Cultivate - by Kimberley Byers

During every season of the year there is always something that needs to be done in the garden, but spring and summer have got to be my favorite.

In the Spring, it makes my heart happy to see so many great changes pop up in my garden. After winter, all the unseen plants and flowers I’ve planted with purpose and design start to spring up and become visible. Gardening is work and takes a lot of time and that has me thinking about our relationships on many levels. Parent to child, friend to friend and spouse to lover. 

The phrase "cultivate love" has been rolling around in my heart and mind for a few months. The definition of cultivate is to grow or raise (something) under conditions that you can control.

If we are the ones that control the conditions then we must understand that it is our responsibility and ours alone to plant the necessary things that our relationships need to grow strong and deep. We must “sow” into our children, our friends and into our spouses and at the same time “weed out” from our own souls the hindrances that hold us back from living a life of love.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who gives me the help needed to do things when I don't feel like it! 

As parents, friends and spouses, we must allow ourselves to be transformed through the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1–2) and the power of the Holy Spirit who produces in us self-control (Galatians 5:23). We need daily input of scriptural principles, a desire to grow in the knowledge of God, and time spent meditating on God’s attributes. This must be our highest mandate. 

When you go to God’s word first, only then are you able to exhibit grace in the face of disappointment, forgive readily, and disallow the little things to spoil the seeds that you have already cultivated. Weeds can take over so quickly that if we aren't careful to give love, plant joy, exhibit patience, dole out gentleness and kindness and allow faith to be at work in our relationships, soon bitterness, resentment and selfishness will take over and destroy all that was planted with purpose. 

Make sure you are planting the right things into your relationships daily.

Be sure your environment is a safe place to grow.  

Enjoy these last days of summer!       xox Kimberley

Kimberley Byers pastors alongside her husband, Craig at Keystone Chilliwack, Chilliwack,B.C.