“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27
What is involved in this cultivating? It is defined as preparing, fostering the growth of, encouraging, and developing. The word cultivating sounds too much like work to me. Is that what it sounds like to you? In truth, cultivating does involve work.
Yet, life has proven that things left untended or uncultivated quickly die. They seem to constantly struggle to the point where they finally give up. Not only is their life shortened, but they are cheated out of their full potential. This is where in marriage you hear, “I do not love them anymore.”
“I do not love them anymore.”
This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. It is amazing how fast time flies. In one respect, it seems like yesterday, yet on the other hand, it seems like it has always been. Reaching this milestone in my life and in our marriage has caused me to ponder what has been, what could have been, and what could be in our relationship.
I will be the first one to admit that I have not always been the best wife, nor the one that is the easiest to get along with. Actually, looking back, there are many things that I regret or times that I wished that I had acted or spoken differently.
I believe though that there are some things in life that have to be lived and learned. By focusing my reflections on these things, I will be able to do more cultivating in the future in my marriage.
Today I would like to share some things that God has shown me, during my time of reflection, in how to truly cultivate a lasting relationship. Not only with my spouse, but, surprisingly these are the exact same principles that will also cultivate a more lasting and beneficial relationship with God.
¨ We must be united as one — Matthew 19:6
¨ We must draw together — James 4:8
¨ We must love unconditionally — I Corinthians 13
¨ We must stick closer than a brother — Proverbs 18:24
¨ We must be fruitful in all areas — Genesis 1:28
¨ We must be a helpmeet — Genesis 2:18
¨ We must communicate in every area — Philippians 4:6
¨ We must surrender our authority to God’s chain of authority — Ephesians 5:22-24
¨ We must not be weary — Galatians 6:9
¨ We must sow if we want to reap — II Corinthians 9:6
This, by far, is not an all-inclusive list, but it surely is a good starting place, is it not? There are so many other key factors that could be added here, such as, communication, forgiveness, selflessness, etc. I am sure that you could very quickly even name a few to add to the list.
I believe that they all boil down to one main key and that is found in II Corinthians 9:6 where we find the law of sowing and reaping. You will get out of any relationship what you put into it. So, sow and cultivate wisely, my friend, for you will reap the benefits for many years to come, and some at an even greater degree.
You will get out of any relationship what you put into it.