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These Two Things Will Destroy Meaningful Connections in Your Life

As a child in rural Creelsboro, Kentucky, I vividly remember working in the family garden on Saturday mornings. Each year the garden seemed to expand in territory, and it was my job to help plant new seeds, weed, and till. Six years ago, after relocating to the area of my childhood home, nostalgia hit me. I desired a garden of my own! Unfortunately, things didn't go so well.


Everything that I planted was eaten up; as soon as stalks sprouted from the ground and began showing life they would be gobbled up. It was incredibly frustrating to see my attempts at productivity be eaten away by pests! So frustrated that I quit. I just let the deer and rabbits have all my work and I once again began my treks to the local grocery store’s produce aisle.

I wonder if your spiritual journey is likened unto my gardening. You are putting in the work. You're being intentional about leaning into God. But it feels like before you start to see things come to fruition, the harvest is eaten up. You know it is hindering what God wants to do in your life. And you’re frustrated.

Notice this verse:

Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.-Song of Solomon 2:15 (NKJV)

Three things stick out, foxes, vines, and fruit. And the context for this verse in The Song of Solomon seems to imply that the concept of fruitful vines in a vineyard is most likely referring to the blossoming of an intimate relationship.(1) Specifically, the bed of marriage. And with this contextual application, we learn that Solomon implies little foxes can spoil or hinder the meaningful connection of a marital relationship. To avoid this damage to the relationship’s fruitfulness, we have to catch the little foxes! (2)

Moving beyond the metaphor and stating it bluntly, the meaningfulness of the relationship is being hindered by the “little things” that keep happening.

What are the little foxes? In this verse, they are best described as a general threat or something that holds the relationship back from thriving like it could or should, something that is detrimental to the relationship. (3)

In some middle eastern countries, little foxes still physically destroy vineyards.(4) For example, in Palestine, there are watch teams for foxes at many vineyards. They are that harmful.

In the Bible, foxes are not viewed positively. Typically, throughout Scripture, foxes (used interchangeably with jackals) are depicted as sly and harmful (Ref. Neh. 4:3 and Lam. 4:18).(5) Foxes eat away and destroy fruitfulness. Collectively, Bible scholars seem to consider them guileful, and Tremper Longman goes as far as to say they are to be viewed through the biblical lens “as cunning as a serpent.” (6)

Thankfully, Song of Solomon 2:15 gives us instructions for catching little foxes that spoil the vineyard. Indicating we are to catch the little things that come into our lives to destroy our meaningful relationships. Most specifically, the relationship we have with our spouse. Because the prophetic warning is clear, something little, sly, and harmful can creep in – and if you don’t catch it – it can spoil your entire relationship!

I recently read of a gardener’s struggle with developing a flower garden. As it began to take shape and blossoming began, he encountered two pests.


First, the vole. These yard pests look a lot like mice, but they create tunnels underground and eat the roots of your plants. This issue makes them more aggravating than moles because moles eat mostly worms. (7) Gardeners say you can tell you have voles if you watch plants fall over easily because they have no roots to keep them in place. (8) Voles are root-killers!


Secondly, the rabbits showed up. Rabbits constantly eat the leaves, flowers, and buds off of plants, deterring any types of growth from happening. I learned of one family that had just planted a Purple Heart plant and every day it would grow a couple of flowers. Like clockwork, the bunnies would eat the flower during the day. However, every morning when we woke up there would be a new flower and the whole cycle would start over.


Ironically, the fox is both vole and rabbit combined. He is a root-killer and a fruit-killer! The fox gnaws or chews on the vine’s stem at ground level until it is completely broken off from the root. Root-killer! Likewise, the fox loves tender fruit and will devour it at the first opportunity. Fruit-killer!

Spiritually, you could think of root-killers in this way:

  • Unconfessed and Unrepented Sin.

You convince yourself, “it’s not that big of a deal.” The result of this mentality is that you stop repenting. The sin stops bothering you. In such an environment, where conviction is absent, little things become big things quickly. For example, maybe you just had a lingering eye, but now it’s turned into adultery. Or maybe at first, you just skimmed a little off your taxes, but now you're looking for ways to fully steal from a business partner or cheat the system completely. The enemy shows up in our lives with just a little bit of stealing until he moves into a whole lot of killing because he desires to bring absolute destruction to your life!

These little foxes keep chewing and gnawing away at the meaningfulness of your connection with God until you are overwhelmed with condemnation, guilt, and shame, even though you probably won’t admit what you’re dealing with publicly.

FRUIT KILLERS:

  • Hurts, bad habits, and hang-ups

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23

God wants to do fruitful work in your life, but you have to be connected to Him for this to happen. Getting the foxes off the roots allows for the connection to be maintained. But, don’t think the fight of faith is over there. The enemy is still coming for your fruit!

The enemy wants to chew away at your fruit by bringing disruption to your harvest of peace, bitterness to your willingness to love, and anxiety to your longsuffering. You’re not battling one fox – you’re fighting “foxes!”


We must catch the root killers and the fruit killers. The little things. The spiritual foxes! If you don't catch them, both root and fruit will be damaged in your life – ruining your most meaningful relationships. Maybe even damaging the meaningfulness of your connection with Jesus Christ.


I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/s9gactgmBc0



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(1) Gianni Barbiero, Song of Songs, 118.

(2) Tremper Longman, Song of Songs, 111.

(3) Tommy Nelson, The Book of Romance: What Solomon Says About Love, Sex, and Intimacy, (Nashville, TN.: T. Nelson, 1998), 62.

(4) Gianni Barbiero, Song of Songs, (The Netherlands: Brill, 2011), 118.

(5) Paul J. Achtemeier, Harper's Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 321.

(6) Tremper Longman, Song of Songs, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001), 110.

(7) Kathy Van Mullekom, “Catch the Voles That Love to Eat Your Plant Roots”, January 5, 2005, https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-20050130-2005-01-30-0501280279-story.html

(8) Van Mullekom, “Catch the Voles”.



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