We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Blueberry Bush Marriages, Part 1

One of my favorite activities of the summer is blueberry picking. The farm where we pick is just idyllic. Thirteen acres of blueberry bush after blueberry bush. Of course when you first start picking, quite a few end up in your mouth rather than the bucket…a price that you pay for later, if you know what I mean.

But during my recent blueberry excursion, I learned something important about life…something I wished I had learned thirty-five years ago before I was married. Each time I go blueberry picking, I purchase one or two small bushes to be planted on my property when I get home. It has become a tradition. I now have fourteen fairly healthy, fruit-bearing bushes.

I usually pick about two gallons of berries, purchase two bushes, and conclude my blueberry excursion for the season.But this time I asked the experienced blueberry growers for some guidance. I was surprised by their instructions. They said that I should cut most of next year’s growth–as well as several of the mature branches–off during late fall or early winter. This surprised me because the bushes I was buying already had a substantial number of berries on them. Why, if the bushes are already bearing fruit, would I want to go a year with very little fruit to enjoy?

The answer was simple. Doing so would allow the energy of the bush to be directed to the root system rather than the fruit.During this first year, it is critical that the bush becomes established, laying the foundation for years of fruit bearing.

This reminds me of what is needed for a healthy marriage–especially in the first year. Still wondering what blueberry bushes and marriage have in common? Read Deuteronomy chapter 24–and tomorrow we’ll learn the rest of the story.

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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