Weeds in the garden of family love
I was out for my daily garden visit, when it was still the cool of a summer morning, and I noticed again all the little green sprouts that had started to emerge from the rich soil that was getting lots of sun and water. Some of the sprouts were flowers, and some were weeds. I pulled up both, since the garden was planted, and stray snapdragons (whose seeds had scattered everywhere from last year’s flowers) would overtake the flowers that were already there, using up the nutrients that would supply needed energy for the flowers (which I had chosen to plant).
I marvel at how quickly weeds can grow! They grow faster, it seems, than the flowers. Morning glory can overtake my garden in a matter of days, if ignored. They creep into the flowers and spiral up the stems. Bindweed starts out so small but then grows quickly into broader leaves. Like Morning Glory, They are so invasive! Nightsbane is akin to Morning glory but larger. It crawls up the back of our fence and squeezes under and between and over the slats. I wish we could spray them with weedkiller and remove them! It is the bane of my existence!
Lambs Quarters, Yellow Woodsorrel, Crabgrass, Foxtail, Prostrate Spurge, Dandelion, Curly Dock, Deer Tongue, and so on: these common weeds appear, it seems, out of no where! But in reality, they grow from seeds, just like the flowers do. So getting rid of weeds is so important so they don’t grow, produce more seeds, and create more weeds and more work!
Today in home church, I was to give a talk on love at home. I felt impressed to share about weeds that are common in family relationships, weeds that occur when Satan or some one else (podcasts, magazine articles, TV shows, music lyrics, books, a friend or stranger or family member) plants a false ideas in our mind. We may believe that idea and base our actions upon it. Satan wants us to believe, for example, that when there is a problem, another family member is to blame. He tells us that a problem amongst family members is too big to solve. He turns molehills into mountains. He says what this person has done is too much, that the wound they caused hurts too much.
Christ teaches us differently. He says He can help us resolve any problem. He knows how to teach us how to love every person in our family. He knows what we need to do, and so when we go to Him for help and listen to His answers, we can have strength and wisdom either to solve the problem or to bear with it longer.
Lane and I were revisting a challenge that we have had our entire marriage. Because of previous challenges and going to the Lord for help, we have sometimes learned to examine a problem by laying it out logically, as if on a piece of paper in front of us. We can examine the facts and try to keep our emotions and pride from influencing our ability to problem solve together. It can be hard work, and it requires effort and patience and faith from both of us. It is motivated by love. We have been able to solve previous problems with Heaven’s help in this way and decided to face this reoccuring problem together again. This is the work of marriage and any relationship.
We believe what President Hunter said:
“And [Jairus] besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death.” This is typical of what happens frequently when a man comes to Christ, not so much for his own need, but because of the desperate need of a loved one. The tremor we hear in Jairus’s voice as he speaks of “My little daughter” stirs our souls with sympathy as we think of this man of high position in the synagogue on his knees before the Savior.
Then comes a great acknowledgement of faith: “I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” These are not only the words of faith of a father torn with grief but are also a reminder to us that whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives.
When we look at the weeds in our minds that affect our family relationships, we find fear, pride, discouragement, anger, bitterness. All of these things have to be removed when we want a relationship to grow and blossom into its potential: beautiful, fulfilling, rich, sweet, delicious, regnerating.
I noted in my talk some things that the Lord has pointed out that help me to plant and nurture love and Christ’s truths and weed out Satan’s lies and snares: praying for help, serving with love and gentleness, giving a soft answer, asking myself, “Lord, is it I?” and then trying to do the one little thing that will make the relationship better. I have many things to do to repent and change to make my relationships better, but the Lord only expects me to work on one thing at a time, just like going out to pull up one tiny weed seedling at a time.
I am so grateful for the gift of repentance and all the teachings of the Lord that help me nurture love in our family garden!