When my son was about 6 years old, we were visiting friends who had just newly landscaped their yard. As we were taking a tour of their handiwork, my son suddenly grabbed a nearby shrub and pulled it out by the roots. As you can imagine, I was shocked! I soon discovered he had found an earthworm that he was convinced needed a home and to his way of thinking, a good place would be right where that shrub was. Though he was just a little guy, he was easily able to pull out the shrub because it had just been planted. Its root system had not had time to anchor it securely.

Nurturing the Relationship

Relationships are like that shrub. The roots grow strong through shared experience, communication and even difficulties. That may be why a significant percentage of marriages fail within the first five years. They are easily uprooted. While popular media often communicates a “happy ever after” perspective on relationships, it can foster the sense that building deep roots in marriage is an easy process. So when the first waves of discord come, they are often unexpected and overwhelming.

Growing deep roots also requires relational fertilizer. That includes regularly nurturing your relationship with communication, team work, companionship and experiences. And don’t forget: developing deep roots also takes time.

What Can You Do?

Ask in what way are you intentionally adding fertilizer to your relationship. Go for walks together. Read an article or book together. Consider a Weekend Getaway or a conference that will strengthen your relationship.

Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit familylifecanada.com/mike