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A weed is “a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation.” Simply put, it is a plant in the wrong place or a plant other than the ones we desire and intend to grow.

Every garden and yard must contend with weeds, and our marriage is no different.

Just like our plants, marriages can be choked out and die due to the invasion of weeds if we’re not careful to maintain and cultivate it as we would a beautiful garden. Common weeds in marriage can include things like social media, binging on Netflix, and keeping up with the latest political drama.

While these things are not inherently harmful, they can bring a slow fade to our marriage when we consistently give more attention to them rather than our marriage.

Here are three tips to fight against these weeds in marriage:

Choose to Care

If we don’t care about our yard, we won’t put the effort into keeping the weeds at bay. Ditto for our marriage. We invest our time and energy into those things which matter the most to us. It’s not enough to merely know we should be working on our marriage. We must also grow to believe our marriage actually matters, and that God is using our relationship to bring more life, light, and love into the world. When we truly believe our marriage matters, we will do whatever it takes to eliminate the weeds that would choke it out.

Make it Sacred

Trying to eliminate all weeds is unrealistic. However, placing a boundary around our garden or yard helps us to focus on a specific area to protect. In a sense, we’ve made this area sacred by setting it apart for our care. In marriage, this may mean making our couple time sacred. We may choose to turn off our devices, for instance, and turn toward each other instead.

Embrace Simplicity

A rosebush is a weed if you are trying to grow tulips. In marriage, a lot of otherwise good things can choke out our growth. This can happen when we over-schedule our activities, commitments, social plans, and the like. Sometimes adding another event is the last thing our marriage needs. Often, what could be more helpful is discerning what we can let go of so that our marriage has the space to breathe. Embracing simplicity allows for the fruit of our marriage to flourish.

Controlling the weeds of our marriage allows it to grow into its fullest potential. We can do this by choosing to care, making our couple time sacred, and embracing simplicity.

It takes effort and intention to diligently care for the marriage God has entrusted to us. However, it is worth the cost, as we get to partner with Him in bringing more life and love into the world.

What weeds do you need to clear out of your marriage today?

Editor’s Note: Originally published on FamilyLife Canada

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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