“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”
Song of Songs 2:15.
As men, our drive is often to conquer and have dominion over the things in our lives. But once we have conquered them, we often neglect to give the attention needed to the very thing our heart so desperately drove us towards in the first place. In fact, it is usually the things closest to us, such as our wife and kids, that we take for granted the most, and thus easily neglect the most.
In the dating or courting season of our drive to conquer (figure out if she’s the one and to marry her), all we can think about is the woman God has brought into our lives and she captivates us. Yet over the course of our married lives together, it is easy to become focused on other needs. If the “vineyard” represents our marriage and love that has been cultivated, then the “foxes” are all the seemingly little things that can draw our time and attention away from the care of that vineyard. It could also represent the small steps we take away from our brides and towards sin. And once you have allowed these seemingly small foxes into the vineyard, they come to know the weaknesses in your vineyards walls and foundation. Then they systematically exploit those weaknesses to invade the vineyard and leave it devastated.
“But I enjoy watching the little foxes scurry around,” you may say… “Or I do not see the harm in my little sin.”“Surely such a seemingly insignificant thing cannot destroy the beautiful vineyard my wife and I have cultivated.” Yet remember back to King Solomon and the book of Ecclesiastes: he did everything he could to satisfy the desires of his flesh. His conclusion was that it was like chasing after the wind. The reason was, even if he gained a temporary satisfaction, it was a fleeting moment. The stomach always wants more, the eyes always want to see more, the flesh always craves more.
So, the end result of this matter is to choose a path from this cross roads of decision you have now come upon. One path is the daily, and some times every minute, decision to fear God and keep His Commandments (as King Solomon concluded). The other path is to try to prove King Solomon wrong, and play with the little foxes. Put another way, it is to either risk the condition and beautify of the garden/vineyard that God has blessed you with, or to inspect the walls and foundation and perform construction if need be to remove the foxes.
Interestingly, there was a man once placed in a perfect garden, and God blessed him with a helper suitable for him… This man entertained the seemingly little fox (serpent) that entered his garden, chose to listen instead of chasing the fox (serpent) out of the garden to protect his wife, and the end result was that he lost the garden and a permanent separation came between he and his wife. The decision is before you.
What are the little foxes that have entered your garden and begun to eat of its fruit?
Are there any actions you need to take in your own life or in your marriage to remove the foxes, and rebuild the walls to protect the garden?
Are you walking towards a life that is chasing after the wind or one that is spiritually fulfilling? Which one do you want to live?
Challenge: permanently remove anything from your life that would be considered a little fox. Build the necessary walls or repair the walls that have been compromised, in order to permanently keep these little foxes out.