21 May, 2024

Mustard Seed Marriages

by | 1 May, 2024 | 0 comments

The Journey of Faith, Growth, and Abundance 

By Osharye Hagood 

There’s a reason pastors have learned to hold the mic when members come up to speak to the congregation.  

On one memorable Sunday, a couple who had journeyed with Rudy and me through the toughest years of our marriage stood in front of the church to share their testimony. We listened intently, eager to hear their story of overcoming obstacles. The warmth of the husband’s words filled our hearts, but the wife’s declaration is what left a lasting impression. “Well,” she said, “if Rudy and Osharye can make it, then anybody can do it!” It wasn’t funny (to us) then but it brings laughter now, and it serves to highlight our journey from humble beginnings.  

Our story, like many marriages, began with a small seed of faith, and it’s this mustard seed growth that I wish to explore, a reminder that even the tiniest beginnings can flourish into relationships rich with love, support, and endless blessings. 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks of faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains. This tiny, seemingly insignificant seed holds within it the blueprint for growth into a towering tree, offering shade, sustenance, and shelter. Such is the nature of “mustard seed marriages”—relationships that begin with a small act of faith yet possess the inherent potential for exponential growth, deep connection, and boundless blessings. 

The Seed of Faith 

Every marriage begins as a mustard seed—a small, yet potent commitment between two souls. This seed contains within its DNA all that is needed for a thriving, resilient relationship; when it is sown in the fertile ground of love and mutual respect the germination process begins. But, like any seed, it requires nurturing. It must be watered with kindness and rooted in unwavering trust, and it must soak in the sunlight of God’s love in order to break through the soil of life’s challenges and stretch toward the heavens. 

Be Patient with Growth 

An apple tree starts from a small beginning, much like the mustard seed. Remarkably, it takes about four to eight years for an apple tree to mature enough to bear fruit. This mirrors the journey of a marriage, where expecting fruitfulness too early can be unrealistic and can create feelings of hopelessness.  

Marriages, especially in their infancy, need time to root deeply, grow, and eventually bear the fruits of love, understanding, and mutual respect. Imagine planting a tree and going out a year later expecting apples to be growing on it already. Patience in these early years is crucial, for a couple must allow the relationship to develop to its full potential over time. 

Weathering the Storms 

The journey from seed to tree is not without its trials. Storms come, winds blow, and the rains beat hard against the tender sprout. Marriages, too, face tough seasons of conflicts, misunderstandings, and external pressures that test the strength of the bond. Yet, by enduring these storms together, the marriage grows stronger; a couple’s roots delve deeper into the soil of faith and commitment, making their relationship unshakeable and mature, complete in its love and purpose. 

Pruning for Growth 

Pruning is an essential aspect of nurturing a fruitful tree—and a marriage. It may seem counterintuitive, but cutting back branches allows the tree to focus its energy on producing healthy, vibrant fruit. In marriage, pruning can include the sometimes painful process of letting go of habits, beliefs, or even relationships that hinder growth. It’s a necessary part of maturation, and it helps to strengthen the union and prepare it for the abundance to come. While pruning may involve difficult decisions and sacrifices, it ultimately leads to a more fruitful and fulfilling relationship. 

Bearing Fruit 

As the mustard seed marriage grows, it begins to “bear fruit” (the tangible expressions of love, sacrifice, and shared life). This fruit provides “shade” (comfort and protection to each other from the harshness of the world). It offers “nourishment” (emotional and spiritual support that feeds the soul). And it presents “seeds” (opportunities for growth, learning, and further enrichment). These fruits are not only for the couple but extend to their family, friends, and community; they’re a testament to the abundance that flows from a union blessed by faith. As a result, children have a model that helps guide them to what is good for them. 

Reproduction: The Legacy of Love 

A mature mustard seed tree does not have a solitary existence. Instead, its seeds spread, taking root in new ground, perpetuating a legacy of growth, resilience, and abundance. Similarly, a mature mustard seed marriage becomes a beacon of hope and inspiration for others. Through their example, wisdom, and testament of love’s enduring power, they mentor, guide, and encourage new relationships and spread the seeds of faith and love to the next generation and beyond. 

A Testament to Faith and Love 

Let every married couple remember the lesson of the mustard seed: It’s not the size of the beginning that matters, but the faith and love that nurture it to maturity. Our journey, marked by humble starts and challenging seasons, stands as a testament to what faith the size of a mustard seed can achieve. In the kingdom of love, the depth of faith waters and grows the most beautiful, expansive, and fruitful relationships. 

And so, if you ever feel like hope is fading, recall the mustard seed. It symbolizes not just our faith but our hope for the future. And yes, a friendly reminder to pastors everywhere: keeping a firm grip on those microphones might just save the day! 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Columns

Thanks, Jim!

Jim Nieman is retiring after 26 years as managing editor of Christian Standard. Rick Cherok will replace him starting in June . . .

Follow Us