“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Song of Solomon 2:15
Sometimes we face “big things” in life–those obvious trials that we know are for our strengthening. Personally, when something big happens, I know that I must trust in God to work it out. I know that it is for my good and His glory, so I persevere. What sometimes catches me by surprise are the “little things”–the subtle ways that I am tempted to sin, the prolonged struggles that often result from my unwillingness to be obedient to God in a seemingly insignificant thing. I don’t know about you, but I find that it truly is “the little foxes” that ruin the vineyards.
This is especially true in the most intimate of our human relationships–our marriages. I was reminded of this recently when my husband and I had a slight disagreement about a particular issue. This is unusual, because for most of our marriage we’ve been committed to pleasing God and obeying His Word, and God’s Word is pretty clear in most of the areas where we have experienced conflict–or our discussion of any “gray areas” has led us to a peaceful consensus. Except this time. And I, of course, was convinced that I was “right.”
This time, the result was a decision that I believed was not “best.” But, I wanted to be submissive to my husband and so we agreed to disagree and, I thought, smoothed things over. Back to business as usual. However, I do believe that I had a spirit of self-righteousness which ultimately gave the devil a mighty foothold. And a relatively small thing became a sneaky fox that came in under cover of darkness and, indeed, threatened to “ruin the vineyard.” Over time, I noticed that I was speaking more disrespectfully to my husband than normal. I was quicker to become irritable towards him, and he began to respond in kind. Our relationship lost its intimacy in our communications. And it didn’t take long for me to become convicted that it was my fault. I had let the enemy in and he was surreptitiously continuing his work, even though I was convinced that we had put the matter to rest.
Thankfully, the Lord showed me the error of my ways and brought me to repentance. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I confessed to my husband and asked for his forgiveness. We were able to make a fresh start and, by the grace of God, our relationship was restored. And, though it is hard to be honest about my failure in such a public forum, I do so in an effort to encourage you today, wife, to examine your own heart and see where you may have allowed the enemy to have a foothold in your marriage. Are you harboring resentment, unforgiveness, anger, or self-righteousness in your relationship with your husband, even in something seemingly insignificant? Are you willing to repent so that your marriage can be renewed? Take some time today to reflect upon the condition of your “vineyards.”
By: Cindy Carrier