Writer, editor, stumbler after Jesus

Lawn porn

SO, I LEARNED this week that we talk about going green with envy because that’s supposedly the color someone turns when their body produces too much bile. And here’s me thinking it came from looking at your neighbors’ grass (cue laughter).

Glancing over the fence is dangerous. That perfect-looking lawn could actually be artificial turf. And even if it’s the most immaculate sod around, maybe it’s only that way because no one is ever (!) allowed to step on it. Meanwhile, your beat-up patch is the scene of memory-making romps with kids, whether yours or the grand-kind.

As Stasi Eldredge observes in her book, Defiant Joy, “Judging another’s green field of a life from the view of our dusty brown patch is tempting, but comparison is a faulty lens. Letting our imaginations run away with us through unhealthy and untrustworthy comparisons steals our joy rather than increasing it.”

When it comes to marriage, lawn porn is especially dangerous. You may never stray physically, but you can end up pulling away emotionally. Why can’t my wife take care of herself like she does? Why can’t my husband be thoughtful and present like he is?

Rather than sow resentment there, why not cultivate your own field? Remember the parable about the man who found treasure hidden in a field, in Matthew 13:44? Jesus told how the guy hid the cache and joyfully sold all he had in order to buy the plot.

Marriage can be kind of like that. We start by giving up everything for the prize: This is my field. Now, the guy probably didn’t plant a flag in the ground to remind himself where he had buried the stash, because he wouldn’t want anyone else to find it. He’d have had an idea of where it was, but he would probably have to do some searching.

Same with marriage. Life can disorient us a bit: work demands, kid stresses, health problems, and the busyness of the day-by-day grind. But the treasure for which you gave up everything is still there, untarnished, somewhere beneath all the dirt. You may just need to roll your sleeves up and get a bit messy.

Photo by whizchickenonabun on Foter.com/CC BY-NC-ND

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