Check Engine Light

Friday, October 18, 2019
For most of us, driving is apart of our everyday routine. So, let's say you're driving and your check engine light comes on... what do you do? For me, I know immediately that my day will consist of taking my car into Dodge and getting a diagnostic done. Maybe some of you make a mental note that you might have to check on it later. Others might see it, but the car is still driving, so they ignore the warning light. But when happens when you ignore a warning light for too long? The problem gets worse, right? And we all know that car troubles are likely the most undesirable problems to have. So, all this to say -- if we can respond to the warning lights on our vehicles, why can't we respond to the warning lights in our marriages? Our relationships?

Per usual, I have been doing a lot of self reflection. With our ninth wedding anniversary around the corner, I am constantly thinking about how Justin and I have managed to navigate the last nine years together, mostly unscathed. It's not luck. It's not solely god's divine intervention. And its not because we have children together. Our relationship constantly withstands *because* we are workers. We regularly work to maintenance our relationship. Our friendship. When the "check engine light" starts flashing in our marriage, much like my car, I immediately acknowledge that there is a problem. If you can't acknowledge that something is wrong, or something is off -- things are already getting worse. I know, because we've there too. Doing that diagnostic to identify the problem is seriously a huge part of the battle. Once you know what's wrong, you can take the necessary steps to mend or fix it. The mending part isn't always easy, its almost never quick, but for us, it has always been worth it.

I hope I'm not losing you in these car references -- but you see, much like a car, all relationships require regular maintenance. You get your oil changed, tires rotated, fluids checked -- and this is all for a car. A car that is absolutely replaceable and that you likely won't have the rest of your life. My marriage is a forever commitment. If we are willing to do all of that work for a car, why wouldn't be willing to do the work for our relationships? As much as the culture of the society we are currently in would like us to believe -- people are not expendable. Marriages are not expendable. If ignore the maintenance, your relationship ends, and you go on to another relationship -- if you still lack the willingness to maintenance and check those warning lights, chances are, the demise will be the same.

Currently, Justin and I are in a busy season. He's working more than usual, school work has added MORE to our load than previous semesters, and in the mist of that, our children have obligations that we have to see through. It's been harder to connect, and while there aren't any warning lights, there is some maintenance required. Recently I started reading a book by Alyssa Bethke titled, "31 creative ways to love and encourage him" one month to a more life giving relationship (Here's the book!). I love subscribing to material that will aid me in reminding Justin how much I love him, how important his work is to me (professionally, as a parent, self care, growth), and that I love our connection. The "oil changes of marriages" folks. Reading material, transparent, solid talks between us both, and tangible methods (physical touch, words of affirmation (texts, notes, eye contact, and acts of service) are usually my go-to for maintenance. What are yours? Do you relate to this concept at all? What do you do when see the warning lights? What do you do to maintenance?

Post a Comment