Build a great marriage by Phil Bonasso

The Lord of the Gourds

Things that are big always enamor me! Not sure if its just a guy thing or not, but I have been this way as long as I can remember. “The bigger the better” seems to be a life motto of mine. I like everything to be big. If my wife asks me to choose between similar items such as pictures or furniture, I will always choose the biggest one. My favorite car was a Chevy Suburban I once drove. Boy do I miss that big hunk of truck!

I think somehow God likes big as well. Not that he is not active in all the small things. The little things are extremely important to him. The Bible says that he has numbered the hairs on our head! This helps us understand his incredible attention to detail. Nothing happens big or small that he doesn’t know about.

But make no mistake about it, God is big. Really big. Just look at all he has created. Scientists are still discovering new galaxies so far away that we cannot comprehend the distance in our human minds. Everything God does has “big” written all over it.

The Bible proclaims that not only does God love us, but he wants to do big things in our lives as well. I think his desire is for our marriages to be big. Big in Love. Big in friendship. Big in vision. Big in Hope. Big in overcoming faith to meet the challenges that life presents.

I came across a TV show the other day on the PBS channel that tweaked my fascination with big. It was called “The Lord of the Gourds”. The program followed a number of people who grew giant pumpkins! Have you ever seen a giant pumpkin? They can grow to enormous sizes. Their average weight is around 500 pounds. The world record weight is 1,496 pounds! Holy Cow! That’s really big!

What was amazing to watch was how these giant pumpkin growers created these giant pumpkins. It didn’t just happen! That is usually what we think. For some funny reason we think big things just happen. Probably just a combination of luck and good fortune. Kind of like winning the lottery.

We transfer this thinking over to married life. If a marriage is a happy one then the people involved are lucky. I can’t tell you how many frustrated marriage partners have told me the reason for their unhappiness is that they were unlucky and married the wrong person. Happily married people are those who were fortunate enough to find that magical pairing. Now they get to live happily ever after. It just happens that way.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Big marriages, like big pumpkins, have to be grown. No matter how unhappy your relationship is, with the right care and dedication, it can grow healthy and ultimately big!

Let’s look at what the giant pumpkin growers did to create these incredible pumpkins.

1. First they must have the right seed. Giant pumpkins come from special seeds that produce them. These seeds are dedicated to growing big. Are you special seed when it comes to your marriage? Are you dedicated to growing big no matter what the price?

2. Secondly, they nurture the growing fruit with the right ingredients. Water alone cannot grow these mammoths! Much like a healthy growing marriage cannot survive on love alone. It must be joined with the likes of patience, kindness, and sacrifice. Some giant pumpkin growers bathe the pumpkins with molasses and sugar. Others inject milk into them in order to provide calcium. Can you mix into your marriage everything it needs to grow big?

3. Thirdly, at the right time, when the fruit reaches a certain weight, a device like a sling or hammock is placed under the pumpkin in order to support its weight. If this support is not done, the bottom of the pumpkin will compress against the ground and begin to rot under its own weight. Are you willing to build the right support systems around your marriage as it begins to grow big? Will you find encouraging relationships that help lift the weight of your big marriage such as other couples with the same values, counselors, a deeper walk with the Lord and a great church?

4. Fourthly, they invest daily time and attention. The growers of the giant pumpkins had to work with the fruit on a daily basis. Everyday the pumpkins needed to be attended to or they would begin to grow wrong and run the risk of disease. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? That everyday thing? Jesus himself said that having a relationship with him was an everyday activity in order for it to work properly. Same with a big marriage. Are you willing to nurture your relationship with your mate on a daily basis? Providing the care and attention needed to ward of decay and disease?

5. Finally, the giant pumpkin growers had to constantly be on watch for their greatest enemy… Cracks that develop in the wall of the pumpkin. If caught early enough they can be healed. If they are not noticed in time than they are fatal to the fruit and it has to be destroyed… Ground up for compote or fertilizer! Unattended cracks will destroy your marriage as well. Bitterness, mistrust, secret addictions, and sin will create fatal cracks in your marriage if you don’t fix them in time. Will you have the courage to identify the cracks in your marriage and fix them before it’s to late? This is essential to your marriage growing big and not ending up in the fertilizer dump.

Let’s learn from the “Lords of the gourds” how to grow big and great marriages!

Leave a Reply