And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:3-9 ESV
The Four Types of Soil
Jesus uses the Parable of the Sower to speak about our receptivity to God’s words (Matthew 13:3-9). Let’s consider how the parable also applies to marriage. The four types of soil in the parable match up with four types of relationships. From least to most desirable, these are Path, Rocks, Thorns, and Good Soil.
- The Path / Conflicted couple alternates between extreme behaviors of intense fighting and extreme feelings of distance; they cannot begin to build a positive connection.
- The Rocks / Careless couple relies superficially on short-lived positive experiences; they cannot experience contentment with their connection.
- The Thorns / Choking couple has a history together, but are stuck in a rut; they fail to pursue a passionate connection.
- The Good Soil / Cooperating couple has endured both highs and lows; they experience closeness and distance without losing a positive connection.
The typical inexperienced couple begins as either Conflicted or Careless. Along the way, every couple experiences being Conflicted, Careless, and Choking before making it to Cooperating.