Strong Roots, Flexible Trees


Me, Grace, Isaac and the beautiful roots. Photo by Greta Macdonald.

I overheard a couple arguing at the park, about how they organised their kitchen. “You want me to do that but you won’t even listen to what I want. You’re so inflexible,” he said.

“I’m so inflexible?” she said, “Look at you! You wont even look at what I’ve done. You’re the one who’s inflexible ” she said.

“I am not, I just wont look at it because you won’t listen to what I want. I’m only being inflexible because you are.”

At that point I walked away because it was getting loud.

Being flexible is very attractive in a mate. Not just the “Yes, I’m a gymnast,” kind of flexible, although staying in good shape really does affect the longevity and quality of your sex life but I’m talking about flexibility of the spirit. Having a husband or wife who will bend over backwards to make sure you are looked after is pretty sexy. Especially when it’s a two-way street, both parties feel appreciated so it’s worthwhile doing what they are doing for the other.

Flexibility is key to keeping us unified, keeping us reasonable and keeping us prioritising each other as a couple. On the contrary sometimes if we’re not full of living water, a.k.a the Holy Spirit, we snap.

Inflexibility is a big problem for people. Let’s face it, in the natural, who manages to be flexible all the time? Definitely not me. In marriages, I’d go out on a limb to say, it probably causes most arguments. I know it has caused ours. When we are prepared to be flexible to accomodate the other person we have less fights. 

As we have gone on in our marriage we have worked to become more flexible with each other. We make an effort to imagine what it must be like for the other person, to hear their feelings or ideas. Sometimes it means we go incredibly slowly on things. It may look like we’re going no where at all but in fact we’re busily sending out roots in search of living water. Or growing roots stronger that will be our firm anchor when we do actually go ahead. A beautiful marriage will have very obvious roots, beautiful strong roots. A bit like the beautiful roots in the picture above that we found on our walk, a strong marriage will have huge roots that the children can use to get a leg up into the tree.

Huge strong roots will keep us grounded in Christ. We don’ t want to be so flexible we get uprooted or permanently bent over in one direction. That’s not being flexible. Being flexible is having such strong roots and such supple branches we are able to bend and then bounce back.

Psalm 1 says,

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither

— whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalm 1 says we are blessed when we are like trees planted by streams of water. Trees planted by water are bendy trees, trees that happily bend and sway, not brittle trees, so dry that they break. We need to be rooted in Christ and filled with the flowing, living water of the Holy Spirit.

I find if I am tempted to dig my heels in about something, to stop the flow of the Holy Spirt with my own inflexible spirit, that is when I  am also tempted to bad mouth my husband or complain about him. Amazingly I can always find company who will join in and bad mouth their own husbands or even mine. It feels good to have someone agree with me, especially if right at that moment I am not in agreement with my own husband. The problem is that when I behave like that I am not in step with the Lord. I am in step with the wicked and sitting in the company of mockers. I am more likely  in that situation to break something. The outcome is not good if I choose that path. All the broken bits are going to be blown away, like chaff, too easily.

Psalm 1 says blessing comes when I delight in the Lord. Blessing comes when I meditate on the law of the Lord. God says if I am like that I will bear fruit in season. Not necessarily right now, but in season. He says, my leaf will not even wither let alone my branches break, whatever I do will prosper. 

He also says he is watching over me. 

Be encouraged, be blessed,

Lots of love,


© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @

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