Song of Songs 2:16-17 (NIV). My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills
Many married couples hope that they will live happily ever after saying their marriage vows. Sadly, the reality is different. In fact some, out of frustrating experiences, will be quick to warn that marriage is not “a bed of roses.” True, it is unrealistic to expect marriage to be comfortable and easy without any challenges.
I, however, like to compare marriage to a garden of roses. God intended that the marriage relationship between man and woman is beautiful and fulfilling, and above all, God-honoring. But just like a garden of roses with both the beautiful flowers and the thorny parts, marriage can be both exciting and challenging.
Behind a beautiful garden is the hard work that goes with it. A good marriage needs to be tended. Just like a garden needs watering and nourishing, marriage also needs to be nourished with love, words of encouragement, prayer and many other things.
Marriage also needs to be pruned. Pruning in deals with the internal issues—attitudes and habits—that could easily destroy our relationships if not dealt with.
Also, both a beautiful garden and marriage require is weeding. This deals with the external factors. To maintain a healthy marriage relationship we have to deal with forces that could easily hurt our relationship such as bad company, how we deal with friends and relatives, and so on.
The good news is that we are not alone in tending this beautiful garden of marriage. The God who started it is always there with us to help us.