The Pruning Process in Marriage

Prune (verb): Trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth. (google defn)

It is amazing to see that some of the best looking rose bushes are the ones that have been pruned and carefully maintained.  The pruning process does not look good in the beginning and from the view of an outsider the rose bush appears to be ugly.  When it is time for the rose to bloom, the true purpose and meaning of pruning is illustrated.  The rose bush looks healthier, more beautiful, full of life, and mature. As  a husband, it is my role to help my wife grow. I am never to control her or demean her in anyway, but I am to help her blossom as a beautiful rose. To help her blossom, I must prune her.  For many men, including myself, this is difficult because we want to please our wives and avoid conflict. Instead of doing what we know we should do (prune), we neglect our wives (rose bush) and allow her to take our role as pruner (husband).  The greatest example can be seen in Adam and Eve.  Adam was there watching as his wife took the fruit from the forbidden tree that belonged to God and ate of it.  He never stepped in to prune his wife to help her grow.  He never interceded on her behalf, nor did he tell her “No don’t eat of the fruit God forbade us to partake of,” instead he watched her eat and accepted it from her and ate too. Because of his failure to prune, he allowed his rose bush to be defiled (he dropped the ball and gave his wife his role as leader).

Many men avoid the role a pruner, either to avoid conflict or because he feels his wife does not respect him enough to listen or she does not trust his position as leader. We husbands must show our wives that we can be trusted not to hurt her and not to lead her down a road of despair.  As emotional creatures the way women process everything looks like spaghetti noodles (description taken from Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill & Pam Farrel) everything intertwines together and they can think of countless things at one time. On the other hand, men think in boxes like how a waffle looks, one thing at a time. Many times our wies need our help to process the intermingling “noodles” not by fixing the problem (“Mr. Fix-it”) but letting her know we care about what she cares about and listening to her needs. This helps her grow and is something I am constantly working to improve myself. My wife does not want me to always try to fix her problems, she wants me to listen. She wants to know that I love her and care about what she believes is important.  Coming to that point can be tough because most people are thinking about how they can get their needs met,  how can I get ____ to meet my needs today, instead of focusing on meeting her needs.  Once I meet my wife’s needs, she is more willing to meet mine.  It is a process and may not happen overnight, but I must take that role as her Gardener.

As her husband I make a decision to stand by my wife in the face of all adversities, I devote my life to serving God first and protecting her from hurt or danger.  I make a stand to be the best husband and father possible through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Finally, I will make a stand to prune her by correcting her being a voice of reason, not allowing her emotions to decide major decisions, and being the spiritual head of my home.

God bless, Marcus

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