In a previous post entitled “As Good As Sex…Almost,” I talked about a valuable lesson learned from riding out an ice storm with my wife. I thought I was done with the ice storm lessons, until a recent walk through the neighborhood revealed debris and damage still remaining from the storm. Then I realized this storm had more to teach me about marriage. Things like…
- Even if you rarely see them…storms will come. It had been 10 years since our last bad ice storm, so there was no urgency to be prepared. It’s easy to be complacent and unprepared when your marriage has had a long stretch of “easy.” But don’t be fooled. Your turn will come.
- The time to prepare for a storm is before the storm comes. A week before the storm hit, we had unknowingly stocked up on food and other things we needed. This made it easier to ride out the storm. So many marriages don’t think they’ll encounter a bad storm, so they’ve not stocked up their marriage with time together, date nights, conversation, regular intimacy, and all the other things their marriage needs to ride out a storm.
- Storms will force you to put aside lesser things. The storm stripped us of all the conveniences and technologies that tend to crowd out the more important things of life. Storms in marriage have a way of stripping away the things that don’t really matter so you can focus on the things that do.
- Storms can bring you together. In the absence of all the conveniences and technology, the silence seemed to move us closer. (Not to mention the cold and our need to stay warm.) Though storms in marriage have the potential to push you apart, they also can push you together and make you a stronger team.
- Storms will reveal weaknesses. The storm not only revealed the weakness of trees and power lines, but also the weakness of our preparation, our priorities, and our patience. (Did I say patience?) Storms in marriage tend to show you where you don’t have it together and push you to shore up those areas.
- Storms will leave debris to clean up. For days after the storm, there were growling chain saws and growing piles of debris. When the storms in marriage pass, there will be some behaviors to clean up and some feelings to repair. It’s just part of it.
- You may need help with the clean up. Some people couldn’t have gotten things cleaned up by themselves. The destruction was too big and their tools were inadequate. The same is true for some marital storms. Some couples will need help to recover from the storm. These couples will need to reach out and accept help from other couples, a pastor, or a counselor to get things cleaned up.
- Storms can leave you stronger in the end. In the end, weak and leaning trees were removed. Debris was cleared. People learned what they needed to do to be better prepared. Neighbors got better acquainted through helping one another. In the same way, storms in marriage can leave build you up and make you better. Different, but better.
I don’t wish storms on your marriage, but I want you to know that when they come…and they will…you can do more than just go through the storm. You can grow through the storm. So, be prepared and keep an eye on the Weather Channel.
What have you learned from the storms of marriage? Let us know.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg