Recently, God allowed our family to buy an “almost” new vehicle. My car was starting to become the quintessential “clunker”. I was seriously concerned every morning about making it to work safely, even though the trip is only 6 miles! Also, our primary vehicle had very high mileage and was showing its age. After praying and waiting for several months, we found an amazing deal on a 3 month old vehicle from an individual. It was so new, it even still had that new car smell. After bringing it home, we had a serious family meeting to establish some ground rules. There would be NO eating or drinking in our new van. It was to be swept clean after each trip, and we would drive it with extreme caution. Together, we made promises, set guidelines, and even issued threats to our kids in order to protect our “almost” new purchase.
Marriage- The New Purchase!
Marriage is a lot like a new purchase. When we first start out, everything is brand new and exciting. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. After months of waiting, planning, and waiting we held hands at the altar as we looked into each others eyes and said our vows to one another. After exchanging rings we quickly marched out of the Church and into our decorated car where we pulled off to start our new life together. Those days were filled with many “firsts” as we enjoyed being madly in love with each other. Honestly, we seemed to never get on each others nerves or have any conflict. We didn’t even care about money! As long as we had each other, nothing else in the world mattered.
Marriage- The Reality
At some point, I don’t know exactly when, life came back into focus. Money did matter after all, and we had our first disagreements. It was not long before our honeymoon moments faded and we moved to the next stage of marriage- children. This brought new dimensions and restrictions on our marriage relationship. Raising children is very involved and it became harder to focus on “us”. Marriage became more about changing diapers and housework than romantic evenings and passionate “together” moments. Then life happened to us as it does to everyone. Bills came due and sometimes OVER DUE. Health problems and even death touched out little family.
Marriage- The Complacency
Complacency slowly crept its way in, and maintaining our marriage became more challenging. I suspect that most marriages follow a similar pattern, a slow digression into complacency. The truth is that every marriage is a work in progress. That is to say, that to some extent or another every marriage is a “fixer upper.” The problem is, we get used the broken things and settle without “fixing” anything. Like the house that is falling apart, but the occupants just ignore it as if all the problems will fix themselves. Your marriage will not fix itself. You have to put forth the effort.