Odd title, I know. Facebook popped up a memory of something I had posted seven years ago comparing lawns to relationships. Since it still made sense to me, I thought I would repeat it here, though in an extended form!
Have you ever thought that relationships are like lawns? If you want to have a good one, both need regular care.
If you have know you have grubs in your lawn yet you ignore them, and do nothing about it, your lawn can eventually die. If weeds are taking over your lawn and you do nothing about it, eventually they will choke out any good grass that’s left. Then, all you are left with is an ugly patch of dirt full of weeds and maybe some crab grass.
In our relationships, if we let things grow that don’t belong, like anger, unforgiveness, resentment or distrust we would have a similar result. Even though you might still have a relationship with that person, it would no longer be a healthy, growing relationship. And it sure wouldn’t be an example of the kind of relationships God wants us to have and enjoy.
Maybe you’re the kind of person that hates yard work so you think, I really don’t want to do the work on my lawn; I’m just going to move to greener pastures. Well, guess what? Unless you learn what you need to do at the first sign of trouble, and deal with it, eventually no matter how many times you move you will still end up with the same ugly lawn. You’ll get the same results. You haven’t learned anything.
How many times have we seen people in a relationship, and rather than doing the work and trying to make things better, they decide to move on. Sometimes, people may take offence if something is said or done to them that they don’t like. Or, they might not get their own way. So they leave friendships and families, spouses or churches or jobs. Perhaps they try and start over somewhere else. The thing is unless we learn to do the work and find out where things are going wrong, we will keep getting the same results. Its like the old saying; everywhere you go, there you are.
If you’ve had to take care of a lawn before you know certain times of the year it can really keep you busy. You have to nurture and feed it and take care of pests. Then, of course, there’s the mowing! It’s not like you can mow it once in the spring and then its done till the next year!
Close relationships also need to be maintained and cared for. With your lawn even though it might be dormant in the winter months, for it to really flourish when spring comes, we do the work in the fall to prepare the grass for the winter. We fertilize, we rake and remove dead leaves so they don’t kill the grass.
Relationships need to be nourished also. If we want our relationships to flourish we need to be willing to work at them and value them. Spend time together, or talk on the phone, or write. Be willing to listen to the other person even if you don’t always agree. Encourage them. Pray for them. Pray together. Love them unconditionally even when its hard. We need to realize if we are in relationship with someone, we aren’t the only person who matters.
Our relationships and the way we handle them are so much more important than the time we spend on our lawns, or how clean our house is, or what we accomplish at work. Let’s make an effort to give them the attention they deserve.
All this talk of lawns I think I’ll go do some mowing!