“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”  
 Song of Songs 2:15 NIV  

Have you ever had a fox pop up in your marriage? You’re sitting on the couch with your husband and suddenly, a fox appears out of nowhere!  

Okay, you’ve probably never had an actual fox run into your house, but if you’ve been married for any length of time, you have metaphorically. Things seem to be going along just fine and suddenly, there’s an unexpected marital problem.   

While we can’t prevent all future marital issues (wouldn’t that be nice?), we can set up healthy boundaries and practices within the marriage vineyard to keep out as many little foxes as we can.  

Boundaries might seem unnecessary in a marriage because we already love and trust each other. But when we examine the purpose of boundaries, to keep something protected and safe, we see how healthy fences and habits protect and strengthen a marriage.   

Here are a few to consider:  

  • Don’t joke about the D-word: Joking about divorce or threatening it out of frustration will diminish trust, fuels the fear of abandonment, and creates an environment where one person is usually walking on eggshells.   
  • Know each other’s passwords to all devices and accounts: Knowing you each have access to what the other is doing creates accountability and trust.  
  • How to interact with the opposite sex: Anticipate friendship, work and ministry scenarios, and a process for how to communicate via text or phone.  
  • Physical intimacy: Determine the max number of days you’ll go without having sex. The longer you go without time physically, the more temptation can set in for both partners. Life changes like a new baby or travel may require you to adjust your boundary for a season, and that’s okay when you’ve communicated about it.  

Setting up fences takes some work and communication but imagine how much more beautiful your vineyard will be because of it.  


  • What little foxes are threatening your marriage vineyard in this season?  
  • What healthy boundaries or practices can you put into place to encourage your marriage to bloom?  

Andrea Fortenberry, Executive Leadership Coach (andreafortenberry.com)