Our home in Hungary has needed more than its fair share of work. We have built a good relationship with our neighbours who seem to know a lot about gardening and are more than willing to offer helpful tips and suggestions. Their helpfulness has improved our Hungarian (they don’t speak any English), and it has also improved our gardening abilities.

Last year when we had a lot of work done on the old house our lawns suffered a lot of damage. In some places, items had been left on the ground and when they were finally removed a patch of earth was all that was left. In other locations, we had lit fires to burn the old thatch that had been taken from the roof. In other places wear and tear had worn away the grass they were in a sad state of repair.

Our neighbours have a wonderful garden and last week we saw them outside working on their lawn. They are proactive people, and we know if they start doing something in the garden it is time for us to do something too.  They were scarifying their lawn a process that involves scraping the ground. It removes all the weeds and things that should not be there, but it doesn’t make the lawn look pretty.

Sometimes marriages can be a little like lawns. They suffer some wear and tear, and parts can really need attention. It can be tempting to ignore problems and just hope they get better.  Often if the problem isn’t dealt with weeds and mosses grow in the marriage just as they do on the lawn.

We learned that you shouldn’t sow seed until you scarify. Scratching below the surface can be painful, but it is necessary for the health of the marriage.

Scarifying the lawn removes the weeds and the “thatch” from the soil.

This thatch layer causes the following problems:

  • Store for disease
  • Prevents air water and nutrients from reaching roots
  • Ideal home for some insects
  • Chokes grass growth

In marriage, problems build up and if they are allowed to remain they also:

  • Store disease. Wounds fester.
  • They prevent the marriage from getting what it needs to be healthy (e.g. quality time together)
  • Offences are the ideal home for hurts to breed and multiply
  • Chokes the growth of the marriage

As an expat couple when we arrived in Hungary we had to learn to garden differently than before. In Hungary, there isn’t as much rain as in the UK, and as a result, the ground was much drier. It needed to be watered more often, and it needed more care. Our marriage needed the same increased attention. We found that it was even more important to make sure we rooted out issues before they were allowed to establish themselves. We had to invest time in our marriage to make sure it didn’t choke under the pressure of living abroad.

Mark 4:18-20 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

Improving Communication Book

Most couples would willingly admit that their communication could do with some improvement; although many people also point the finger of blame squarely at their spouse for communication failures. Whether you believe it’s your fault, their fault or that you’re both to blame, this book is for you! There is always room for improvement.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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