Of Thorns and Their Uses

Songdove Books - Pink Roses

Songdove Books - Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey -Volume 5Because I keep periodically running into moments when I want to share this, I am publishing it here.

Excerpt from Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey Volume 5 Chapter 11, Series


I heard the DJ on “Sharing Life Together” talk about thorns one evening. She was saying how thorns actually have some beneficial and much-needed uses to the plants on which they are found. This thought came back to mind when I had a brief daydream about singing in a trio with others. In this dream someone said I looked like a rose between two thorns. My thoughts returned to the uses of the thorn and the application is actually quite comforting from both sides of the coin.

The most obvious place North Americans see thorns is on rose bushes, bramble bushes, holly bushes, etc. On these plants, particularly that of the rose, we see something that is very Biblically masculine about these thorns. They protect the tender stalk of the rose stem and its branches. Without the thorn, the tender stems, rose hips and buds would be destroyed by predators out to get the nutrition contained in the plant before it’s time. It was God’s design from the beginning that man would protect woman. . . protect her tender nature and her nurture from those who would seek to pluck her before her time, from those who would destroy her.

Another use for the thorn is most often seen on cactus-type plants. Here the thorn, in addition to protecting the tender stalk, also catches moisture and directs it to the stalk of the plant where it can run down to the roots and provide nourishment to the plant. In much the same way, God’s plan for man was that he provide for his family. This provision was to come spiritually as well as practically and emotionally.

So I find it interesting that what people often joke about when a woman stands between two men is perhaps more true than they realize. Men were created to defend, to fight for, to provide for the tender hearts and lives of those in their care. This was how men were wired and to take away this ability and need to protect and provide is to eat away at the masculinity God built into the male gender. Every woman, even the most feminist among us will have to admit that way down deep, they do long to matter to a guy such that he will protect and provide for her.

When seen in this light, thorns are no longer seen as a painful source of irritation to be stripped away, but are instead seen as a beautiful illustration of the protective, caring, supportive, providing role of the husband and father in the home. The only people who need fear such an illustration are those who would seek to do harm. They should rightly expect that the husband and father has kept his sword sharpened in the Word so that he is able to fend off harmful attackers and cause them enough due discomfort to dissuade the thought of future attacks on his loved ones.

I don’t know about you, but I may never look at another thorn the same way again. And the next time someone calls my male reader a thorn, take it as a compliment that you are protecting and providing for your wife and children. May your sword remain sharp and may you continue to stand in that place of provision, guiding the blessings God sends your way down to the roots of your household, that they may flourish under your watchful loving eye and hand.

I think this thought has particular meaning on Father’s Day, as Father’s and families stop to think on how God has blessed them in their homes.

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