Relationships through the tree

Part Two of Four: The Trunk

All truth is parallel. For every natural truth there is an equal and corresponding spiritual truth. In our present series, we are looking at the tree as a metaphor for a relationship and/or marriage.

The last time, we read about the roots of the tree in terms of its stability. Some key words from part one for review are temperament, strengths/weaknesses, growth, change, stability, and of course, rooted in Jesus Christ.

This time we’ll look at the trunk, which I call resolve. In a relationship or marriage the trunk of resolve grows from the roots of our spiritual strengths and weaknesses and our ability to change and transform ourselves into the image of Christ [1]. Being rooted in Jesus Christ gives the tree of relationship stability, which is the threefold cord of Ecclesiastes 4:12.

However, the roots of stability are not any good unless the trunk of resolve (the couple who are rooted in Christ) is committed and determined to settle and maintain an active resolution of a contentious dispute or disagreement. They must decide that the relationship is more important than the dispute, because once the resolve breaks down and not restored, the relationship/marriage is doomed, baring a miracle from God, which is always possible.

v31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander as well as all types of evil behavior.
v32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:31, 32 NLT]

Resolve is a process and is something on which a couple needs constantly to work. This process does not happen over night [2]. (Trust me on that one.) The couple needs to be aware of their issues (different for different couples) and they need to arrest the issue(s) before AND/OR after the infraction. Therefore, resolution requires choice, a choice for compromise and more times than not. . .repentance and forgiveness.

This is really a condensed narrative on this series so I hope I have presented it in a clear enough fashion to help those in need of the tree’s solution.

So far, we have looked at stability (balance and rooted in Christ) and resolve, two of the main ingredients in a relationship. Next time we will look at the limbs of the tree.
[1] 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29; Romans 12:2
[2] John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Romans 15:5; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Corinthians 13:6; Hebrews 12:15; Psalms 133:1

Relationships through the tree

Part One of Four: The Roots

I recently visited Cathedral Grove in BC Canada. It is a place where many old and very tall trees reside. It is serene and a quiet place to be accept for the occasional chatter of a few people. Although many trees remain standing, there are a few that laid flat on the ground due to a once extreme storm. It is a shame that they weren’t strong enough to withstand the power of the wind.

It is too bad that some of our relationships/marriages do not stand the test of time and fall because of the various storms that attack those institutions. As I walked through the Grove, I could see another spiritual parallel of the tree.

v6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
v7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. – [Colossians 2:6-7 KJV]

Shallow Roots
The roots of a tree give it stability, making it possible to stand when the storms of life hit. Like a house or building, the roots of the tree are its foundation. If the roots are not deep enough, the tree will not stand and it will fall. It is simple physics, and since all truth is parallel, it is simple faith.

I see the shallow roots of a tree as the weaknesses and sins of man [1], and the lack of change that creates instability. Nothing describes man better in terms of weaknesses or strengths as do the temperaments. These temperaments are melancholy, sanguine, phlegmatic, and choleric.

Everyone has a root temperament and has qualities of at least two. Having said this, if a person is unwilling to change in the slightest, there will be no growth for that person. Without change, relationships can be doomed especially if one is of a stronger type than the other.

The storms of sin hit us all. The winds of the storm are anger, jealousy, fear, regret, unbelief, while others it might be allot more severe like pornography. Seven things God hates and you can find them in Proverbs 6:16-19. These and other sins are the winds that blow over the tree of relationship (and they don’t do the individual any good either, but we’ll cover that in part three.

Deep Roots
Love in a relationship is much like a tree, when you have a deeply rooted love, life works. Relationships work. Love is give and take, which sometimes, requires change even if slightly away from our temperament. Otherwise a person can become stagnant and a relationship can falter and suffer. It takes much more but this is a good start. Love is all about the other person, not about the individual. So if we need to change. . .change. Whatever we need to do, do the thing.

When a tornado hits, it rips the trees with shallow roots from the soil, but those with deep roots remain standing. If the shallow roots do not change and head for deeper soil, it is doomed to lay flat like those I encountered at Cathedral Grove. In the same way, God challenges us to have those same kinds of deep roots in Him [2]. Jesus also warns us of the dangers of shallow roots in the parable of the seed.

v5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
v6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. – [Mark 4:5-6 KJV]

So root yourself in Christ DEEPLY. Develop a hunger for Him. Focus on Him. Love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength [3]. He IS the answer to all things. He IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life [4]. You will not get to heaven without Him. There is nothing stronger that a threefold cord – Man, woman, and Jesus Christ [Ecclesiastes 4:12]. Sorry, but do not shoot the messenger.

[1] Man or woman. . .mankind
[2] Jeremiah 17:8
[3] Mark 12:30
[4] John 14:6