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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shaenor Ishmael

The Gardener

I recall on so many occasions my mom spending Sundays outside caring for her plants. I have tried, on multiple occasions to develop a “green thumb” to no avail. My mom has the ultimate “green thumb”. On multiple occasions I have watched her take a dying plant and within a few months the plant is thriving. I have always asked her “how do you do this”? Her simple response is, “you must take the time to care for the plant if you want it to flourish. You must water and nourish the plant. You must place it in the appropriate environment for it to bloom. It is vital to also ensure the plant is protected from insects and pest that will strip the plant of its beauty, “keep pest away”.

Now think about your current relationship, we are all seeking longevity. However, are you taking care of your marriage? Think about your marriage as a plant. You see a beautiful green plant with flourishing leaves and think to yourself, I would really love to have that plant in my home. However, the individual that currently has the luxurious plant has invested time, energy and effort into their plant. They have studied the best way to care for their plant, and the needs of their plant. Are you willing to do the same?

A successful marriage takes time, energy and intentional effort. Some say that “marriage is hard”. Marriage is not hard. There are tough times in a marriage, but those tough times should not define your marriage. Just as a plant needs constant TLC so does your marriage. Are you currently putting in the work necessary for your marriage to thrive?

Ensure you are watering and nourishing your marriage, spending quality time together (see post titled: Clear the Clutter). Ensure you have the correct potting soil for you plant. Your marriage must be planted in a good foundation to flourish. People get married for an array of reasons. However, without the appropriate “potting soil” challenges will arise that shake your marriage at the roots and without a good foundation, it will be difficult to maintain a successful, happy and thriving marriage. Are you in the appropriate environment for your marriage to bloom? There are indoor plants and outdoor plants. There are desert plants and plants that flourish in water. Every relationship will flourish in a different environment, ensure your marriage is rooted in an environment in which it can thrive. Does your marriage have a good supportive network? (see post titled: Couple Friendships). Lastly, you have a growing thriving plant. However, you have not made the appropriate arrangements to ensure that pest do not invade your plant. Always remember that not everyone is rooting for your marriage to succeed. It is imperative that you know the difference. Ensure that you have built a “greenhouse” so impenetrable that negativity cannot gain access. You must identify the pest and take measures to keep them away from your plant.

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expanded effort on them”. -Liberty Hyde Bailey

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