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 that 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.
Mark’s Favorite Book of the Day!
You will never read a story that is more inspiring and challenging than Ishmael. The heights of success achieved by this young man reveal little of the utter poverty into which he was born. He enters life motherless and poor, and despite the wishes of everyone around, he survives and flourishes in his paltry environment. His commitment to integrity and his singular focus on preserving his mother’s name give his life focus and purpose. His perseverance and determination to educate himself in law give him the opportunity to influence the highest levels of government.
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