North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

May 1, 2013

Danielle Cater: Water your grass and watch it grow

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Is anyone ever shocked at a marriage ending in divorce these days? Does anyone gasp in shock when a movie star is found cheating on their spouse? The implied answer here would be a resounding “no.” It’s sad that our society is so used to infidelity that we don’t even flinch when we are approached with it.

Believe it or not, I was a little surprised to hear of country music singer Jason Aldean’s scandal back a couple of months ago. Apparently the media spotted him kissing another woman and made that information quite public. How devastating that must have been to his wife (whom he has known since high school) and his two daughters. They have been married 12 years and, as of this week, he has filed for divorce.

When will someone step up and say enough is enough? Who will be the one to say that, no matter what temptation may come against me, I will stay faithful to my spouse? Is it so crazy to think that a man and woman would say their vows on their wedding day and actually stick to the words they said? Remember that little part in there about “forsaking all others?” Does that mean anything to anyone? You can say whatever you want, but no circles are exempt from the predators against our marriages. It doesn’t matter what group of friends, acquaintances or church members that you run around with, you are at risk. I challenge you to think of at least five couples you know on a personal level who have not dealt with unfaithfulness in their marriages.

If we know it is a real threat, then what are we doing to fight against it? I would say the best offense is a good defense in this case. Don’t put yourself at risk or in situations that would set you up for a disaster. No job or friend or establishment is worth losing your family over — and I want to stress here, no person is worth losing your family over, either. The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but if you would water your own grass, it would probably look just as good. Instead of looking at what others have in a marriage relationship, tend to your own. Water your own garden and just watch it grow.

The problem with Jason Aldean’s marriage isn’t that he got caught kissing another woman; it isn’t that the media “told on him.” The problem is that he was unfaithful to his wife. I’m sure there are many other issues they are dealing with in that marriage, but the problem didn’t start with someone taking his picture, it’s what he was doing in that picture.

The best gift you can give your spouse is your faithfulness. Don’t give them a reason to doubt you; let that trust build. When your hearts can trust in each other, then you will find that love grows much easier there.

Be very intentional in your marriage. Make a point to buy her a nice card, and be man enough to write a few sentences of your own in there to make it personal. This would be a great step toward making your marriage a priority. Wife, have your husband a tall glass of tea and his favorite meal prepared when he gets home from work and then suggest doing something he would really like for the weekend like a fishing trip or hunting together.

Go outside of what you have been doing and show your spouse that they are special to you. Water your grass and watch it flourish into something beautiful. Put a little time and effort into this gift of marriage and it can stop sucking the life out of you and, in return, start being the very breath in your lungs.

Now I’m not naive, I know that there are times when a marriage is hard work and it will be a sacrifice to keep it all together; but no one ever looks at their wife of 50 years and says, “Why did I stick it out with you?” No, they always say how thankful they are that they worked through the hard times because the good times were well worth it.