So, I took this picture the other day with my cell phone.
I was walking through a parking lot and I saw these two little flowers growing in a crack in the asphalt. I was so struck by the sight of these flowers growing in such a lifeless place that I had to stop and snap a picture of them with my cellphone. These two flowers were the only living things in the area.
Now, I know that they are simply Dandelions–basically weeds–so some of you may not see beauty in this picture at all, but I do.
I see a picture of hope. But not just a picture of hope. I see a picture of hope for marriages. These two flowers–flourishing in a difficult environment–reminded me of the countless marriages that are flourishing in difficult environments.
God has blessed me by allowing me to work with many couples who are fighting to save their marriages–couples who are serious about keeping their marriage vows, but who are also facing serious challenges to their sacred promises.
In that moment when I saw those two flowers in that crack in the asphalt, I stopped in my tracks and pulled out my cellphone because I saw the image of countless faithful couples who are desperately doing the hard work it takes to keep the love in their marriage alive and blooming.
If you see your marriage as you look at these two flowers in the asphalt, let me offer you some encouragement.
1. Stick together. Don’t let anyone or anything pull you apart. You can make it. You can survive, but you must approach your challenges as a united team.
2. Keep believing. There is always hope as long as each of you is willing to take another step in the same direction as your spouse. I’ve seen hope restored in marriages that looked hopeless. Your environment (family history, family members, in-laws, friends, financial problems, work, sexual sin, etc.) may be trying to choke the life out of your marriage, but you can survive. Identify each threat to your marriage and–together–start addressing them one by one. You can bloom…I believe in you!
3. See the beauty. Covenant love is a beautiful thing. Marriage is hard work. Trust me…trust anyone who’s been married for at least a day! Sometimes, in the midst of marital trials, it’s easy to lose sight of the things in your marriage that are truly beautiful and worth fighting for. Every marriage has its asphalt–the dark, cold, lifeless, hard stuff that makes it difficult to bloom, but every marriage also has beauty growing in the cracks. Look for the beauty in the asphalt and focus on that…nourish that…and make that the point from which you start any conversation about the challenges you are facing in your marriage. There’s beauty in every marriage. Find it. Focus on it…and hope will find fertile soil from which your marriage can blossom.
And maybe one day, someone will notice your marriage as they are walking by and stop…struck by its surprising beauty.