Cultivation of the Heart
One of the most challenging aspects of counseling is “planting” the concept of cultivation in peoples hearts. Most people come to counseling expecting to “fix” their problems, so that they can just get on with it, or “be the best version of themselves”, or a number of other motivations.
No one comes in saying, ” I want to cultivate my heart and mind, cultivate my relationship with God, my spouse, etc. Cultivation implies things that we don’t want to hear in our current culture of instant everything. Cultivate? Can’t we just fix this? I want to get on with my life! To which my answer is, “what exactly are you ‘getting on with?’ “
Cultivation includes, knowing your temperament, digging through the baggage of your life, pulling roots of pain, unforgiveness, judgement and bitterness out of your heart. The roots of codependency, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, addictions and on and on. We must uproot these things to make room for the Word of God and new patterns of trust, love, communication, responding and not reacting, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of our temperament, taking our thoughts captive, being transformed by the renewing of our minds and more.
Then in marriage, people don’t understand that their relationship needs to be cultivated, built. It doesn’t just happen, and you can’t just fix issues and then have it go on auto pilot and just “work”. I have people cultivate their relationship with a number of suggestions like regular meetings together to read an assigned book, to learn how to communicate and allow God into their marriage in a vital and profound way. Cultivation of trust and safety in a marriage is not something you do in 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years. It’s the journey, not the destination.
Learn how to cultivate your heart, mind, relationships, your life. Your heart is like a garden that God wants to cultivate.