Friday, 30 March 2012

Beware of the Little Foxes

Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.

Dr. John Trent has an interpretation of this verse that makes a lot of sense particularly when applied to marriage.

Apparently grown foxes tend to wait until the grapes are on the vines and then because they can reach the grapes they devour them. For the vintner who has patiently waited for his/her crop to come in this is alarming. However more alarming are the “small foxes” who because of their size are forced to chew the vines off at the base of the vine in order to reach the grapes. This is even more devastating when you realize that it takes years for a vine to produce quality grapes. The interpretation of this verse is that we must be vigilant to catch all the foxes but for certain catch the little ones who do the most damage.

In a marriage Trent likens small issues to little foxes. We as husbands come in the door from work and turn on the Sports channel. Or we have been asked 100 times to take the garbage out on Tuesdays but still forget. Perhaps we never remember to call home if we are running late from the office. Maybe the wife is so frazzled after chasing the kids all day that a microwave dinner is the best she can do. Perhaps the wife has forgotten for the third year in a row to remind her husband that her car’s inspection sticker is due. Possibly she unintentionally wrote a bad check, the third this year.

In the grand scheme of things these “issues” that we have with one another are little foxes that eat at the root of our marriage. If we allow these issues to grow up Trent proposes that things get personal. “All you think about are sports!” “How much intelligence does it take to remember that Tuesday is garbage day?” “The kids are always more important than me!” “How careless can you be, it only takes a minute to subtract a check in the register?”

Trent suggests the next step in the progression is that the relationship begins to fail. A culmination of small issues becomes the basis for personal character assassinations which lead to the demise of the marriage.

The little foxes are the issues that ultimately ruin the vineyard, i.e. your marriage. See those little issues for what they truly are, attack them while they are small before they can do some long-term harm.

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