Catch the Foxes: The Things that Are Hurting Your Marriage

Just like a little pebble in your shoe can become a great irritation for your foot, small problems in marriage can do great damage over time.

We all have little foxes in our marriage that threaten to spoil the vineyard. These little things might hurt the marriage outright or might prevent our marriage from flourishing. They could be sins we commit against our spouse or simple failures to nourish and protect our marriage. These foxes could be anything. They could be stinging sarcastic comments thrown at our spouse when we are irritated. They might be failures to be considerate of their needs. They could be complaints made to our friends about our spouse that nurses a growing discontentment. Other foxes might include bitter thoughts, failing to encourage or listen to one another, speaking in a sharp tone of voice, giving them the silent treatment, and putting all our energy into our work or childrearing and having nothing left to give our spouse.

 

It’s amazing how little things can ruin your day. Lost keys. Alarm failing to go off. Getting stuck behind a school bus while running late for an appointment. ATM out of cash. Broken dishwasher. An unexpected bill. Forgetting to pack a lunch. These are all little things, but like a paper cut, they sting. And when these little things happen one after another, they build up into bigger things. Until you get to the end of the day and count it as a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

Little things cause problems in marriage too.

The Little Things of Marriage

The Song of Solomon is a book of poetry celebrating the love of marriage. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). It focuses on the romantic love between a young shepherd and shepherdess in ancient Israel. Through its prose, it reveals God’s wisdom for the marriage relationship, especially a marriage’s faithfulness, enduring love, physical affection, and security.

In the midst of this romantic work is the caution, “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15). Foxes love to eat the grapes in a vineyard. Like rabbits that devour your vegetable garden or ants that come after your picnic lunch, foxes are trouble for the vineyard.

In this passage, the vineyard represents the relationship between the husband and wife. The foxes are those things that cause damage and spoil the marriage. The verse refers to the foxes as “little foxes” meaning those small things that cause problems in a marriage. Just like a little pebble in your shoe can become a great irritation for your foot, small problems in marriage can do great damage over time.

Catch the Foxes

We all have little foxes in our marriage that threaten to spoil the vineyard. These little things might hurt the marriage outright or might prevent our marriage from flourishing. They could be sins we commit against our spouse or simple failures to nourish and protect our marriage. These foxes could be anything. They could be stinging sarcastic comments thrown at our spouse when we are irritated. They might be failures to be considerate of their needs. They could be complaints made to our friends about our spouse that nurses a growing discontentment. Other foxes might include bitter thoughts, failing to encourage or listen to one another, speaking in a sharp tone of voice, giving them the silent treatment, and putting all our energy into our work or childrearing and having nothing left to give our spouse.

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