Replacing a $2.49 part on your vehicle often requires a toolbox full of tools, several hours, and dismantling half the vehicle. In some cases, a person's religion can be threatened as well. The actual part swap takes about 3 minutes. A lot of work has to occur before the repairs are made. Strained muscles, bloodied knuckles (when the wrench slips), and unforeseen added repairs are part of the process. In some cases, special tools have to be purchased or rented. Patience is often a highly sought commodity. Perseverance holds me to the task, even when unexpected roadblocks occur. Ingenuity and creative techniques can be employed to circumvent these stoppages in vehicle repair. The end result is a machine that once again operates smoothly and is productive.
Marriage can have those moments when a small seemingly insignificant part needs replaced. The relationship isn't what it needs to be and so begins the work of repair. Communication between husband and wife gets clogged and in some cases becomes non-existent. Crushed spirits, unmet expectations, and a host of other impediments demoralize wives and husbands. Too often, spouses will opt for a newer model and walk away from the person to whom they pledged their love. Or, if problems arise, a thought of having someone else do the repairs occurs.
There are times when I chuckle and wonder (with the voice in my head) why God would have designed man and woman to be partners in marriage. What was God thinking? I mean, think about it, we are polar opposites.
"“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9, NIV)
Today is another celebration of Tracie and Randy becoming husband and wife. Thirty two years have gone by since the day we both said, "I do." There have been a lot of repairs done to this vehicle. A lot of tools have been gained and utilized to open lines of communication. The cooling and heating units have been reconditioned. The engine has had a couple overhauls. Much work has been invested into our marriage. It hasn't been easy but it has been worth it. Special tools have been purchased to address certain marital spats. Both Tracie and I have grown significantly through the dysfunction and ensuing repairs.
When it becomes apparent a vehicle isn't operating as it should, a repair job is in the offing. When relationships are fractured, healing is needed. When wives and husbands choose to bend toward the issues and lean into brainstorm possible repairs, then everyone wins. Will it be easy? Heck no! The tough work we will face will test us to degrees we never imagined. It will be worth every part of the struggle to repair the relationship and experience love, life, and hope. It is what God intended in the beginning when man and woman became one flesh; connected and suitable for each other.
Happy Anniversary Tracie! Love you.