It’s been said duct tape can fix anything. I’m sure there’s at least one thing you’ve doctored with it. Perhaps you meant it as a temporary fix until you had more time and the right materials for a proper repair. While some followed through with that plan, others just glanced at the item and grimaced at the silver tape still holding it together.
In a world where instant gratification is the norm and patience is a long-forgotten virtue, we default to the quick fix. It’s one thing to repair things with duct tape. It’s another entirely to apply the same principle to our relationships.
While it’s true that we need to pick and choose our battles, playing peacekeeper all the time can backfire. If you’re consistently ignoring the things that bother you, resentment and discontent can set up camp. Similarly, we may avoid discussing the tough topics of finances, parenting, extended family, and other things that we fear might throw sparks. Do you see a pattern? When we opt for avoidance over communication, we may have dodged the immediate bullet while, in fact, creating a much bigger, minefield for our relationship.
Tending a marriage is an ongoing and ever evolving process. If you garden, you don’t drop a seed in the soil this afternoon and expect to harvest produce tomorrow morning. You work the soil to ready it. You plant the seeds, water and fertilize them generously. You spend time each day checking in on your garden: watering, weeding, pruning. Some days you’ll have to ask someone else to water the plants for you. Some stretches you’ll put off weeding and have to work twice as hard to clear the garden. And then, after all your hard work, you harvest. Strong relationships are lot like that. They must be tended and nurtured. Some days one partner will need to do a bit more heavy lifting than the other. Some days you’ll feel a bit weedy and need to work a little harder at clearing things between you. Over time, however, you’ll have cultivated a strong, resilient marriage.
Challenge: Don’t look for the quick fix. Spend time nurturing your marriage this week. Pray for one another and pray together. If there’s too many layers of duct tape already holding things together, consider talking to a marriage counselor. I’d be happy to talk with you.