An Original Story by Some Guy Named Robb
There was a woodsman who had a favorite tree. It stood proud and tall by the water and offered him shade during his long workdays. Day after day, he would lean happily against its thick trunk and eat his lunch underneath its cooling shade away from the hot sun.
But one day, angry about something else, the woodsman furiously started chopping away at the sheltering tree. “It’s a tough old tree.” he thought for a second, “It can handle it.” A few strikes in he realized what he was doing and stopped. And he begged the tree to forgive him. Time went by and the tree continued to grow and slowly heal, still carrying the scars. Until one day, in another fit of rage, the woodsman began axing away. Again, he stopped and repented but this cycle continued over years. Until one day, when it was all alone, the poor tree could no longer bear the heavy weight of its branches. Its wounds so deep it could not recover. It fell and no longer offered its shade for the woodsman nor its shelter to the birds and forest animals.
When the woodsman came and saw the tree laying down, he was even more furious! In his indignance, he thought, “Who could have done this to my favorite tree!?“
Suddenly, he looked up and down the trunk at the marks the fallen tree still carried. All wounds given by him.
The woodsman wept, for what had been done could not be undone.
Who was to blame? The tree for falling or the woodsman in his anger?
Over the years, I have performed at a lot of weddings. I hear the pastor/preacher/priest say the same thing every time. “Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly.”
It’s a little late to mention at that point, but true, nonetheless.
I’ve seen something time and again in marriages.
Wives, if you denigrate and dishonor your husband and insult him, humiliate him, publicly (or privately) trash-talk him, you will damage your relationship. You are chopping down that tree.
Husbands, if you ignore, neglect, discount, don’t communicate with your wives, don’t provide for her, or meet her emotional and physical needs, you will damage your relationship. You are chopping down that tree.
At some point in all marriages, we’ve all done this. But when we continue operating in those cycles, we ultimately may cause so much damage it either becomes unrepairable or opens a doorway for them to look toward other sources of fulfillment or provision.
A good relationship takes, time, energy, and effort from both sides.
If you’re in a relationship you care about but are struggling, it’s easy to point the finger of blame and say, “Why don’t you love me better?” or “This is how you could love me better.”
But if you really want to see Love grow and thrive, it starts with humility. Not what you can take from it, but what you can give it. One of the most important questions you can ask is of yourself, not them.
It’s simply, “How could I Love them better?”
Learn to speak your partner’s Love language.
It may not come easy or natural to you at all, and you may have to study to find it.
But… Are they not worth it?
Do you not remember the vows you spoke as you stood before them on your wedding day? My inspiration for writing this is watching people’s relationships fall apart. It’s sad to see folks’ marriages fail after only a year or two. And it’s heartbreaking to see them falter after 20 years or more.
Men, deep down I believe we are all warriors going around hunting battles to fight and win. Let this speak to you.
Women, do you not feel the urge to make things right? You, who know so well the art of sacrifice. Let this speak to you.
Friend, your marriage is the most sacred war in which you may ever engage.
At times, we are ALL the Woodsman.
And at times, we are ALL the Tree.
The hardest part to come to terms with is you are most likely the villain in your story. Your job is to realize that and fix your behavior, not villainize your spouse.
In the end, our response is our responsibility.
But the good news is, you can be the victor and share that victory with your best friend.
It’s worth it. They are worth it.
Be Wonderful. Life is Fleeting and Love is Precious.