NKJV)

Devotion Graphic

The grain bag was almost empty, so I reached deep to the bottom to get a scoop for my chickens. Suddenly, something scurried up my sleeve! I jumped and screamed and wiggled about, trying to free whatever was in my blouse. Within 10 seconds, a mouse jumped out of the top of my shirt! It’s a wonder we both didn’t roll over and die from fright right there on my barn floor.

I could tell story after story like this of the realities of farm life. From mice to midnight births, the adventures are endless … and mostly unseen. Perhaps that’s why many people love the idea of a farm — that picturesque place where the grass is always green, the animals graze contently and luscious organic food grows effortlessly.

Guests to my farm love watching the fireflies dance and the turkeys waddle about the fields. They enjoy roaming the nature paths around our property. With dreamy eyes, many say to me, “Oh this place is magical! I want a farm just like it.” I smile and nod, thinking to myself, If you knew the amount of labor my husband and I put into it, would you still want it?

Diligent farmers never, ever go a single day without working and laboring on their farms. Early mornings are required to feed the animals, milk the goats and water the crops.

They have to fight to protect the borders from predators that come to ruin their efforts. Vigilant oversight keeps foxes and coyotes from helping themselves to chickens and baby goats. Plus, there are fields to mow, poisonous vines to annihilate and a long list of other chores … all done in temperatures from zero to 100 degrees!

Only the farmers who love and cherish their farms daily have that beautiful, “magical” farm.

But if that farmer were to take a few months (or even weeks) off, and if they left their animals, crops and barns unattended, it’d be a mess!

Similarly, a good marriage is like a good farm. People love good marriages. We love to read about couples who renew their vows on their anniversary … about the elderly gentleman who faithfully visits his bride at the nursing home … about the husband and wife who stayed together through war and loss.

Long-lasting marriages don’t just happen. They need tender loving care — much like a farm. Predators threaten to destroy you and your marriage. And constant maintenance is required.

Here are some ways we can tend to our marriage:

Wake Up Early: One of the best ways to labor for our marriage is to spend time with God and His Word. Just like a farmer waters his crops, we can refresh our spirit with a quiet time. “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You.” (Psalm 63:1)

Protect Your Borders: At times, it can feel like our husbands are the enemy, but Scripture tells us that Satan is. He will throw many temptations our way to sneak in and devour our marriages — from gossiping about our spouses to looking up former boyfriends online.

God’s Word shows us how to protect our borders: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11, ESV)

Pull the Weeds: There are moments when I don’t want to farm anymore (like when a mouse runs up my sleeve!). But in the grand scheme of things, a mouse in my shirt is a small price to pay to have our farm.

There are some things I just have to get over. If not, resentment and bitterness will take root. It’s wise to get rid of them before they choke out respect and kindness toward our husbands. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV)

I’d always dreamed of living on a farm. Never, ever did I think it would require so many long hours, so much vigilance and such a degree of difficult labor. But all our hard work pays off — we’ve got the farm where the grass is green and the animals are content. When I think about it, our farm is magical. Our marriage is too, but we work really hard at it.

Dear Lord, help me tend to my marriage and protect its borders. Show me how to make it a marriage that glorifies You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Could your marriage use some work? Maybe a little help in the romance department? If so, spice up your relationship and rekindle the passion with your mate through Sharon Jaynes’ new book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge. You’ll find this book and more (for yourself or a friend), here, in our marriage collection.

CONNECT:
Visit Sharon Glasgow’s farm on her blog, and enter to win a gift for your marriage.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How much time do you spend protecting and tending to your marriage?

Take a stand against anything the enemy is using to devour your marriage. Memorize and pray Scripture over you and your husband.

© 2017 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. What a beautiful lesson, Sharon. For five years, we lived on a farm we didn’t work. I’ve often said that it was the best–the blessings of open space, a haymow and baby calves with none of the chores.

    Let me add to your excellent analogy–your farm (marriage) will go through seasons of drought and damaging storms. You persevere, pick up and plant again. You carry on, expecting the next season will be better, and it usually is.

  2. Melanie Cranshaw says:

    I’m a divorced, single mother who hopes to some day remarry. Thank you for this devotion. It is an excellent model for what it takes to have a happy, long lasting marriage. People often think marriage is a fairy tale where you live happily ever after. Marriage truly is work and the two people have to work together to maintain it.

  3. Michaela gelke says:

    Dear friends,
    I know you try to encourage your readers. But whenever your texts deal with marriage, the feeling of failure comes up inside me. I have been struggling and praying so hard for a long-lasting happy marriage, but it hasn’t worked that way. Not because of me, but because it takes two people to succeed…and sometimes one of the spouses doesn’t consider it worth while bothering…
    Please, would you also write encouragements for women who have no marriage to care for any longer, who struggle as single moms and who fight their tears while reading your posts… life is not always what we expected it to be…
    God bless.

    • Dear Friend, there are many women who battle your same battle. Know you’re not alone. Perhaps a support group in your church? I pray you may find women who are walking in your shoes. I believe there are very strong woman of faith within Proverbs 31 who are.

    • Michaela – I feel your pain and I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. Stay strong, dear sister. You are loved.

    • While following Proverbs 31, try also following Amanda Carroll.

    • Beloved says:

      It’s as if you wrote the words in my heart. I am in the same duration. Thank you for sharing! I will be praying for you as well.

