We were on our way to visit my parents in Arkansas. All five of us were loaded in the van, suitcases stacked high in the back, pillows on the floor, happy to finally be on the road. However, when we hit 60 mph the van started making a loud noise, followed by a more than usual vibration.

Adam silenced the conversation and had me place my foot at different spots on the floor board trying to pinpoint where it was coming from. It seemed to coordinate with the tire rotations.

About 30 minutes later the sound and noise was still there, so we looked up a tire shop in the area and pulled in. Hopefully our tires were just out of balance and we’d be back on the road in no time.

As we carefully pulled in the shop (Adam does that better than me!), the music was blaring Green Day, It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right. I hope you have the time of your life…

I’m walking down memory lane in my head and quietly mouthing the words to myself, when my son interrupts – Didn’t Tim Hawkins sing that song?

My reminiscent bubble popped as reality sank back in. “Probably,” I responded with a smile. “Let’s see!” I say as I take out my phone to ask trusty Google if Tim Hawkins remade the popular song.

A few minutes later, his theory was confirmed and we shook the car laughing so hard.

If you’re a man who wants to live

a long and happy life,

these are the things you DON’T say to your wife.

Well it’s a good thing we stopped in the tire shop because our tires weren’t just out of balance. The steel belts inside the tires had actually slipped which could cause the tires to shred apart on the highway at any moment.

Feeling refreshed by the comedic relief of Tim Hawkins and thankful my husband thought the sounds and vibrations serious enough to pull over, we purchased two new tires and were back on the road in under an hour.

∞∞

Sometimes marriage can feel like our van – a little extra bumpy with some weird noise revolving around the conversation. Something just feels off balance. Is it the schedule? Or is it something more serious? Is the noise actually a warning sign that something’s about to shred apart if not addressed quickly?

Raising kids, working, hunting, fishing, scanning social media, all vie for our time and it’s easy for the creep to happen. The creep of spending time on other things with other people at the expense of time together as a couple. So how do we combat the creep and keep our marriage running smooth?

One way is to be intentional.

When was the last time you went on a date night? Had a weekend away to just focus on each other?

The difference between the hook up culture and marriage is that in marriage you have the opportunity to truly know and understand your spouse. Who are they? What makes them tick? What are their needs emotionally, spiritually, sexually, physically?

It takes a lifetime to discover these mysteries. Then after you discover them, it takes a caring, selfless heart to act on the knowledge and stand by their side, wholeheartedly committed every day.

People say knowledge is power. Living in the age of information, I say knowledge is just information until it’s acted upon. The power comes in the action.

After pulling into the tire shop, we knew our tires were bad. The guy showed us! What would’ve happened if we’d left the tire shop without buying new tires? We wouldn’t have made it to Arkansas without a blow out! We had the information our tires were bad, but the power of change came because we acted on that information and addressed the problem.

How can we apply this to marriage? (Adam speaking here to the men)

Football season is just around the corner, right as hunting season closes. Men, we have to check – every time we say yes to something we say no to something else. We each have an emotional bank account. Is my yes to watching 8 hours of football going to overdraw my account with my wife? It’s not that football or hobbies are bad. They’re not!

But I encourage you to make sure your yes is worth it.

In business there’s something called opportunity cost. Let’s say I have $20 thousand to invest with. I can put it in the stock market or buy a bass boat. If I purchase the bass boat, I lose the opportunity cost of the stock market gains. On the other hand, assuming it’s a low risk investment, if I put the money in the stock market, there would be gains realized.  A gain not realized is a cost.

By continually saying yes to the football game or hunting, or fishing, whatever it is, I lose the gain of growing my relationship with my wife.

We can do the same thing with our kids. When we say yes, yes, yes to our kid’s every want we can inadvertently put our marriage aside. We only have the capacity for so many yeses in a day, in a marriage, in a week, in a 24 hour period. That yes costs you twice – in actuality but also in what you have to say no to.

One day the kids will grow up, the fishing pole will break, Facebook will crash, we’ll retire…and then what? What do we do with the relationship that’s left?

∞∞

Marriage is a big deal. It’s hard. There are a lot of obstacles out there trying to slip the steel belts in our tires. So when marriage feels out of balance, sometimes the best thing we can do is stop and pull into the tire shop before things blow up! A little intentional, quality time together can help bring our hearts back into rhythm and set the marriage running smoothly again – but I can’t guarantee it will happen in under an hour!

 

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