The Secret Garden

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 2:18-25Genesis 2:18-25
English: World English Bible - WEB

18 Yahweh God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

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). 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 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Every writing inspired by God literally, God-breathed is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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) and the Savior, the centerpiece of our garden (Matthew 11:29-30Matthew 11:29-30
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29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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). He sustains it with his light and his blood courses through the walls, protecting us from harm (John 8:12John 8:12
English: World English Bible - WEB

12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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; 1 John 1:71 John 1:7
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

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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?

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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About Richard Mansel

Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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