    • I usually don’t read comments but this one even makes me cry with you my dear. As an interecrder I feel your pain as if it were my own. I wish to have the right words to say to encourage you. God is merciful and gracious. Our God is a good God! His gifts are good and his love is endless. In this season I encourage you to turn to your heavenly husband who is ALWAYS faithful and will never leave you or forsake you. And he has not! He is with you! He sees your struggles, your tears, your dreams, and he fights when you feel you can’t. He is your protector and has your best in interest. May His divine and perfect will be done for you. And I pray for your family dear. I am praying for you and your children. May God surround you with people to offer a hand with you need it and offer a hug when you need it, and who can show you his love for you all. May he allow you to see the beauty in the ashes! God bless you sister in Christ!

      • That is beautiful Linda. I will read this over and over as I struggle. Your words are true, God never leaves my side. ♡

    • Sweet sister just give it to God he will whisper to you! Praying ❤️

    • sherry berger says:

      Mecheala, I was in your shoes many years ago, constant stress and not working together in our marriage. I left for three days to spend time with God. I took only my Bible and a small, unnoticeable book titled “saving your marriage by yourself..”. That was the changing point for me. It was about Hosea and changed how I saw things. Another book God Used about that time was “Change Me Oh Lord”, by Kay Arthur. In a few days now. we will be celebrating 40 years, all glory unto God!!

      • lisa bly says:

        Dear Sherry that is a beautiful testimony of a healed marriage. Many people in struggling marriages will not find that healing no matter how much they pray,change, or trust and have faith in God to heal the marriage. This is where our sister is finding herself if I am understanding her post.She may even be where I ended up. The only way to be healed and grow in grace was ti accept the marriage was over and move forward in her walk with our precious Jesus. I am always overjoyed when a testimony is given of a healed marriage. But when your marriage is to the point that it is over because your partner just doesnt care we need support to move on in our new life and be reassured we are still loved.precious,and,not forsaken by God. Just remember not all marriages will be healed but all people can be healed. .

        • Debra L Finley says:

          Thank u so much Lisa. I too like Michaela am newly separated & felt so much pain from this devotion. No one gets married in the hopes of getting divorce. Just trusting & believing God for healing & wholeness for each family member even if that means the marriage doesn’t come back together.

    • My Dear Michaela, My heart breaks for you. Even though I am not a single mom, I grew up in a single parent home. Life was harder than hard. I was the oldest child and saw it all. My mom wept many nights when we had no money for provisions and loneliness for her husband overwhelmed her. The Lord was our provider and loved her greatly. He will provide for your every need.
      Lord, minister to the deepest places of Michaela’s broken heart. Heal, comfort, provide and love her in radical ways! Thank You, In Jesus’ Name, Amen

      • Sharon I feel like its only me and the Lord in my marriage, Yes after 64 years, My devotions are done alone, My husband says he is saved, a shy good man, He won’t pray with me so for years I said Lord its just you and I, But I must says I’m crying as I share this, Feeling so lonely for him to share with me. He was saved in 1973, and was baptized, Never shared his testimony, And I must be content with what God has for me at the end of my journey, He has been with me this far and will never leave me nor forsake me. Prays for Lysa every day!!

    • lisa bly says:

      Hi Michaela. You dear sister are so right. It takes two commited people for a marriage to work. The pain of a failed marriage is complex and overwhelming. Do not carry guilt or regret. There is no magic formula for the emotional stuggles you will have because of your broken family. God alone is able to heal your heart. And He will bear you up and your children. I never eant to be quick to give advise as we can be to flippant with our words and instead of helping we hurt the wounded one more. It will not be easy and it will take time but God is able to heal your brokeness and turn it into something beautiful. Be faithful to God and patient with yourself.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write what you did Michaela and to all that replied back to her. I myself am alone for a year now after having the courage to finally do what it really took to protect my children and myself from an abusive husband. This past year I have been punished, lied about, blamed, and hurt in so many ways by my church and people who I thought cared about me and my children because I had to make my husband leave our home. I had to do it and I know it was the right thing to do after suffering for so many years from his abuse. As I have learned from a domestic violence center this type of inexcusable behavior by others towards victims of abuse is pretty common. This is terrible. Please help others to know how wrong and damaging it is for someone who has lived the life I have and my children too, to be treated so harshly, so cruelly after we have already suffered enough. One thing that I was not told at the domestic violence center was that the most powerful, most important tool I could have during this Very difficult time is forgiveness. Forgiveness is what has set me free, I am heart broken, lonely, afraid, and desperate, and confused but I have been set free. I will not become hateful or bitter towards my husband or all those others who have come against my children and myself to hurt us. I know who God is, I know of His power, of His beauty, and that I do not have to let other people’s ignorance or hate destroy me. I want my children and I to live, to be safe, to always see that there is good in this world and even in others . Forgiveness allows hope, healing, and freedom. I don’t know what to do and I am struggling in so many ways but I am set free through forgiveness, true forgiveness and I will not give up. I hope you can bring awareness to the importance of forgiveness and that people need to show compassion to all of us that has been abused instead of being blamed for it and looked down upon. Forgiveness is not just something we read about or say, it is real. I saw how real, how truly alive forgiveness is a few years ago as I stood before my dad’s murderer in a courtroom as God used me to witness of His love and power to all who was there. It is amazing and should never be taken for granted. Thank you for all that has written and I sincerely pray God’s blessings and strength for you Michaela, and to all who read this. I do not have many at all that I can trust or turn to, so I hope I will be brave enough, let my guard down just enough to hear what you are saying and maybe find the comfort and guidance I so desperately need for my children’s sake and my own. You are all wonderful.

