Today, our marriage officially became old enough to drive a car! (16 years)
Marriage is a lot like driving a car, is it not? Marriages can experience smooth roads and bumpy ones. Uphills and downhills. Green lights and red lights. Sharp turns, U-turns, and detours. High speeds and slow speeds. Relaxed, beautiful scenic routes and horn-blaring bumper-to-bumper traffic jams. Don’t even get me started on “back-seat driving!”
For a car to run smoothly, you have to take good care of it, do you not? Fill the gas tank when it’s low. Change the oil. Rotate and balance the tires. Clean the windows so you can see where you’re going. Run diagnostics when something isn’t working right. Fix broken parts. Regularly take the trash out and clean up spills and messes so your car stays clean and uncluttered. “That french fry has been there HOW long??”
Like a car, a marriage needs continual maintenance and continual fine-tuning. A commitment to “filling each other’s love tank.” A commitment to stay the course, even when life throws you unexpected potholes and sharp tire-popping nails.
One way, or I guess I would say, THE WAY, to help your marriage stay on course is to let “Jesus take the wheel.” Let Him be your GPS. With Christ leading the way, He will guide you to His pre-planned destinations, as long as you keep following Him, even through life’s many detours.
Some couples’ journeys are harder and bumpier than others. Some have to use their hazard lights more often than others. And that’s ok.
Some couples get stuck in a ditch and need roadside assistance. It’s perfectly ok to ask for help. The earlier you ask the better. Try not to wait until the battery is dead. And even if it does die, it can be charged again with the right tools, if it’s in God’s will.
Just keep driving together. Keep journeying together. Keep Jesus on your map and let Him turn the steering wheels (yes, there are two steering wheels in a marriage). Sometimes they turn in the same direction, and sometimes they don’t. Ask God to align them together. It may take time, prayer, and patience, but stay the course.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of our tight grips on the steering wheel or to remove our feet from the pedals and set life on “Cruise Control”– or rather, “Christ Control,” letting Christ be the autopilot. Jesus asks us to YIELD to Him and to trust Him, because He is THE Way and THE Truth and THE Life.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” John 14:6
Are Christian marriages divorce proof? Not at all.
The only guarantee we have is God’s love, grace, and faithfulness. The rest is up to us. Both spouses are in charge of the maintenance, the fine-tuning, following the instruction manual (aka Bible), and yielding to God’s tweaks and repairs. Because marriages (and the individuals in them) will always be in need of growth and mutual support as they journey through the hardships and joys of life.
So buckle up, my fellow married friends, and enjoy the road trip of your life! I know I am.