Last year, while I was weeding the rose garden, I kept breaking out into Loretta Lynn’s “Rose Garden”.
The garden was a complete mess, I had let it go absolutely wild. It had become a dense jungle, the only thing not thriving was the roses
Dead blooms crowded the branches and debris sufficated the roots. Beetles and mites were throwing a party. The weeds created a dense rainforest. It was a neglected mess choking out all beauty.
As I began the laborious task of finding the beauty, I was frustrated but soon realized there was a peaceful, centered feeling working in the dirt and sun.
Hard, hot, frustrating work… sometimes it felt futile.
Some weeds came out with ease, but many had deep roots. Roots so invasive they were choking out the life of the roses. Taking time and energy to remove, I was kicking myself for not removing them when they were small and manageable.
Then I clipped all the dead blooms, reaching under each rose bush to clear away dead leaves, rocks, sticks and mulch, so the roots could breath.
I sprinkled the roses with rose food to give them nurtients and help protect them from bugs.
It was slow going, my whole body aches and I was drenced with sweat. My hand were raw from the effort.
As Loretta Lynn’s words bounced through my mind. “beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden”, I began to think if she promised him a rose garden and put the care into the relationship that a rose garden requires maybe then they would be happy.
Rose gardens take work and outside influences can quickly kill the roses.
Weeds, debris, bugs, even yesterday’s blooms.
Weeds will choke out the roses stealing nutrients, wrapping around the roots, strangling the life from them.
Yesterday’s blooms, siphon energy as the plant tries to repair the dead parts and it can’t create new flowers.
Some plants thrive on the decomposition process; not roses. Debris is piling up cause root rot and allows fungus to development, decay from the inside.
If you plant roses too close together then they sufficate and die, they need space to grow and bloom.
A relationship is like a rose garden. It takes work!!! Not just a little work at the end of the summer but constant tending and time. If neglected, it will be taken over completely!
In the same way without tending, pruning, feeding and room to grow a relationship can easily wither and die. The weeds of a relationship can be friends, chores, children, jobs, money, family, TV, hobbies, affairs, bills, illness- anything that takes away from the relationship.
Not all are a bad thing and need to be removed completely. Some are even good things, that you choose to have in your life, chosen to add something to the relationship, some are like an invasive flower in the garden, you want it there, just be sure to tend it so it doesn’t choke out everything else.
Stressors are cronic, they can’t be avoided. If ignored they will take over. Some stressors are surface stressors, they look over whelming, lots of leaves and branches. They look overwhelming, however taking care of them is simple, the roots are superficial. Others are a single stem, doesn’t look like a big deal at all but the roots are strong and deep. It’s about taking the time to tend them, not letting them take over.
Relationship need to live in the now, constantly giving nutrients to new blood, new beauty, new life. Hanging desperately onto the past, comparing now to how things used to be, takes away from the beauty of now. So remove the past blooms, wonderful memories but they no longer need all your nutrients. Clipping the past off allows a relationship to focus on new growth.
If the old stuff is really gotten rid of, if it’s allow to just fall around the roots the relationship will rot. The dead stuff starts to decay and mold, create resentment and bitterness. This includes internal thing of the past like old fights and other clippings and the weeds the were pulled or other external issues that blow in like leaves from a dead tree. The old dead stuff need to be removed, no matter what it is so it doesn’t cause the roots of relationship to rot.
Relationships need space. Each person is an individual and needs personal space or they will began to feel suffocated. If a person doesn’t have the ability to grow as an individual the entire relationship will stop growing and possibly die off.
The perfectly pruned and landscape rose garden still has thorns. Even a wonderful relationship will have moments that hurt.
Most of all a rose garden needs a great gardener to survive. Any relationship that is not centered on God will have trouble surviving the cold, harsh winters or a drought. Just like a garden with a good gardener, a relationship with God can survive even the most devastating circumstances.
I apply the analogy to my relationship with God as well. If I don’t give God room to grow in my life He will be crowded out. If I don’t take the time to spend with God, learn about Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, it’s because I’m making more time for the weeds in my life than Him. My rotten sinful nature can corrupt how I feel about the relationship if I let sin remain.
The good new is no matter what I do in my life, God will always forgive me. He will be there loving and waiting, even when I don’t feel Him because I haven’t made room for Him.
This translate so well between God and the earthly relationship because God is the ultimate Bride-Groom. Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of the relationship with God.
Anyway I think if Loretta had promised a rose garden the relationship would have succeeded. Because rose gardens, like people take work!!!
Humility Grace Mercy
Genesis 2:8 ASV
 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Revelation 18:23 ASV
 and the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the princes of the earth; for with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived.
Matthew 19:4-6 ASV
 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,  and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?  So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Proverbs 18:22 ASV
 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, And obtaineth favor of Jehovah.
Proverbs 5:18 ASV
 Let thy fountain be blessed; And rejoice in the wife of thy youth.