The Marriage Cycle

by Andrea Towers Scott, Ph.D.

Marriage is much like a rose. When it starts, the bloom is beautiful and everyone can smell the sweet fragrance of love. Over time, the bloom naturally falls off the rose. As the seasons change, the leaves sometimes fall, too. What’s left are thorns. They’re not much to look at.

Other, more beautiful flowers that look and smell so sweet begin to capture our attention. We wonder if we are stuck with thorns forever. We wonder if anything is happening to bring the beautiful blooms back. We water and fertilize. And wait.

If we use the right food and water, the kind that comes from the Word of God, then the roots are soaking it up. Over time buds begin to appear that will become leaves.

We put effort into that seemingly dead plant. We water and provide food. have more energy to provide food and water to our rose plant. Eventually, more blooms appear. Once again, we enjoy the beautiful and fragrant blossoms. However, we know that a time will come when we are left with thorns again. This time of re-blooming reminds us that the bloom will always leave and come back if we continue to feed and water our rose. Other flowers have their own cycle, so we can’t compare the rose’s cycle to theirs. Even other roses may be blooming when ours is thorny. That’s just our season.

Marriage is probably the hardest relationship God has given us. We can gain hope when we remember the cycle of our rose bush. We experience times of blooming and times when we wonder where the happier feelings have gone. But as the seasons change, we again experience more connected times. So we feed ourselves from the Word of God, and over time, both spouses are drawn closer to God and thus to each other. And as the relationship improves, we see that we really ARE more than just thorns.

The thorny seasons can feel very lonely, though, especially if we look around at all of the other marriages that seem to be blooming so beautifully. But we aren’t really alone. We aren’t the only ones to experience this balance of blooms and thorns. Everyone has their seasons.

Joseph certainly did when he was thrown into the well, falsely accused, and then jailed. But he trusted in the Lord, continued to live in obedience to Him, and eventually, he was assigned to be Pharoah’s second in command. He ended up saving his entire family and his relationships with them were restored (Genesis 37:1 – 49:28). Ruth, a Moabitess, married an Israelite who died. She ended up leaving her people to follow her mother-in-law to a strange land. They were practically destitute until God provided food for them through the good will of a kind man named Boaz. He became her kinsman redeemer and she became the great-grandmother of David and the ancestor of Jesus Christ (Ruth 1:1 – 4:22). Paul thought his season of blooms as a Pharisee was forever until Jesus approached him, made him blind, and commanded him to serve the very people he was killing. He bloomed again when he finally walked into the calling Jesus had for him (Acts 9:1- 22).

Our lives are in constant change as different seasons come and go. Knowing that makes it possible to withstand the hard times in expectation they will not last forever. The same is true for  our marriages: our relationships are simply seasons of blooming and waiting through the thorns.

Here’s to many seasons of blooms!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace…He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA.)

About the author: Andrea Towers Scott is a professor of successful relationship communication. She’s also the author of www.WriteSpeakRelate.com whose mission is to equip couples and families with the skills they need to thrive. She uses sound Biblical wisdom to ground her teaching and coaching. Andrea has been married for 27 years to an amazing man and they have two wonderful teenage boys. Their family also runs a working farm in Florida.

Join the conversation: What season are you in at the present?

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