Curing Crabgrass in Your Marriage

Published July 9, 1981. So many neighbors and friends had told us we had crabgrass in our new lawn that we soon began to believe the crabgrass would prevail. The neighborhood consensus was the lawn could not survive. All one had to do was look at it. The crabgrass was so tall that the little blades of new lawn were barely visible.

One neighbor told us how to spray the yard with a certain chemical that would kill everything; we could simply start over. Another neighbor offered us his roto-tiller. We were discouraged, to say the least. It had taken us several months to even get this far with our new lawn. We had to dig up rocks, bring in topsoil, level, fertilize, and prepare the area for the lawn seed.

While trying to decide about the crabgrass, I stopped by a greenhouse one day with a few samples. I described my plight to an old man who looked like he knew something about plants and grass.

“That’s nothing but orchard grass,” he said. “Just give your new lawn, a little more water, fertilizer, and time. As the new lawn grows, it will soon crowd out the crabgrass.” We followed his advice and now have a backyard of beautiful, thriving lawn. And the orchard grass is gone.

Marriage also has its discouraging moments once in a while. A little unwanted crabgrass. And sometimes we may just want to give up the good to get rid of the unwanted. But the advice from the old man at the nursery still seems pertinent. Give it a little more attention, make a little more effort, and the good experiences will eventually crowd out the bad ones. It is simply where you want to focus your efforts and attention: on the lawn or on the crabgrass.

In his book “Your Marriage – Duel or Duet?” Louis H. Evans also emphasizes the importance of attention and work in marriage in the following poem:

            You can’t leave love to luck.
            Love first came with leaping ecstasy.
            But when this passes . . . as it always may
            Love, too, will go unless you make it stay.
            For there come times when hearts
            Are deaf and dumb, when nothing wakens.
            Nothing yearns or burns. These times must come;
            They are not accident, nor do they prove
            Your choice of love was wrong.
            They come with every lover,
            Every loving bond – mother or father.
            Sister, brother, mate, Always, at times,
            Love seems as cold as hate
            Cut off forever, by malignant fate.
            But it’s not so . . . Such chilling of the heart’s
            As much a part of life as thirst or hunger.
            It’s the natural ebb of our affection’s flow
            Such times must come for all who love,
            And when they come you must know why,
            And how to meet them, or your love will die.
            You can’t leave love to luck,
            You must at times build love.
            Though lacking all delight,
            As blind men weave a pattern in the night,
            Counting each gentle gesture,
            Spacing word and smile, groping through darkness
            Of both heart and head, as blind men fumble
            With their unseen thread
            Until at last from out of the dull
            Gray warp and woof of service, unto God and men,
            There’s the shine of that sweet wonder
            Which you had thought had passed

And, once again, you feel God’s beautiful design.

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