  4. Awesome word today! I’ve never heard of a marriage compared to a farm. It was spot on. Thank you.

    • Aww thank you, Tammy! XOXOX

      • Sandi Ruml says:

        My daughter and son in law farm, when they got married they changed the vows to say “in sickness and health, in drought or hail,when prices drop or in times of abundance”, it was cute but so true when farming in SD and leaning only on God. My mother once told me that marriage was a full time job and the hardest job I will ever have because it takes 100% commitment from both spouses.

  5. What a wonderful analogy. Thank you for sharing that teaching. Your farm sounds magnificent!

  6. Sandra Pleasure says:

    In August my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage and for someone who had the dire family experiences that I had this celebration is quite an accomplishment. Before our wedding day, my husband and I searched for a counselor who unfortunately really didn’t help us very much. The counselor gave us this piece of advice “Good marriages don’t last because couples are in love they last because couples work on their marriage”. That piece of advice has stayed with me all through our marriage. My husband and I have gone through many hurdles in our marriage from financial difficulties, my health issues, job losses, extended family drama etc.. We are facing another hurdle because we are about to become empty nesters. Like everything else we will Trust God to help us work everything out in this season of our life.

    • Praying for you and your husband, Sandra! We are three years away from empty nest, and I have to admit that it sometimes sparks anxiety in me because we need to find new ways to connect as a couple. I pray that your marriage deepens in this phase as you discover your new way of life together. Peace and love to you!

    • I love that you remembered that one nugget of wisdom from the counselor, all these years! You’ll probably tell it to your children before they get married, and they’ll tell it to theirs when they get married! May the Lord bless you abundantly in this next season. May it be the best season ever!

  7. Iné Harvey says:

    I pray but don’t spend that much time investing in his to protect those borders

  8. Nicole Benjamin says:

    Yes. The grass may look greener on the other side but that’s because they tended to their yard. Marriage can be fabulous & flourishing but it takes work to maintain. Sometimes you have to step back from the day to day & just reconnect.
    I still do!

  9. This is one of the most beautiful articles I’ve seen on marriage. Thank you

    While I am divorced I pray every day that God will give me another chance to have that kind of loving relationship. You are a model for what God intended marriage to be. I also believe God intended me to read this this morning. Thank you for making a difference.

    Rita

  10. I love how God clearly speaks to me, I woke up with a very heavy heart due to some issues I am dealing with my husband and I this spot on message just touched my heart. Praying for all those women in difficult marriages, divorced, and single. May God touch you where you are and may you have faith and trust in Him! He knows where you stand today and he is with you! May Peace and love surround you today❤️

    • Marcie Kay says:

      Same place for me as well this last week, and waking up to this very specific marriage
      devotion makes me know God wants me to remember the forgiveness He has for me that I need to extend, and blessings in our marriage that outweigh so many perceived injustices. I know God had this message prepared for me. Thank you.

    • God’s timing is always impeccable! He loves us so much! Blessings on your marriage Denise!

  11. Leslie Jackson says:

    What a perfect devotion as we celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary today! I pray that God helps me to take care of my marriage just like the analogy of the farm. What a blessing to read.

  12. CarrierofHope says:

    That was an amazing devotional and great illiustration to use in reminding us to take care of our hearts and marriage.
    Beautifully laid out. Was blessed to read! Thank you!

  13. Michelle Perez says:

    Omgoodness!! I had to read this three times before I could get over the mouse crawling up your sleeve!!!😂😂😂 Great analogy though, I loved this!!💗

    • Hehe yeah it took me a while to want to reach in the grain bag and get food out for our animals again! That one mouse event is what spurred the whole devotion to be written!

  14. This is a great analogy. We will be celebrating 39 years tomorrow and it has not always been smooth. More like storm after storm. So today we are at a point where we can truly say it was worth working through the ups and downs of life. There were times when I didn’t want to trust God, but in the end He always provided what we needed. This is a very special anniversary for us because 10 months ago my husband was near death from a pulmonary embolism and a stroke. He is recovering very well each day. May God always bless you. Thank you for the story today.

    • Wow what a testimony, Lisa! Thank you! Praise God your husband is doing well!

      • lisa bly says:

        Hi Sharon. I feel like my point is being totally dissmissed. I am all for sticking in through the hard times and here 14 years into my second marriage I have and i will stick in it.But my first marriage wad 20 years of all kinds of abuse along with the church telling me just keep praying God hates divorce. Not to mention my own feelings of being a failure and hurting my kids because thing just were not getting better. And realuzung they were going to be living with the affects of divorce .please do not dump more guilt on those of us who were in impossuble situations that maybe even God who hates divorce wanted us out of.

