Marriage is like a car. Some people are driving around in a cherry 1960’s Ford Mustang in mint condition, turning heads wherever they go. Some people have a battered and bruised 2015 with scrapes, dings, and a bad transmission that smokes and spits. The way it looks and the quality of the ride is all in how the car is maintained. That’s the same in marriage.
Complicated Parts Need Maintenance
Like a car, marriage is full of complicated, fast-moving parts that we don’t have to understand to appreciate. Everyone knows we have to put gas in the car, or it stops moving. Everyone knows we have to maintain the fluids. We also have to try not to hit things or allow our cars to be hit. And everyone knows that we have to change the oil. Failing to do any of the above, your car doesn’t work as well or look as good as it could. In fact, allowing the car to completely run out of oil can do permanent damage to big, important parts like the engine block or the cylinder head.
In marriage, we also have to maintain all the parts. Spending quality time with each other, maintaining intimacy, and doing things to please our partners instead of ourselves is vital to keeping a marriage strong. Anytime we choose the opposite, we are draining fluids and putting ourselves in a position to be hit. There are little scrapes and dings that a marriage can take without adversely affecting the way it runs. An occasional snap when hungry or a thoughtless action without consult can be overlooked. But, big things like lack of intimacy, dishonesty, or a continued hurtful disrespect can really tear up your machine.
Lack of Maintenance Can Leave It Totaled
The vehicle of my first marriage was totaled because we ran it out of fluid. We didn’t keep up with the good things that replenished the marriage, and we allowed the bad things to damage the very parts that would have kept it moving. We cracked the head. Anyone who has checked into the prices knows that a cracked head can cost thousands of dollars to repair. After consulting with two separate mechanics of marriage counseling, it was determined that the bill was simply not worth the blue book value.
Now, this was before I was saved, and my ex-husband still isn’t saved. God is a master mechanic and can fix anything. My point here, though, is that the secret to a great marriage is in making sure that you never run yourself out of the very things that keep your marriage on the road. Small self-sacrifices in the moment pay off in huge rewards when you never have to take your car in for the big repairs that can break the bank or total the car. There is a point of no return: the moment before and after the head cracks. Stay well back from that by loving and respecting your partner the way God intended, and you will have a lot smoother ride.
This post is part of a series by Telling Hearts. If you missed it, you can catch more encouragement here!