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 2

In our last Lamplighter Moment, we discussed the parallels between a healthy marriage and a healthy blueberry bush. The first year you plant a blueberry bush, it’s necessary to cut back most of the new growth in order for the plant to take root. In Deuteronomy chapter 24, God gives first-year married couples the same sound advice–of cutting back–actually, it’s more than advice; it’s a commandment! In the first year of marriage, the husband should not go to war or be involved in any business. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife. I call this the blueberry principle of marriage! If you want your marriage to be firmly rooted and not easily dried up during times of drought, then it’s essential that first-year married couples spend as much time together as possible, without any outside entanglements.

I know this sounds unrealistic, but with hard work, dedication, and planning, it can be done. We live in a day when young people are spending too much time prior to marriage in a fun and frolicking state of play. The months and years prior to marriage are foundational years. Men need to be industrious so that they have enough money to be out from under financial pressures. If there’s one thing that will take the joy out of a marriage, it’s money pressures.

And the first year is the most important because it lays the foundation for the rest of married life. Today, young couples both work and become involved in many worthwhile activities, except the one that God sees as important–spending time with each other in order to cultivate an intimate love relationship.

I believe that one of the reasons divorce is so prevalent among Christians is because of the violation of this principle. In fact, if you look closely at Deuteronomy 24:5 you will notice that God gives this instruction directly after his instructions about divorce. It would appear that God is giving us a Surgeon General’s Warning on how to stop the cancer of divorce–and be happily married ever after.

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