        • lisa bly says:

          I think I may have responded to another lisas post. Sorry. My story is related to Michaels post that she needs support as her marriage failed and she is living withe pain and struggles a divorced person lives with. The church as a whole needs to do better caring for their wounded

  15. This a such a Beautiful Visual Aide of Marriage!!! It Is Hard But Glorious Labor of LOVE!!❤️❤️ June 15, 1974…43 Years Yesterday. May 16, 2017, he served me Divorce Papers. I knew Intellectually it was coming….he told me so in July 2010 he wanted out, wanted to sell our home, change our lives & the lives of our 3 adult children, the lives of our 2 grandchildren, now 3 grandchildren, Forever. We lived like that for 2 years in our home, in our Routine Life, in Christian Counseling, in Deep Discussions with our Most Healthy Intimate Relationships w/Our Kids, our Life-Long Friends & Family. Everyone said our situation was So Fixable. It was Just a Decision To Love, Protect Our “Garden/Our Farm.” He Choose Not To. 5 years later of Separation, So Many Prayers, So Much Love & Support from “Our Village” on behalf of our love, our long history, our marriage, our family, to no avail….the death of a marriage. It is worse than the death of either one of us for me. The Journey has been long and painful beyond words. The Lord has carried me & my family through it all in ways I could Never Have Imagined!!!! He is Faithful. He is Forgiving. He is Loving & Steadfast. He has Never Forsaken me. He Loves Me with an Everlasting Love. He is My Strength & My Song. I Will Trust in His Mercies as They Are New Every Morning!! I Hate This “Reluctant Education” I’ve Been Living, But He has Carried Me Throughout This Valley of The Shadow of Death. The Lord Gives, and The Lord Takes….Blessed Be The Name of Our Lord. In Him Will I Trust, And Have My Being that He Will Work This All Out to His Glory!! I Covet Your Prayers on Behalf of My Family.🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 Thanks for Listening❤️❤️

    • Clara Miller says:

      Amen! I’ve never been married, I a single mother of a 6yr loving little boy! This touched me in so many ways reminds of of myself to not give up push through the pains….and keep your faith I just told my little one daily we will quote Psalm 23 in it’s entirety! Lord is our Shepherd we will want not!
      1. we can’t want promise without pain
      2. acknowledgement without agony
      3. riches without work
      4. fame without some loneliness
      5. every position has it’s own pains
      6. no position will come without some pain it all worth it
      Joshua 1:9

      Be encouraged Kathy I will say a prayer for you and your family to continue to trust God and cast every care upon him <3

      • Wow, Kathy! That’s so heart breaking! Lord, You alone know the heart ache. Minister deeply to Kathy, with Your great comfort and love. Provide everything this family needs emotionally, spiritually and physically. Speak to this husband, convict him and bring his thinking into alignment with You. Bless this family in ways they can’t imagine! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

      • Miss Clara, you are one wise woman. What an awesome mom you are! Your child will never forget if you quote Ps 23 every day to him. He will carry it on to his children. What a testimony! I love it! Lord, bless Clara with a godly husband and a son up grows to be a mighty warrior for You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

    • Diane Reese says:

      Bless you all. I know your heart is broken. God is holding you in the palm of his hand..there will be joy again. Rest in Jesus as you go through this season of change.

    • I am praying for you, Kathy. I am encouraged by your strength and your faith. God will never leave you or forsake you!!

  16. Snookie says:

    I truly loved your devotion/teaching today. I am concentrating on getting rid of my negativity with life in general. God put this reading in my life today. Thank you.

  17. Gail Durnell says:

    Thank you.I needed this to read this morning.as I always needed to be reminded that God is always in control.and we all need to spend time with our spouses.even if it’s just going out for a quite little lunch .spending time with God every day is very important too .

  18. Deb Walton says:

    Sharon, I loved your words today! As I spend quiet time this morning, I am preparing to go pick my husband (aka Superman) up from the hospital where he has had his 5th back surgery, 21st surgery overall. We have been married 33 years this past May. Marriage is hard work and worth every tear and every smile! We too, live in the country with Angoras and “critters”. I wouldn’t trade a day of the sweltering heat or the endless mowing chores because my husband and I do it all together and take joy in it. God has blessed us more times than we can count. This week I have made daily 60 mile trips, safely, to and from the hospital just to be with him. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat! Thank you for your analogy…you were spot on!

    • Wow, Deb! What a life you two have lived and are living! May the Lord completely heal your husband’s back this time! May this next season of your life together be the best yet! You are an inspiration!

  19. Celeste Queen says:

    What a beautiful analogy! Thank you for that! And thank you for your work–every bite of food we enjoy, is because of folks like you and your husband. Remember Paul Harvey’s grand oration on farmers. Did you know the 11 o’clock church hour came about to accommodate the farmers years ago who had so much work to do before they got their family ready for worship? Truly there were no days off! Blessings–on your marriage and your life work and your writings!!

  20. Lisbeth says:

    Thank you for this devotion. The timing was perfect. Marriage is a lot of work. We often want the good stuff without working for it. My family has been dealing with a homeowners insurance mess. We’ve been displaced from our home for the past 8 1/2 months. We homeschool our 4 boys so it’s definitely been a challenging year with lots of uncertainty. We’ve been battling with insurance and public adjusters to do the right thing with the claim so we could move home. In the midst of all of it, my husband got laid off, so not only do we have unknowns with our home, but we don’t know what will happen job wise. Unfortunately, throughout all of this mess, my husband has hardened his heart towards God. He hasn’t been dealing with any of this well. I feel the burden of trying to keep my children on the right road spiritually despite how their father is behaving. It’s a heavy load! Our marriage has suffered a lot and we have drifted farther apart. I’m angry at him and would like to just quit and leave so many times. However, I am reminded of our wedding vows. When we promise to love each other in sickness and in health. Many people interpret that to mean physical sickness or as our bodies deteriorate as we get older. However, due to what we are going through, I believe the vow includes a different meaning. My husband is spiritually sick right now. He’s allowed the trials of life and disappointments from others to choke him and he pretty much isolates himself. Therefore, he’s not accountable to anyone. (ultimately, he is to God, of course). We have a long road ahead of us and healing that needs to happen. I definitely need God to intervene! If you think of it, please keep us in prayer. This devotion was a good reminder to me to lift my husband to Him (instead of holding resentment towards him) I can’t change him, but God can soften his heart. I also need to be more faithful in prayer about my responses. I am clearly no angel either. I’m a cracked pot that needs the Potter’s touch. Our 19th anniversary is next week. It would be nice if it doesn’t go by like every other day. I’m realizing it is so important for my boys to see us demonstrating a good marriage, but it is hard!!!

