My husband, Kelly, has a favorite car wash. It’s not the closest or the cheapest but it does the best job. For a while, he tried the “touchless” car wash that has no brushes but it left globs of dirt and grime in the hard to reach areas. He tells me that the brushes in his favorite car wash could scratch the paint but that’s why he keeps the car covered in a nice protective coat of wax. With regular washes, his car’s always looking great. But me? I pathetically ignore washing my car leaving it a lack luster grey. The real problem? My car’s supposed to be white.
It’s amazing how easy it is to avoid the annoying things we’re suppose to do. I’d say the number one thing most people avoid is fights. This fear of fighting drives many couples to opt for the touchless car wash style of fighting. They tell each other the little things that bug them just to take the top layer of grime off the marriage. Unfortunately, this leaves globs of dirt and grime that may not have been removed in years.
From time to time, what every marriage needs in a good fight. What happened to the idea of a good fight? A good fight airs the hurt and frustration that builds up when we love someone. Somebody started the false impression that when we love someone we don’t fight. That’s ridiculous. The truth is that real intimacy is built through conflict resolution. Really. Two people that love each other share their hurt and frustrations and do you know what happens after they resolve the fight? They still love each other. It leaves the couple learning “You mean after I shared all my yucky stuff, they still love me?” The resolution of a conflict removes a layer of fear from the marriage and brings a dose of intimacy. Less fear of hurt = more intimacy.
Now like my husband said about car washes, you don’t drive your nice paint job through all those massive brushes without a protective coat of wax. But what’s the protective coating in marriage? Romans 12:10 tells us to “Honor one another above yourselves.” Can you picture two people fighting that honor the other person above themselves? Suddenly the whole purpose of the fight changes. The fighting is not intended to tear the other person down, but to lift up the hurts in the relationships. When you honor one another above yourselves, you risk sharing your hurts to bring healing to the marriage which you cherish.
Don’t settle for a marriage that’s become mundane. Christ wants you to have more. So go ahead, ask for more. Ask to be hurt less and honored more all the while deciding that you will hurt them less and honor them more.
It’s still scary to open the grimy places in your marriage but it’s worth it. Because like my car, your marriage is not suppose to be a dingy grey but a sparkling, vibrant white.