The other day I was driving and my “Maintenance Required” light came on. Like any good man would do, I immediately pulled over, called a mechanic, and had the car towed to the shop to receive the crucial maintenance that it needs.
Oh wait, that’s not true, so let me start over.
The other day I was driving and I became aware that my “Maintenance Required” light was on. I don’t know how long it had been on, or what it was warning me about. And so I did what any man would do – I ignored it. And so far, so good. Nothing’s blown up yet!
Are you treating your marriage like an engine light? Ignore it and hope nothing is wrong? Do you think that you can get by without doing any maintenance, because “Nothing’s gone wrong yet”? I am here today to warn you that avoiding marriage maintenance is a recipe for disaster. Give it enough years, and eventually your car’s engine and your marriage will be ruined without proactive maintenance. I would suggest that lack of regular maintenance is the main reason that 50% of marriages end in “Engine Failure.”
Because most women do not come with an actual “Maintenance Required” light, let me give you a few clues.
Possible “Maintenance Required” Lights: (If you are reading these with your wife, keep your eyes straight ahead and put on your best poker face. Ladies – every marriage needs maintenance, so don’t worry!)
- The two of you are snippy towards each other
- Her face and tone is often negative towards you
- Overall grumpiness throughout the house
- You are feeling tempted by the internet/TV
- Miscommunication about schedules
- Arguing about money or other priorities
Is that you? Has her Maintenance Required light been flashing for a while, but you’ve just gotten used to it? If so, what do we do?
I think the answer is found in the gas gauge. We react to the gas gauge in a totally different way. We know that if the gas gauge gets below the slash we will run out of gas, every time. We know that we can’t ignore the gauge – we have to pay attention, and we have to take action.
There’s a Time to Think, and a Time To Act, and This is No Time To Think!
Our blog will discuss 1,000 ideas for marriage maintenance, (sign up on the right-hand side so that it is delivered daily right to you virtual door) but here are a few simple actions to start with:
- Pray together daily
- Call and talk to her for 5 minutes over your lunch hour, or text her
- Plan a monthly date night
- Invite her to go do something that you enjoy doing and do it together (jogging, driving range, shooting range, basketball game, Lazer Tag, bowling, etc)
- Turn off the TV and digital devices, ask her about her day, and LISTEN!
- Attend a marriage seminar together every 18-24 months
- Go to a Bible study or Sunday School class together
- Buy a $1 pack of notecards or Post-Its and leave her little notes in the morning before you leave
- Buy her flowers once a month
- Discuss the week’s Our Purposeful Life articles together.
These will look eerily similar to the relationship maintenance activities you performed when you were dating and newlyweds. Funny how that works out!
Gentlemen: Is your marriage’s Maintenance Required light on? If so, don’t ignore it. When you invest time and energy in maintaining your relationship with your wife then you are preparing it to run smoothly for a very long time! It’s time to get to work!
PS: Are you wondering why the maintenance required light came on? Turns out that I was 1,000 miles past due for my oil change. Better take care of that!
Learn more about OPL’s take on married life by clicking on the Guys – Husband menu, or by searching for “Marriage” in the search box. And don’t forget to follow us by email by putting your email address in the Subscribe box on the right. One step and you’re done!
Talk Back! What are ways that you care for and maintain your relationship? Leave a comment so we can all learn from your ideas!