Monday, 20 May 2013

“Operator’s Manual – The Bible”

In their newly released book The Marriage App, the Friesens tell two stories having to do with automobiles.  In the first story a friend of Paul’s loaned him his Lexus Hybrid SUV which Paul graciously filled with regular gas on route to returning the car.  The owner of the car was equally as gracious offering to pay for the premium gas the next time Paul borrowed it.  Apparently the manufacturer suggests the higher octane gas will improve the performance of the car. In the second case another friend bought a sports car.  After 35000 miles the engine froze.  It was discovered that he had never changed the oil, let alone followed the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance plan.

Paul’s point, which is unmistakable, is that manufacturers provide manuals for a reason. “Unless you maintain cars properly, you will be disappointed in their performance.  Similarly,, many of us put  only  “regular gas” into our marriages and neglect to “change the oil” and then are dumbfounded when the marriage functions poorly or seems to stop working at all.  Nothing is wrong with marriage, but many of us have not heeded the “manufacturer’s guidelines.”  That would be the Bible.

Most States in the United States require annual automobile inspections.  Often the maintenance person checks for emission problems, checks the amount of tread on the tires, checks the brake pads, etc.  IF the car passes the inspection the car gets a sticker that is good for one year.  Perhaps we should encourage our law makers to require an annual marriage inspection, nothing elaborate, just a few check points from the Book of Ephesians, chapter 5, verses 21 through 33.

Not unlike automobiles there is already a system in place for trading in your used marriage. There are other similarities.  Marriage is expensive to maintain but far more costly emotionally and financially to trade in.   The same can be said of cars. A car looks great the day you drive it out of the showroom but after a while it begins to show wear and tear.  Just as a bride and groom look great coming down the aisle, marriage too can show signs of wear and tear.  Regardless of its appearance, a car that is highly reliable is worth its weight in gold.  The same can be said for a married couple who has weathered the storms of life together and become stronger.

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