There’s a lot of maintenance involved in growing a garden, isn’t there? You can’t just drop seeds on the ground and come back a few months later for your crops. You have to break up the soil, fertilize it, and plant the seeds. Then you have to water the seeds, pull weeds, and kill pests. It’s an ongoing job! But a garden won’t grow unless a gardener cultivates it on a daily basis.
The Bible portrays God as the Gardener of His people. It also portrays Him as the Husband of His people. There’s a strong connection between these roles. After all, the practice of cultivating plants and vines is called “husbandry.” God tends, prunes, and cultivates His people so they produce as much fruit as possible. A husband is the gardener of his wife. It’s his job to cultivate her so she produces as much fruit as possible.
Here are six ways you can and should cultivate your wife:
- Physically. Be affectionate with her. Hold her hand, play with her hair, rub her feet, hug her, and cuddle with her. Don’t intimidate her or be rough with her. Don’t grab her, push her, hit her, threaten her, or bully her.
- Emotionally. Tell her that you love her. Show her that you love her in ways that are meaningful to her. Don’t force love on her in ways that are meaningful to you. Try to think and communicate in her terms.
- Verbally. Speak lovingly to her. Give her compliments. Don’t make fun of her, critique her, or yell at her. Build her up. Notice what she does and tell her you appreciate it. Speak lovingly about her. Don’t complain about her. Build her up in the eyes of other people.
- Financially. Get a job and make money so you can provide for her. Manage your money well by establishing a budget. But also know when you make enough money. Don’t work so much that you aren’t spending enough time with her.
- Technologically. Don’t allow distractions to steal your attention away from her. Be present with her and available for her. Turn it off; unplug it; move it; leave it at home; let it ring. Focus on her and nothing else.
- Spiritually. Facilitate her spiritual growth. Make sure the right conditions exist for her to grow in her relationship with God. Develop godly habits in your marriage. Read the Bible with her, pray with her, and go to church with her. Be her pastor.
As a husband, don’t exercise headship over your wife by bossing her around and expecting her to serve you. Instead, take responsibility for her well-being. Devote yourself to making her better, not for your sake but for hers. Be as attentive and caring for her as a gardener is for his garden.
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