    • I WILL PRAY FOR YOU, LISBETH…..CONSIDER IT DONE. I WOULD HATE TO SEE FOUR PROMISING YOUNG MEN IN THE MAKING WITHOUT THEIR DADDY………..

    • Clara Miller says:

      Lisbeth, I’m reminded that God said I will never take you where I can’t protect you! God loves you and wants you to completely trust him, keep your eyes on him be steadfast in all your doing. Teach your boys to pray for you, themselves, and your family…God sees, hears, and knows all he is your Shepherd let him lead. I will give God something to do and say a prayer for you, your husband, the boys, and the insurance company that God move in a MIGHTY WAY! Provide grace, mercy, and favor in your life! Amen

      • Thank you Willie and Clara. This world is so tough sometimes, isn’t it? Lifting up all who are struggling in relationships right now. Just because we are Christians, we are still vulnerable to the struggles and pains of this world we are in. Blessings to all you beautiful ladies!

    • Oh Lord, You alone know everything that Lisbeth and her family endure. Would you touch their home with Your glory? Give Lisbeth’s husband a hunger for You and renewed love and passion. Restore everything that has been lost as only You can do. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  21. Thank you for sharing Sharon. You have that ‘magical’ farm because you two put the care that is needed into the place. I like how you compared with ‘marriage’. As I try to ‘care’ for my life. I find it hard to live a ‘good’ life. I feel at times, there are limitations. That is why getting up in the morning for His word helps us keep going.

    • Lord, free Sarah from limitations that prevent her from the life You desperately want for her. Give her wisdom and understanding in this season that will bring much fruit! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  22. OH………SO BEAUTIFUL ! I CAN RELATE AND ENVISION ALL OF THIS, AS I WAS RAISED ON A BIG FARM IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. I WITNESSED FIRSTHAND EVERYTHING MY PARENTS PUT INTO IT . IT WAS A WONDERFUL WAY TO GROW UP AND I TOOK IT FOR GRANTED….EVEN SOMETIMES RESENTED IT. MY ‘CITY’ FRIENDS LOVED TO COME OVER AND WANTED TO DO FUN THINGS….LIKE GATHER THE EGGS, FEED THE ANIMALS, GO PICK THINGS IN THE GARDEN, PLAY IN THE FIELDS….THIS WASN’T FUN….THIS WAS MY WORK! NOW I REALIZE WHAT A GIFT IT WAS!

  23. Needed this today. Yesterday my husband and I had our 26th anniversary. We are so disconnected from each other and have been for a very long time. We have been to counseling and it has brought some things out in the open we have not discussed before. We both want the biblical vision of marriage, but can’t seem to get there. Knowing our personalities, we will keep trudging along but I feel there are radical things we both need to do and not sure we can. For me I believe it is a pride thing and for him I believe it is a really not understanding thing. God can change us if we will both just allow him too. I believe that.

    • Clara Miller says:

      Reminded that above ALL THINGS WE HAVE LOVE! Love your husband push past pride, pain, past, problems. Be willing to love him in new ways.

    • Diane Reese says:

      Pray without ceasing and recenter your focus on changing you because that’s the only one you can change. Leave your husband up to God and pray for him.

    • Lord, renew this marriage! Give them eyes to see and ears to hear what You want seen and heard for this renewal to take place! Restore all that’s been lost! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  24. Thank you for this devotion, as empty nester of 30 years marriage this November and on vacation, we did great! My anxiety before the boys left home was high! Now, we read the Bible together, we always went to bed the same time. Getting up early is hard for me, my husband gets up 5am every day, I’m a 7:30am. I learned from this devotion, to read the Bible together in the morning, I will try this, too! Thank you!

  25. This message pierces my heart. It’s been 48 hours since the divorce was final. My husband did not want to “tend the farm” or hang on in the tough times. We had only been married less than 7 years and it was a tough road most of the time. We had both suffered rejection before and he had a rough childhood. I thought I could help him, encourage him and lift his mood. I was wrong. I begged him to go to counseling, many many times. He refused. Was it all his fault? No, definitely not. I did not give him what he needed, although I’m not sure I ever could have filled his emptiness. But, still, the end of our marriage is devastating to me. I am 57, not a young woman. I have lost my home, my future, my partner… I know everyone will tell me to turn to God, but He and I have had a difficult relationship as well.
    Please, ladies, guard your marriage. Don’t take each other for granted. Be happy to see one another at the end of the day. Turn off the tv, the computer, the phone, and listen to each other.
    I wish I could turn back time…

    • So sorry Sally, I am so sorry. I pray God’s favor over your life and that He will strengthen you during this difficult time of you life. And your advice was for me. I needed it. It touched me like you have no idea. Word for word.

