Today’s devotional is written by Lori Steinkamp Lassen. She is our only daughter, who has been married to her husband, Scott for 27 years. Lori is the mother of four children, and has worked with the ministry for many years. May her devotional deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord. – Charlyne
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:14-15
I had gotten busy and let the couple of planters I had near our pool go, and I realized that every plant I had once planted and cared for had died. I decided to wait on replanting anything, so they sat empty for months. On a trip to the hardware store with my husband, I found some beautiful flowers and decided it was time to add some color to these empty planters.
I began being consistent with watering my new plants in the hopes that my new flowers would grow and thrive. A few weeks later, I noticed my flowers were healthy and beautiful, and to my surprise a plant I had in the planter years ago appeared. I couldn’t figure out what was left behind in that planter that had survived the months of dryness and abandon I inflicted on the soil left behind.
As I watched this new plant flourish, it reminded me that what we water and tend to will usually succeed. How are you doing with watering your marriage? Are you investing in your spouse? Are you being intentional in your relationship?
Much like a plant in the South Florida heat, it doesn’t take long for our relationships to get withered and dry if we aren’t making sure we are tending to them. You can’t control your spouse’s actions, but you can hold your own. Regardless of how they are acting, why don’t you start making an effort to water your marriage?
Water your marriage with your words-
Pray and ask the Lord to reveal if your words are building your spouse up or being used to bring defeat and discouragement. If you discover that your words or tone has not been loving, apologize to your spouse and commit to doing better.
Water your marriage with your effort-
Do another self-evaluation and determine if you are putting forth effort in your relationship. For example, do you take time to check in on your spouse during the day? Maybe you don’t have a job where you can make a call, but can you send a text?
How about an effort around praying and doing devotions together? Does that area need some attention? Brainstorm ways you can factor some quiet time together into your routine day.
Water your marriage with forgiveness-
There may be days when it feels like you are not in harmony with your spouse. Sleepless nights, busy schedules, and unmet expectations can leave you feeling frustrated, and unfortunately your spouse may be the one on the receiving end of your frustrations. Don’t let resentment build up and carry on for days, weeks, even months. Be quick to apologize and quick to forgive.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26
I want to challenge you to exam your relationship and determine if you are really nourishing your marriage. Making some simple changes can bring about results that could make a big impact on your family.