In Matthew 13 Jesus gives the parable of the four soils in reference to people coming to Christ.
It appears to me that the concept can also be applied to couples’ attitudes towards reconciling with their spouse.
As anyone who reads much of this blog probably realizes, I get discouraged that more couples don’t grab hold of all the help that is available to turn their marriages around.
I keep trying to refine my message and say it more effectively, but I am also coming to grips with the fact of life that many just won’t hear and persist, but I need to be thankful for the ones who do.
Jesus talked about the seed sown along the path that the devil just snatches away before it takes root. These are the spouses who are already in an affair or who have just mutually given up on their marriages.
He mentioned the seed sown along the path, that people receive the gospel with joy but their enthusiasm lasts only a short time until persecution comes. These are the spouses who hear our testimony of reconciliation, and say “Yeah, I want that for my marriage” but when we suggest resources they don’t get around to really studying them or putting them into practice, and at the first setback with their spouse, they file for dissolution.
Jesus mentioned the seed that fell among the thorns that the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choked out. These are the spouses who say “Yeah, I want to save my marriage” but are going so fast that they can’t spend a few hours a year to go to a marriage seminar, or spend an hour a week with a marriage counselor.
Then there is the seed that fell on the good soil, that sprang up and produced 60 or 100 fold. These are the spouses that really give serious consideration to our suggestions and do some of them, or come up with their own creative ideas and resources. They reconcile, and then go on to help others. There are certainly challenges along the way, but working with people like this energizes me, and gives me hope to keep trying.