Song of Solomon 2:15 – “Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Easy smiles, casual arms around each other, clad in their best fine linen garments, smelling good, looking young and fluffy, … In hindsight, a picture of a “happily” married couple. Wedding days.
But if you only spent your entire time, efforts, and money on the wedding day, and chose to neglect the marriage after the wedding day, wouldn’t it be termed as a wasted investment?
Same as a farmer who owns a vineyard. They can’t simply neglect a vineyard once its vines have been planted on the ground.
Every failed marriage started in what seemed like a perfect, flawless union. Walking down the aisle, with a flashback of failed dates and messy breakups then finally looking up at this person you’re going to share life’s ups and downs – seems like luck.
Months and years pass, your time is split between kid activities, dilemmas on what to prepare for dinner, mingled finances with your credit card being run up by the other, reeling from parental duties, crushing workloads to meet everyday needs, and you wonder – am I still “happily” married?
When life seems to have boiled down to mundane and dull routines, the little foxes start to set in.
Foxes are quite interesting animals. In fact, they are much smaller than they look – not that much bigger than a house cat!
They gently trot through the wilderness, looking for their prey. Sometimes they hunt for little animals, birds, fruits, and even grass. They are very careful to try and hide from being made out. Nature has them endowed with a camouflage skin with fur – that makes them invisible, mostly. Foxes like to try interesting and pleasant things for food.
Foxes are resourceful, strong, fast ,and have a keen sense of smell. Generally, they aren’t harmful to humans, or pets at home – though out of their curiosity, they might attempt to approach you.
If not careful, you might be tempted to pet them. Because they are adorable and seem too cute to be harmful. The red foxes especially, are adaptable and seem to have figured how to live among humans – so don’t get alarmed when you see them in urban areas.
But when it comes to invading a vineyard, or any fruit farm – a fox does not only come to eat the fruits but damage the fruit trees as well. At first, it prowls around to make sure that there’s no one around to attack or chase it, then proceeds to half eat the grapes. Later, it digs up holes around the vine. And also gnaws the tree trunk.
Foxes love lurking around messy and unkempt gardens full of trash. Leftover pet food also draws them closer to homesteads. It’s reported that a fox can even locate with its scent, and dig up a coffin of a pet to have it for food!
Just like those foxes, life for the married has those little situations, that often get ignored, only to later become the divisive factor in a marriage.
Forgotten anniversary, short responses or tensions when speaking to him/her, less attentive, quick to judge one’s motives on a past deed, lack of regular date nights, being too much work-focused, vocal arguments on everything – politics, parenting, money, less or hurried pleasure time – as in all work and no play, etc.
Those disagreements and the “are you serious right now” moments, if not taken care of – could deeply fester into resentments. You end up suspecting that he/she is hiding something from you… then, those minor private worries start to set in. Guess what they do? They risk your marriage at being labeled as a sham.
Here’s a tip:
Spend a few hours or minutes alone. Maybe grab a coffee at your local Starbucks; and while there, take time to reflect. Try to remember the years you’ve spent together getting to know one another. Don’t forget the deepest secrets you’ve revealed to each other too. Now, come to the present.
The person you’re married to – he/she has imperfections, and they are riding the same wave as you – a wave of constant change.
Allow yourselves to face these waves, and go through them till you hit the shore together.
The little foxes marked by minor offenses, need to be confronted with a softened heart not brief blurts of SMS and WhatsApp texts.
Don’t be hard on forgiveness. It’s good to let them know of those certain moments that almost made you mad – even if they actually did.
Don’t let the years of trust you’ve built together be rattled by secretive feelings that you’ve kept in your heart – memories of him/her stomping hurtfully over you, time and time again.
Unless it’s a sin issue in your marriage – the rest, choose to forgive. It might seem like you’re ignoring the matters, but you don’t want them setting camp and living alongside you like little foxes.
Scare and catch ’em little foxes!