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Monday, April 25, 2011

Routine Maintenance Is Not Just For Your Car

I remember quite vividly the day Joseph and I decided the common pitfalls of marriage would not affect us. While we were dating, communication was top notch, consideration came easy, and we never ran out of topics to discuss. We thought we had enough of a foundation to keep us relatively immune to Satan's snares.

The naivety of our thoughts became quite apparent as we entered into our second year of marriage. Long gone was the wide-eyed excitement of setting up a home. Daily routines of work and school began to take their toll, and we soon found we were even too busy to participate in social activities with friends. Frustrations over "habits" that had once been endearing were now emotionally grating, and those butterfly feelings began fluttering their way out the back door.

By no means am I implying that the foundation of our marriage is crumbling, but if we choose to ignore even the slightest crack, we will soon find ourselves patching an even larger hole.

I have often wondered when and where this seismic shift from bliss to discontentment occurred. Was it a skewed view of reality, lack of preparation on handling disagreements, or was it a faded interest in what made each other feel loved? Although a combination of all three are likely, I think any marriage related problems can be boiled down to a lack of maintenance and upkeep long after the wedding day.

Your vehicle needs gas to operate, filters to be cleaned and changed, yearly inspections, and occasional repairs. Why wouldn't our marriage need the same sustenance and provision? 

 (May 2007)

It's not that we deliberately give up on our marriage, rather, settling into familiarity tends to be our biggest pitfall. The mundane can give us a false sense of security while habitual routines can strip down our guard so we are less ready for Satan's attacks.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you see your marriage entering the complacent stage:
  • Are there things you enjoyed doing as a dating couple that you haven't done in a while? If so, pick one and do it!
  • Is there something new you would like to do together? (Ex. train for a 5k, take a ballroom dance class, etc)
  • How many date nights do you normally have? If the answer is close to none, schedule one for this week!
  • Do you regularly show love in your spouse's love language? What's something you can do special just for them?
Make sure you keep a close eye on your "Service Engine Soon" light. We don't want to wait until our marriage breaks down before we pay proper attention to it.

This post is linked to Marriage Mondays at Come Have A Peace.


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