Have you ever had yard envy? You look at your neighbor’s yard and then look at yours, theirs, yours, theirs, yours, and then you shake your head and walk away. How is their yard so perfect? You literally live next door, and there’s no comparison. Their grass is so thick, green, and immaculate, and yours is a mess. You’re embarrassed to even look at yours anymore. It was beautiful once. What happened? How did it get to this point?
We have all heard the saying: “The grass is greener on the other side.” It’s a pretty classic metaphor for envying someone else’s life. Their “grass” is what they present to the world. This could be in the form of a husband, wife, marriage, things, jobs, houses, kids, life situations, anything really. On the outside it looks flawless and effortless. It’s so awesome that everyone wishes it was theirs. The problem with wishing you had someone else’s grass is that you lose appreciation for your own. In all actuality, the grass is greener where you water it.
Let’s take a minute to really stop and think about it. We will call your marriage “your grass”. So in the beginning, your grass was a fun adventure. It was easy to maintain, effortless really. It was so bright and full of life. You didn’t mind putting the work in each week because it was fun. Then life got busy. Work kept you from being able to spend as much time with your grass as you should have. It wasn’t a huge problem with your grass though, because when you were home you really invested quality time with it. Then the moles came, and they multiplied. They left visible scars deep in your grass for everyone to see. (These are your children, in case you aren’t aware). You try hard to control them, but no matter how hard you try you just can’t. They’re all over the place. And, it’s not ok to put firecrackers where they sleep to get rid of them either. So, you’re stuck with the moles. They’re cute but pesky. When you open your life up to moles sometimes snakes come. Snakes suck. They are things that Satan puts there to keep you from spending time in your grass. Then your lawn mower breaks, and those are expensive. You get mad because you have to spend a lot of money to replace it. It gets hot outside, you’re exhausted, and you don’t want to spend time out on your grass. You want to lie on the couch and watch TV where it’s nice and cool. After all, it’s loud outside. You just want some peace and quiet after working so hard all week. Weather starts to take its toll on the grass. It’s not getting enough water, the sun is too hot on it, and parts of the grass start to die. It’s not visible at first, but over time it is noticeably unhealthy. You think to yourself, well, winter will be here soon and it’ll all die anyway. What’s the point? Why invest time in it now? It’s too late. When spring gets here it will be ok again. Then the leaves fall and cover the grass. They pile up, and you don’t remove them. They are brown and sad. It gets cold outside, and you distance yourself because your grass is completely frozen. Sometimes it thaws and gets some life in it, but then freezes up again. The seasons cycle a few times. The problem areas haven’t changed and, over time it just gets worse and worse until it’s beyond repair. You start to look for a new house with new grass because your yard is just too much work. It’s bigger than you thought it was going to be in the beginning, and you just don’t have the time it takes to keep it thriving.
Marriage = Grass. How relatable is that? What if you had maintained your grass better? Do you think your grass might have had a different outcome if you did? A lot of watering goes a long way. You have to replant seeds each year, especially where those spots become bare. And, putting a layer of straw on top will ensure growth. It takes knowing your grass intimately to know how close you can mow it before it gets too thin. You have to pull the weeds often. Planting flowers make it so much more inviting. Sometimes your grass needs privacy hedges, and a fence is often necessary for protection. Being proactive goes a long way. But, what if you don’t notice a problem until it is almost too late? Do you give up and find new grass? NO! You call in the experts. They have more knowledge than you ever will, and can offer you advice on how to maintain your grass so you never end up in the same situation again. God = Expert. Sometimes he sends in associates to help him get the job done. Associates = Pastors/Marriage Counselors. Don’t be embarrassed that your grass needs help. Not all grass is perfect. But, with God’s help it can be as immaculate as your neighbors’. Be cautious comparing your grass to your neighbors grass. Sometimes grass is fake, and sometimes it’s green because there’s a septic tank on it. Don’t compare. Your grass is your grass. It’s the grass God put on the earth for you and you only, and it’s unique. Maintain your own grass, be proud of the outcome, and never hesitate to call on the expert. Your grass is His glory!
Peace, Love, and Jesus,