      • Yasmin, thank you for your prayers. And I’m glad you were able to find a word of advice for you. I would do things differently, even though it may have not made a difference in the long run. But I have learned a lot from this tragedy to take into my future…
        Hang on, girl, and give 100%. Relationships are not 50/50 – those will fail. They need to be 100/100! 🙂

    • Wow, Sally! Thank you for sharing. I’ll pray for you. Lord, minister to Sally as only You can. Comfort and heal her broken heart. Lead her in this next season, help her to sense Your presence and power as never before! Heal her husband and speak to Him even in his sleep. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

      • Thank you, Sharon! Prayers are greatly appreciated. I have good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments, but each day I get a little bit stronger. I look to Him for comfort, healing, leadership and peace….thank you

    • Sally, I can relate to your story in so many ways. We were married 6.5 years and towards the end he just gave up. I wanted counseling and he didn’t. He found a girlfriend and left me and our 2 young boys. That was 2 years ago and now they are engaged. It has been the worst 2 years of my life. Just as you said that you couldn’t meet his needs, that was me! No matter what I said or did it was never enough. I feel like I failed my most important job. I understand betrayal, heartache and hopelessness. I’ll pray for you Sally.

      • Thank you, Kim! There are so many of us out there and we need to be there for each other. We can use this heartache to help and lead other women through the darkness and into the light.. 🙂

  26. Do you keep fighting for your marriage if your husband did the unthinkable and performed voyerism on your two daughters without them know (obviously) due to a drug addiction he has? I’m so torn because I can’t turn off the love I have for him just like a switch but I’m so hurt. He’s since been removed from the home and getting help for his addiction. He’s remorseful and has repented but he crossed a line. I’ve forgiven him because I know it’s what the Lord commands but my husband wants a second chance. I’m so lost and confused.

    • Oh my goodness, Gail. I’m speechless. I’m so sorry. I had to look up the word, I didn’t even know what it meant. Only God has the answers. Lord, You know ALL things. Would you give Gail Your wisdom, knowledge and ability to follow Your lead on this? Help her not to turn to the right or left without Your approval. Protect, heal and restore as only You can. Thank You! in Jesus’ Name, Amen

  27. What a beautiful reminder! My husband and I will soon have been married 30 years. I needed this wisdom young in my marriage,but thankfully at some point over the years I did hear of going shoulder to shoulder with your husband and working to make our marriage the very best that God intended! I’m going to share this with young women in my church.

  28. I need prayer to have a desire for my husband. I love him and want to fulfill his needs. At this time, I just go thru the motions and I know that is not what God intended. We have been married for 40 years.

  29. Marilyn S says:

    a great reminder! After 30 years of everyday life and business, I see the need to rekindle, and make our marriage a priority. We never have enough time together. But, hoping to focus on it more. Will look forward to the book.

  30. Marriage devotionals always convict me, but this one especially. I am divorced and dating again. And I was a farm wife the first time, and am in love with a farmer again. I can see the difference between the two relationships and the want to tend to our relationship and not just tend the actual farm. It’s a major difference when you can compare the two and I have learned what it takes to make marriage a priority. I can hardly call the first one a marriage so I am grateful for the second chance.

  31. Thank you for this outstanding analogy Sharon !!! ~Lisa~

  32. I was so blessed today by your message Sharon and I visited your blog and I feel a kindred spirit with you even tho I never heard about you till now! We live on a large farm too and I know the hard work that goes into a farm and marriage! We have been married over 20 years n I don’t want to wait for the perfect time for a perfect honeymoon either! Please do pray for our marriage! Every prayer helps:) we are human like everyone else n the enemy tries to destroy our marriage too:( I am so thankful to God for people like you that give us encouragement when things are going haywire:) God bless you!!

    • My fellow farmer’s wife! We probably have a lot in common! Lord, set this marriage ablaze with passion. Restore and rejuvenate as only You can! Thank YOU, In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  33. Cynthia Bradley says:

    What a great analogy! Thank you, Sharon.

  34. I Googled “women’s devotions” and was led to your site, so this is the first article I’ve read. I really enjoyed what you had to say and thought it was very encouraging. I have a baby who is about to turn 1, so I’ve been focusing on her and neglecting my marriage a little bit. Actually, I’ve been busy with baby, taking care of our home (I take it very seriously, cleaning like a maniac and cooking a lot), and work. We also just sold a house and bought a new one a few weeks ago, so we have been busy moving in. Now that we are all settled I really want to focus on my husband the way he deserves. I think this article is a good place to start. Thank you 🙂

    • Yay! I’m glad you landed here today, Natalie! Lord, give Natalie everything she needs to make this marriage flourish. Give her husband everything he needs to make it flourish! Use this family for Your glory! IN Jesus’ Name, Amen

  35. Omega De La rosa says:

    Thank u i needed ur word on marriage.were apart right now cause hes in prison .i take good care of him and i feel unwanted.i get blame for him being there when hes the one that hit me first.anyway i feel him making it look like im the bad person when hes hasnt admitted that it was him.anyway i do lov him but i feel that this resentment is gon always be the thing in our marriage.can u advise me orther words please. 6th

    • My Dear Omega,

      He needs to go to Christian classes/cousneling on anger management. One of our friends went to prison for the same thing and he’s now in a two year program. His wife had to report him when it all happened too. This couple is doing wonderful now. He needed a lot of God’s help to make the changes. Lord, speak to Omega’s husband in that prison cell. Wake him up to see what he’s done and help him repent and turn from this wrong behavior. Renew this marriage and make it whole. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  36. Michelle Stocking says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional on marriage, it hit home for me. I love my husband so very much, yet there are days & sometimes weeks that go by that I find myself tending to everything around me except him. I want to live a “Honeymoon Life” starting today.
    Heavenly Father, I pray that you stir up in me the desire to love my husband more today, in every situation you put before us. Lord, may you remind me to tend to him the best I can so that he knows without a doubt how much I love him. In Jesus name, Amen!

