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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Free Class on Marriage Maintenance

Question:  How long can a Mercedes-Benz run without an oil change?

Answer:  About 43,000 miles.

I'm told this actually happened.  A certain newlywed couple was given a new Mercedes as a wedding gift, then proceeded to drive it, year after year, without ever bothering to check or change the oil.

Finally one day while traveling north on I-95 the engine in this beautiful Benz just froze up and refused to go any further.  Wouldn’t budge.  The oil in the crankcase had become the consistency of a grimy, gooey mess.

Some couples start out with what looks like a Mercedes-Benz marriage.  A picture perfect wedding.  An ideally matched pair.  What could go wrong?

Sometimes what’s wrong is the maintenance.  Or lack of it.

Cars come with pages of instructions on what to do make your vehicle last.  And most of us figure that the older a vehicle gets, the more maintenance it will need.

But marriages don’t come with manuals.  And somewhere we’ve gotten the foolish idea that the older a relationship gets, the less maintenance it takes to keep it alive and thriving.

We need to reverse that thinking.  Every new bride or groom should come with one clear instruction: “Whatever wonderful and considerate things you did to win my love, you should do twice as regularly and just as creatively to keep it alive.”

Here is a sample of maintenance tips for couples:

DAILY:  1)  a warm, conversational chat of no less than ten minutes,  2)  at least one warm, prolonged hug,  3)  two or more compliments and/or I love yous,  4) a prayer or meditation time together.

WEEKLY:  1)  some kind of date for just the two of you,   2)  a couples’ meeting to review your past week and plan your next one,  3)  A love you note or card.

MONTHLY:  1)  a really special date or celebration. 

ANNUALLY:  1)  a weekend honeymoon getaway,  2)  a marriage enrichment seminar,  3)  A checkup of your marital health with a pastor, counselor or another mentor couple. 

All this may seem like a lot of work, but when you think of it, isn’t a great marriage worth even more than a good Mercedes?

Here's some information from the Family Life Resource Center about an upcoming class for couples:

MARRIAGE MAINTENANCE, a four-session seminar for couples that focuses on “Four Healthy Habits of Happily Married Couples,” will be led by Harvey Yoder and meet Mondays from 7-8:30 beginning September 9. A freewill offering is taken to benefit the Center in lieu of a fee for the class. The text, Lasting Marriage, the Owners’ Manual, is $10. Register at 434-8450 or services@flrc.org.
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