In time the farmer's fields grow over with weeds if he does nothing to remove the weeds. In time his barn collapses if he does nothing to repair the structure. In time the corralled horses die if he does not feed them. In time the farmer's marriage erodes and dies if he and his wife do nothing good for their marriage.
Listen to the testimonies of people who regret their neglect, the allowance of erosion, and their carelessness. Note my CAPS.
A husband writes, "I am reading your book and for the first time I understand what has ERODED our marriage from the start. My initial lack of cherishing my wife."
A wife e-mails, "I am realizing now how much my husband needed my companionship and how I NEGLECTED to befriend him because he didn't communicate or respond the way I thought he should. We indeed did spend time shoulder to shoulder during our dating days, but that gradually disappeared especially once we had our two sons."
A wife expresses, "I know that I have habitually been CARELESS."
A husband states, that his wife "says I CARELESSLY put their lives and happiness at risk by having an affair and I clearly understand the truth of that."
A wife communicates, "he says I NEGLECTED him."
A husband pens, "Had I broached the subject… it would have brought a better closure to the conflict but I NEGLECTED to do that."
A wife tells me, "My husband had an affair… Through prayer and christian counseling, I decided to stay with my husband. I want to believe my husband is a changed man; however… he has ridden in a car with a female coworker (and) goes out of town for a business trip, but turns his cell phone off... I see CARELESSNESS for the institution of marriage, and I do not want to be hurt again."
A husband sadly reports, my wife "has informed me that she has found someone else that she's completely in love with. It matches her actions - which have been cold and CARELESS."
What about those of you who are doing good things (not nothing) and yet the relationship seems to be eroding? The farmer can plant seeds but then burn the crops as they start to come up. The farmer can fix the barn but run the tracker through the back wall. And he can feed the horses but brutally whip them. One husband wrote, "Sin, anger and unforgiveness has taken its toll on our marriage. Slowly… it ERODED the foundations of our relationship despite the seemingly tireless effort we put into trying to keep it shored up." In other words, we can make wonderful deposits but greater withdrawals.
Sarah and I homeschooled. Our children were a colossal priority. However, it made no sense if Sarah and I neglected our marriage. A bad marriage hurts the very children we seek to serve. How sad if all the deposits we made in our kids through homeschooling ended up having little positive effect because we damaged them through our marital neglect. Sarah and I needed to realize that if we did nothing for our marriage we would be doing something bad for our marriage and family.
Neglect and carelessness are like water and snow on a steep hill that bring certain erosion.
At this moment with a good faith effort can you remove some weeds from the marriage, repair something that is broken in the marriage, or feed what is good in the marriage?