by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Thomas and Rachel were exhausted from the day. Returning home brought no relief. School projects, dining, laundry, baths and arguments robbed the evening of its vigor. They needed respite from the chaos and a safe place in which to heal.
With the kids in bed, the doors secured, they fall into each other’s arms. The pressures on them lift, and the clouds part. The remains of the day wash over them and they become one in spirit and prayer as they offer their thanks to the Father.
Every marriage must have a place of peace and solitude, one that is completely their own. A garden of inexplicable beauty, where their hearts can soar and their hands can labor. Their own universe where they can escape and become young again, playing and exploring like children.
This secret garden is where their one-flesh bond grows stronger and more resilient. God placed us in marriage to be a new creation (Genesis 2:18-25). Bound together in God and in flesh, we have a bond like nothing else in existence.
We must make our one-flesh heart a walled secret garden that no one else can enter. We protect our garden, at all costs. Our hands keep the weeds away and we nurture the flowers and plants. We maintain and secure the garden like a fortress, protecting everything within.
We should not allow our children, computers or televisions to steal our time together.
Our secret garden is ours alone. We do not share our secret thoughts and dreams. Our words remain there to echo off the rock walls, rather than in the hearts and ears of the world.
We protect our spouse and remember that their privacy remains locked within the wall. We would never betray them and the secret garden. We must find time and stubbornly hold to it, so we can tend to our garden and keep it fresh and healthy. Whether this is in the form of dates or getaways, gardens need maintenance.
The Word of God becomes our manual (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and the Savior, the centerpiece of our garden (Matthew 11:29-30). He sustains it with his light and his blood courses through the walls, protecting us from harm (John 8:12; 1 John 1:7).
Is our garden healthy or broken down from neglect? If it is the latter, please start work today and save it from demolition! God gave us a present. Why would we throw it away?