Building a healthy relationship is a lot like planting a fruit tree. Different from a vegetable garden, a fruit tree takes a few years before it starts to produce fruit. With a vegetable garden, you can soon see the results of your labour, but the quality of fruit produced from a fruit tree will only be tested in time.

In this four part blog series we will look at the process of planting a fruit tree and how it relates to growing a healthy relationship.

Figure: The Process

Preparing the ground

HAVE A PLAN

Before planting a tree we first need to imagine the tree in the space it will be standing 20 years from now. If I plant a small tree right next to my house, chances are I’ll need to remove the tree in a few years as the wall of my house will disrupt its growth. Before stepping into marriage, we need to have a plan of what we want our marriage to look like in a few years from now. It is important for couples to have a shared vision and plan to work from for their marriage to bear fruit.

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

Set the atmosphere

If our marriage is like a fruit tree, then the soil is the environment we create in our relationship. If a tree is planted in healthy soil it will produce good fruit. As we spend time together in marriage, we set the atmosphere through the way we treat each other. Some people always live in reaction to the atmosphere in their home, while other people take leadership in creating the atmosphere they desire in their home. In our marriage relationship, we have the power to set the atmosphere by having a clear set of values and virtues we want to establish in the relationship.

These values and virtues could be things like:

  • Having dinner together around the table and not in front of the TV.
  • Focusing on lifting each other up, instead of being negative when the other partner is down.
  • Taking time each day to talk and connect heart to heart, etc.

By establishing a vision of what we want our relationship to be like, we are setting the standard for measuring our progress.

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Be Consistent

If we have decided what atmosphere we desire to have in our marriage, we need to be consistent in creating this atmosphere. We need to constantly measure our words and our actions against the core set of beliefs and values we hold for the relationship.

If our behaviour is not producing the atmosphere we desire, it is our responsibility to change. If our current behaviour could produce the atmosphere we desire, we need to be consistent as it will take time before we see results.

Ultimately, the atmosphere of our home will determine the quality of our marriage. If we are constantly fighting and arguing in a disrespectful manner, we will reap a broken relationship. If we are constantly building each other up and focusing on our partner’s strengths and not their weaknesses, we will start seeing positive growth in the relationship.

May you learn to prepare the soil for optimal growth and a harvest of good fruit in your relationship.

Question: What is the one thing you can do to change the atmosphere in your home?
Please leave an answer in the comments section below