Taking Care of Your Own Lawn

If you take really good care of the lawn where you live, the odds go down that you'll have to deal with being attracted to alternatives. Most people are less aware of alternatives when they're happy at home. It's not enough to have a fence around your lawn that protects it from the outside. You have to work within the fence to make the lawn green and lush.

To fully protect your commitment to your marriage, you need to consistently nurture your lawn. Water it, fertilize it, rake it, trim it carefully; pull some weeds. Most lawns — though not all, I admit — respond well to tender love and care. There's often a lot of life left in even the deadest-looking lawns. But you have to bring it out. And that takes making choices and following priorities. By sanctifying time for fun, friendship, spiritual connection, physical intimacy, and all the other things that bond you and your spouse, you'll be taking care of your lawn as well as you can.

A fulfilling marriage does not drop from heaven into your lap. It becomes fulfilling when it's tended like a beautiful garden. It won't be perfect, no matter what you do. We live in a difficult and fallen world, and we all have challenges. Because of that, the things that matter most require attention. Keeping your marriage strong and growing takes time and attention — it takes making your marriage a priority.

From The Power of Commitment: A Guide to Active, Lifelong Love, published by Jossey-Bass. Copyright © 2005, Scott M. Stanley. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.