“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” Song of Solomon 2:15
No matter what stage of life we are currently in, or have been in already, there are times we can recognize a change in the things around us. More specifically, relationships. Marriage, friendships and even work environments will go through changes. Even so, it’s important to recognize the relationships that are not maturing or growing like they should. Often times, we can sense a negative shift, but maybe we can’t pinpoint where or why it happened.
The scripture above about the little foxes spoiling the vine is a reminder to take care of even small problems. While little things may not seem too important, it isn’t difficult to find ourselves hanging on to small things that can actually become quite destructive.
Foxes not only eat the fruit in a vineyard, they dig holes and damage the trunks and roots. They are not safe for cohabitation in a vineyard you want to be healthy.
Consider friendships, even marriage, that have had a moment of failure. It could be an unkind comment that was overheard, or a misunderstanding that turned into a huge argument. It could be any number of different things. If a person neglects to acknowledge the failure on their part, or refuses to see they’ve been hurtful, others become guarded toward them. Or, if the offender apologizes for their uncharacteristic behavior, yet their friend or spouse is not willing to forgive, a little invisible wall begins to grow within the one who is hurt.
Both of these examples show what some of the “little foxes” in relationships can be. There are others, including being untruthful, being inconsiderate or having no compassion.
Whatever the cause, and if it is because of our own actions, it is good for us to acknowledge our imperfections and work to correct them.
Relationships are important, and God feels this way too. He desires that mankind get along with each other. And more important than that, He wants a good relationship between Himself and His creation. The “little foxes” can not only affect human connections, but they can also greatly impact our relationship with our Maker. Little things like sins we consider harmless or neglecting our time of worship and praise with our Lord can become larger than we ever planned, causing greater ruin than we imagined.
Hebrews 12:1 instructs us to “…lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Friends, we’ve all been in a place of hurt from others, and most of us have accidentally hurt someone dear to us unintentionally. Unforgiveness and lack of repentance and restoration can seem like small things, but in truth, are not small at all. Furthermore, other small things we consider harmless, but God calls sin, are actions and attitudes the Bible tells us to lay aside. We must trust the Word, because God’s wisdom knows what is best, which is why He leads us in paths that avoid ruins.
All of us should take a few moments to reflect on our own relationships. Humility, forgiveness, compassion and repentance are all things that can aid us in the destructive little things we’ve allowed to linger in our hearts. When we decide to coincide no longer, healing, greater spiritual and emotional health, and stronger relationships will be ours to enjoy.