When we partake in some delicious fruits or vegetables, we know that some farmers out there have had to work hard to grow this produce. We would not expect the farmers to throw some seeds on the ground and just sit back hoping the seeds will just somehow grow on their own. Farming is labor intensive and requires diligence. The Bible often uses the field and farming to describe the wonderful principle of hard work and fruit bearing. On the other hand, in Proverbs 24:30-34 the slothful are not mentioned in a positive light.
Just as the farmer must work hard day in and day out to take care of his field, a couple must do the same thing for their marriage, because it is hard work. A person is a fool if he thinks that all he needs to do is to get married and things will just work themselves out nicely. This man is “void of understanding” or lacks wisdom as Proverbs 24:30 describes it. A couple in a lazy marriage will be like the field of the slothful which is “all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down” (Proverbs 24:31). Nettles is a type of plant that has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs. How interesting it is that thorns and nettles are used to describe the field of the slothful! This very same concept also applies to marriage.
If a couple do not take time to communicate and work things out when conflict arises, over time, bitterness will spring up within their relationship. Like thorns and nettles, their relationship is full of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. If this is allowed to go on long enough, it will choke out what little joy or hope left within the marriage. Thorns and nettles hurt so do bitterness and unforgiveness. They destroy the couple and negatively affect those around them. The “stone wall” in verse 31 was meant to provide protection for the field but due to neglect and slothfulness, the wall was broken down. Now the field is open to all sorts of elements and dangers.
How does this come about? Verse 33 says “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.” That is all it takes. A little negligence here, a little bitterness building up there and before long, it amounts to a destructive volcano. No one whose marriage ends up in divorce ever dreamed of that would ever happen to them some day. When they first got married, they were filled with love and could not wait to build a happy home together with their beloved husband or wife. Instead of being diligent in guarding and working towards a better and greater relationship with their spouse according to God’s teachings on how to conduct a marriage, they choose the way of the slothful and to do things their own ways.
The field of the slothful does not need to represent your marriage, and there are godly principles that you can apply to cultivate and nurture the field of your relationship. God’s Word provides wonderful principles which if a couple consistently apply them, they can have a god-honoring, loving and healthy marriage relationship. The only way to know these principles is for the couple to read, study and meditate on God’s Word on a daily basis.
Marriage is hard work; however, the joy and rewards of a happy marriage done God’s way are worth every ounce of strength and effort on our parts. Satan is out to destroy our families and marriages, but let’s not allow him any foothold within our homes! May your marriage be well pleasing and honoring to Christ in every way as you both strive together to live for Christ.