Have you ever been in a relationship and said to yourself, “I love him, but something isn’t right?” Have you ever had the feeling that your girlfriend or boyfriend wasn’t working as hard in the relationship as you? This is a sign of growth with no production.
I love being married! It is hard, fun and exciting all at the same time. You learn so much and grow in areas you never thought would even be an area of focus. Being with my wife, I quickly understood the difference between growing and producing. Each time I’m with her, I feel this sense of purpose and I have this unction to relentlessly go after the vision that was set before us. Growth is the gradual increase of development. To produce means that there is action and a level of productivity that births other seeds of promise and vision. Production is to carry on a legacy from what was built. I’d like to say that relationships are like seeds. Every seed starts small but the anxiety that many feel in the early stages of the growth of the seed is the hope of that seed growing and producing something so much bigger. Each seed has a purpose and that is to grow AND produce. Many times in relationships we think that it is enough just to grow together but if it isn’t producing anything fruitful then what do you do?
Cultivation can be difficult simply because it requires your time and sacrifice. The process of a farmer is tilling the ground, plowing soil in preparation for planting and nutrient incorporation. The farmer goes through 8 steps: Crop Selection, Land Preparation, Seed Selection, Seed Sowing, Irrigation, Crop Growth, Fertilization and Harvesting. Each step is crucial and vital in order to receive a harvest. This works in conjunction with our relationships. As a single man or woman in a relationship, it is important to note that it takes time and effort to make that relationship grow. It’s not enough just for one individual to do the work, it takes two. The butterflies we feel when we first meet someone is not the first sign of growth. The butterflies is a sign of anticipation of what could grow out of what could potentially be a relationship. Growth starts when you lay the groundwork for transparency and honesty. The foundation has to start with connection on an intimate level. It’s not enough to just have the seed in your hand, you must cultivate it.
Jesus made mention of this in Luke 13:6-9. He was telling a parable of a certain man who had a fig tree planted. The bible states that he came to the fig tree expecting fruit but found none. Many of us find ourselves in relationships with high expectations, hoping and anticipating something beautiful to come out of it only to find nothing. You see, it grew but it did not produce. The scripture goes on to say that for three years, this man came out expecting fruit but could not find one. The man was upset and tells the gardener to cut it down because it was wasting good ground but the gardener insisted that they wait just one more year. The gardener decided to try to work on the fig tree by digging around it and fertilizing it a little more in hopes that it will produce the next year. It did not produce so the gardener cut it down. Think about how many times you have said, “Well let’s try one more time.” Two years pass by, three years, now you’re on year five and nothing has changed. The man in the parable said that the fig tree was wasting good ground, what about you? Are you wasting what God could be using the kingdom for someone that’s not putting in the time and effort or the sacrifice to help produce what has been growing? It’s time to let it go! You’re worth so much more than holding on to what’s killing you. Your investment can either push you toward purpose or push you away from your promise. We have become so optimistic once we see growth that we get caught up in our emotions holding on to something we thought was beneficial but ends up being a waste. You have to come to a realization in your life that just because you see growth and potential, it doesn’t mean it’s meant for purpose and vision. Don’t waste good ground by holding on to relationships that aren’t producing any fruit.
Today is your day of freedom! I, myself, was in a relationship for a long time before I met my wife. For three years, I felt that we were growing but nothing produced out of it so I had to say, “We have to break up.” It’s hard to cut off what you thought you loved when what you thought was love was merely hope for something better. Gone are the days of tilling and plowing with nothing to show for it. You have the strength to let go of anything that’s not directing you toward your destiny. If it’s not producing anything, it’s not of God so examine your relationships and examine your work. Before you step into marriage, make sure your relationship is not only growing but producing life, success, ministry and love. Look to God to give you the strength to understand the difference between growth and production in your relationship. The power you possess is the ability to manage your life. God gave you dominion and provision so what you cut down, God can restore and raise something else up so much better.