Sitting on my front porch one morning last week, I noticed a word picture straight from God’s Word. The Bible is very clear to talk about hedges and the protection they provide. Since we live on the main street of our subdivision we are required to maintain a small hedge around the perimeter of our front yard. A fresh trimming of those shrubs was obvious as each one, unique in its own way, had been shaped to be more unified. Each little bush stood in its designated post, but my eye couldn’t admire it long because the hole caught my eye. It always does. There is one spot where a bush died and it hasn’t been replaced yet.
I am familiar with the small hole. Interestingly enough, I will go out of my way to walk through the hole to get to the mailbox. Sitting on my porch, it seemed funny that I would naturally take that route since it was a little out of the way. Then I watched my dogs who did the same thing. It is as if, it were ten feet tall and we would have to be a track star to hurdle the hedge. Instinct kicks in and we take the longer route that requires less effort. It hit me in that moment. How many times do we do that in life? Fresh on my mind was marriage. I have heard too many recent stories about dear friends who have walked away from their marriage. These are not friends that lack faith, love, and commitment. Some of them are ones I have admired in the past because of their examples of commitment and love for Jesus. I am not mad at those friends but I am sad about the hole in their hedge.
I read Isaiah 5:5, “Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.”
Is marriage hard? Absolutely. But, just like those shrubs in my yard, it is much easier to put in the work to replace one shrub than to start all over with a new hedge. Do I know your marriage? No! However, having been married before, I can assure you all marriages require work. It is much easier to plug up a hole so that your love and commitment don’t leak out. What does that look like? You have to set boundaries. If you go to the gym to workout and the desire to get healthy is overshadowed by the sweet comments and flattery of a new gym partner, well then go home and invest in a DVD workout series. If you go out for a girl’s night and your eyes are on the cute guy at the bar more than they are on your friends, then invite the girls over. I hear more people confess that temptation sneaked up on them. I remember the words of a young woman who walked into the hole of my previous hedge. She said she had no intention of destroying my marriage and that she just started out talking to my husband at the time. It isn’t that we are all supposed to be temptation free. It is what you do with that temptation. If you know there is a hole in your hedge, then you better do your part to plug it up….TIGHT!
If you can see a hole in your hedge, don’t wait for you spouse to fill in the gap. Take small steps today to pray and put a little extra effort in to protect what you have invested in. The hard work will pay off!