Beware the little foxes

Hmmm…that title sounds kind of creepy, doesn’t it?  It actually comes from the Bible, which doesn’t make it any less creepy, really. 

“Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.” 
– Song of Solomon 2:15
I ate lunch with a friend yesterday, and she asked how Justin and I were doing, relationally.  Church planting is a stressful undertaking, and sometimes that stress can bleed into and damage marriages.  I told her, honestly, that at times our relationship felt more like a business partnership than a marriage.  Our conversations center on Grace Church, how to handle the children’s ministry, what kind of results he was having in the search for a bigger meeting place, how to make people feel more included, when to go to a morning worship service.  Now, planting a church is a good and noble endeavor, right?  And church planting will necessarily be on our minds and enter into our conversation.  But when it becomes all consuming, it can turn into an idol; something that has to go right in our lives, or our lives are not worth living.

Sometimes little foxes sneak into our vineyards, our marriages, and if we do not catch them, they will ruin the harvest, nibbling on the vines while they are still in bloom.  They can be hobbies that take us away from our spouses more often than is healthy.  They can be relationships with understanding friends which become more important to us than our relationship with our husband or wife.  They are usually unnoticeable at first, harmless in appearance.

Life is busy right now.  My husband and I are at a place in our marriage where we could easily shift into leading parallel lives, working and living side by side without ever taking the time to really look at each other, encourage each other, enjoy each other as we should.  Marriage is a good gift from God, but it cannot be taken for granted.  Good marriages require vigilance, sacrifice, and sometimes watching more Pride and Prejudice or ESPN than one would think humanly possible.  Get interested in what interests your spouse.  Husbands, look for ways to love your wife – maybe even ask her how you can best love her.  Wives, the Bible reminds us to respect our husbands; ask God (and your spouse) how best to do so.

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