  37. Tomorrow would of been 34 years. My husband decided in November a week before my ailing father passed that he no longer wanted to be with me. I was totally blindsided, had no clue, had only 15 minutes to get what I could out of our home. I still have not received all my clothes from the house, he won’t talk to me. He has told people he didn’t want to end 33 years like this. I am so broken over this, even though it has been 7 months, I still hurt so bad and it isn’t even final. I pray and sometimes feel like maybe I am not praying correctly. I know the Lord has plans for all us and supposely doesn’t give us more than we can handle. But I feel like more has been put on me than I can handle. He has been retired for almost 4 years, and I was hoping to retire this summer and do some traveling together. I feel my whole life has been shattered.

  38. I would like to ask for prayer for our marriage today. My husband has some trust issues from his previous marriage. His past girlfriend cheated and lied to by her and his brother. But God gave us both another chance at love and recently we got married in February 2017. We love each other but at times the old memories start creeping up. Please pray that we will continue to trust, love, and serve God together no matter the cost.

    • Lord, would you heal the broken places in this man’s heart. Make this marriage strong and able to endure the storms of life with grace. Thank You, In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  39. I meant previous relationship. He was never marriage.

  40. I meant previous relationship. He was never married.

  41. After reading today’s “Daily Guideposts 2017” a military devotion, it directed me to further reading Proverbs 31:25-31. While searching for that bible verse on line I came across this website. What a blessing! I am single mother, Active Duty Officer, just celebrated my 50th birthday, with a son in college. For the last two years I’ve been in a relationship with a high school classmate of mine. Our relationship is going through a bumping ride and this week we decided to call it off. I know we love each other but, the devil is strong and is busy working in our relationship. We both need to constantly protect our borders, recognize when we are being attack and stay pray up. It may be too late for this relationship, but I’ll definitely take the lessons learned from this devotion into the next that God bless me with. Thank you so much and keep me in your prayers.

  42. Even though I’m not married this is a great reminder. Once I’m married my life won’t be magically great. I still desire a Godly marriage even though it can be hard work but that may not happen.

  43. Christen Parker says:

    Thank you for your message. It has helped me realize the importance of cultivating and treasuring my husband. I appreciate you sharing from your heart, today.

  44. Living for Jesus says:

    This is very timely. As today is our 39th year wedding anniversary. Being married is one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. Only by the grace and mercy of the Lord. We are still married. I went through 30 years of abuse mentally and physically. And that was sweet Jesus that heal our marriage. And put our feet on firm ground. My husband now my best friend. And we have a Godly marriage. And we thank sweet Jesus for blessing our marriage.

  45. What a beautiful message! Ladies, do not be blind to the devil’s claws when all you have to do is open an internet page and you have disgusting images all at once! It is too accessible for our children, too easy to hide for our husbands… How do we stop the madness that is the industry of lust??? God help us this is a new enemy, our grandmother’s did not have to worry about this but we need to be on our knees if we want to pluck the poisonous vines from growing!!!

  46. Crystal says:

    Please know that these two words cover so very much” Thank you”

  47. Ardy Robertson says:

    This is the best, most applicable Proverbs 31 I’ve read in years! Thanks for the variety.

  48. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this encouragement! I just read about Lysa’s heartache and I am going through the same thing. (accept we are in the stage of trying to make it work) I just found out my husband of 16 years has been unfaithful for 8 of them. We have 3 children. Since my husband is repentful and seems to truly have Godly sorrow, I have decided to trust God and Work this out. I am in pain everyday and seeking and trusting God every minute. We both have counsel from our pastor, but I need a woman that has been through this to speak to. You words and Lysa’s help me everyday! Thank you Jesus for your love and for the body of Christ! Jessica

    • Oh Jessica, I’m sorry it’s been so hard. Lord, give Jessica supernatural ability to live this marriage through Your leading. Transform this husband into a new man, take the old man away and bring on the new changed man. One that is dedicated solely to Jessica. Restore all things, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  49. Susan G. says:

    Good analogy! I’ve had a farm and I have a marriage, and they certainly are both hard work! 😉
    Thanks for this!

  50. Thank you so much for this post. I will be married 4 years in September but have been with my husband for 14! Obviously like all marriages, there are ups and downs. This was just the encouragement I needed. Marriage is hard work, but its beautiful hard work because we get to portray Jesus’ love through our marriages. Thank you for sharing.

  51. Thanks for your analogy of maintaining a farm to a marriage, that was excellent! Do you think prehaps P31 could minister to those of us who are without a marriage? I know we often think that marraige is a fairly tale, and that is probably because of Disney, but Disney is not the only culprit. Our society adds value to women who are married and have children. However, I do not think that is God’s opionion and I would like this site to speak more to the single women whom may or may not have children. Please do not misunderstand, I love P31 and marriage is the ultimate connection (with another human) were our relationship with God can be realized, but its not the only one.

