In so many ways, marriage is like owning an automobile.
I remember shopping years ago for the vehicle my wife, Debbie, presently drives. I spent a lot of time researching various makes and models online, reading reviews and comparing options because this choice was going to require a big investment and commitment. We also did a bunch of test-driving because Debbie has a very personal relationship with her cars so it was necessary to find the one that “feels right.” Once the decision was make we drove off the dealer’s lot in a new, bright and shiny car. Lots of wonderful options, all of which worked flawlessly. It was a special day, for sure. And we just knew we were going to get 200,000 or more good miles out of it.
In a similar fashion, we spend a significant amount of time “researching” a mate. We may already have a list of “makes, models and options” prior to the first date. And when we discover a person that seems to meet the initial requirements of the wish list, we begin to invest time, trying to ensure the relationship “feels right.” Finally, we make a decision and a wedding is planned. I doubt any of us looked at each other that wedding day and said, “Well, I doubt this thing is going to work. Maybe we can get seven, perhaps even ten years of out this marriage. But what the hey, let’s do it.” No, I think pretty much everyone believes in the moment that their marriage is really going to last “until death parts us.” So, off we go in our new, bright, shiny marriage. Lots of wonderful options, all of which seem to work flawlessly. It’s a special day, for sure.
I have a few friends who actually get their cars to last 200,000 miles in surprisingly good condition. Their secret? Change the oil regularly, rotate the tires, routinely check fluid levels, wash it periodically. And when the warning lights come on; or when it starts to drip oil, clunk or whine, they take it to the repair shop right away. These folks get their vehicles to last because they are committed to making them last, a commitment that includes routine maintenance and the willingness to invest time and money as soon as problems begin to surface.
Last month I met with a couple who are going to get lots of mileage out of their marriage. When I performed their wedding almost ten years ago I told them I do “warranty work” and so they should never hesitate to reach out to me if they needed a “tune up.” So they came; but not because their relationship had suffered a major breakdown and now they were stuck alongside the road somewhere; no, they came because they were aware they were not “firing on all cylinders” and wanted to resolve the minor issues before they degenerated into “total engine failure.” They had come once before, about five years ago. I am so very proud of them. This couple will get their marriage to last because they are committed to making it last.
Somehow, I think God places more value on a healthy, God-honoring marriage than a well-kept red Maserati. Be blessed!