As gardeners know, some plants need their best buddies nearby in order to flourish.
It’s been known for centuries that planting certain combinations of plants together can help the garden prosper. This practice is known as “companion planting.”
For instance, planting alliums such as garlic underneath roses can protect the latter against blackspot and aphids. When lilies and roses are planted together, the scent of each improves.
Yarrow and foxglove have a tonic effect on the plants in their vicinity. Yarrow helps fight off pests, attracts beneficial insects, and improves the soil. Likewise, foxglove stimulates the growth of nearby plants and helps them build up resistance to disease. Planting foxglove under fruit trees improves the storage qualities of the fruit.
Perhaps the ultimate companion plant is marigold. It has traditionally been grown with tomatoes to keep them healthy and produce a better crop. Marigold’s pungent odour disguises the scent of vegetables from pests, preventing them from homing in, and its root secretions kill nematodes that attack plant roots.
Who wouldn’t want such stalwart companions in their corner?
God wants us to have buddies like these on our team, too.
He knows that we need the fellowship of other believers in order to flourish. Trying to go it alone rarely works. God said as much in Genesis 2:18:
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him." (Good News Translation)
Being in a group of fellow believers helps us grow stronger and more effective. Mentors in the faith can help us build resistance to temptation and sin, just as companion plants deflect harmful pests and lessen susceptibility to disease.
Other Christians can help jumpstart our growth, enriching the soil of our faith so more fruits of the Spirit can grow. They can help us in areas where we’re weak, supporting us spiritually as we add muscle to our bones.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
So make sure you have other Christians you can “do life” with. Join a life group or Bible study.
Build your team. You’ll nurture each other’s growth in God so you can all thrive.
Find your companions. Better yet, be one: become a mentor to someone younger in the faith. You’ll each benefit from it.
Just as companion plants make the whole garden healthier, other believers act as a “tonic” for us. We each improve the life of the other.
We grow better together!
© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.