  52. Janice Alston says:

    Love living on a farm. My father had a farm, but after he died we didnt farm any more. I was married for 20 years he was a very abusive man, have two daughters. He was a very mean and disrepwcyful man. I divored him. Never was able to fine anotber husband. Met a very good man stay with him for 20 years on and off. But it was going no where, he wasn’t divorced and I have lots of health problems, 2 time cancer survivior three rounds of chemo, and now on a pill, dibetes, neuropathy. My life hasn’t been easy but I turn to God, and I am still here. He can do wonders. You are truely bless. Love your article. Your farm brings back memories

  53. Jennifer says:

    I needed this today. I am feeling a little bitter and unappreciated in my marriage and my attitude is starting to reflect that. Stress has been high and my frustrations with his anger and lack of help have frustrated me, (along with all the other stressors of life, kids, a puppy I didn’t want, etc. ). I needed the reminder to not let those take root and affect how I treat and respect my husband. We have been in a lul in our relationship, stagnant and this was a reminded desperately needed.

  54. rose palandri says:

    I wish I could meet you OR Volunteer for a week or two at your ranch.
    Thanks a million for the analogy !

  55. I like how you correlated our marriages with farm life. Even in the Song of Solomon it says,”Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom.” I’m not an expert but if you lose the blossoms you lose the fruit.❤

  56. Shannon Lowry says:

    That is a wonderful analogy and illustration of working in a marriage to ensure it is maintained to flourish. Thank-you! As I needed that; it was perfect timing yesterday in a situation of mine.

  57. Esther Keller says:

    I can totally relate to your analogy. My husband and I started a berry farm, and though it is fun, it is a lot of work! But at the same time, I admit to not putting near as much work as I should and need to be in striving to be a Godly wife and mother in our marriage! I want to have the “Honeymoon” marriage relationship and pray daily that I would be humbled and not put myself before my family! Thanks for the encouragement!

  58. Sharon I read this article and loved it, 2 days later found out my husband may b having an affair. Plz give me scriptures, prayers, books, anything to help me fight the evil one and get my husband back. I refuse to give him up without a fight

  59. What do you when during difficult times if there is any questions you raise or concerns or things that bother you his response is “you don’t care about my kids, only I do” or “I don’t care about what you think or how you feel only my kids matter” he has 3 children from his first marriage. Also there was an incident where the lady down the street knocked on the door – he was having words with her so I went to the door. There was exchange where she said he was seeing someone she knew and then told me she would be there. I stated she can come. He was angry at me said I had no business going to his door. So now he doesn’t want me walking in the neighborhood for “fear”they will harass me. So up and down and just torn. I need prayer and help

  60. I do believe marriage takes work but most of all, it requires faith. I trust God and not myself to hold my marriage together. I got married in 2015. Its an amazing story. My husband and I were addicts and homeless on the streets. I knew he is my soul mate, like the older women would always say, you will just know when you have the right one. My husband and I now manage a sober home for men and soon a Womens home too. This definitely requires a strong marriage with God in the center. Our marriage is constantly under attack. My health is under attack. I have female issues causing me to have a period constantly and I have bulging discs that create so much pain and limits my functionality. It takes a toll on our finances, my activity with my husband not to speak of our sex life. However, I know we are serving God with pure hearts and I cannot participate in a lot of “doing”. My greatest weapon is praise and intercessory prayer. All I have is faith to trust God will hold my marriage together.

  61. This is such a wonderful analogy sis. Sharon, just goes like Solomon tells us about foxes and our flower garden (marriage). Thank you so much for this. I grew up in a farm and I understand and acknowledge every word in this devotional. Thank you once again and God bless you and your family.

  62. This was an encouraging message. I can’t help but to wonder what is your advice when you share a farm (marriage) with your spouse, and you begin finding less and less to harvest (feel less and less love), until you discover that it’s because your spouse has been sharing your harvest with someone elements (having an emotional or physical affair)? Could you recover from the lost crops, and resulting the nutrient-zapped soil, and interlaced weeds (painful memories, and resulting brokenheartedness and distrust). If so, how? And, how does your farm (marriage) survive during this spouse-inflicted drought while the crops (the marriage) regenerate?

  63. Sharon Muse says:

    I often feel it needs work. Having your spouse chroniclly ill it seems life becomes all about the illness an you have to push so many other things aside. I pray for strength and for a miracle if it is God’s will.

  64. What is there to be done if it’s no longer a root but, a it’s a full 6ft hedge? Say 14yrs in the making.

  65. I agree marriage is hard work but it seems when you are the only one working it makes marriage seem like a job, a hard job. You story reminds of the little nursery rhyme, of the hen who did all the work she planted the wheat, she cut the wheat, she baked the bread and then everyone wanted eat but added nothing to the work she applied. That’s how I feel, living with someone with PTSD. Seems, the more I pray and anoint talk about the word of God and the power it holds, the less my husband believes. The verbal abuse is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. We have had to part ways. I would like to walk away with a friendship but he makes it hard, by posting pictures of our personal lives on social media, words about me on social media, threats and it has all come to a head in my heart. I feel nothing and I’m ready to move on with my life. I have always believed in the power of Jesus and even after this I still will. Please pray for strength and as well for my children.

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