It all happened a few years ago when we were on a business trip in Detroit. We happened to pass by an apple orchard. Since I’m from Florida, I had never seen an orchard during harvest time, and I was thrilled! I asked Tom to pull over so I could take a picture. He managed to slow down a pull over into the thick grass lining the road, BUT…we didn’t expect what happened next…
I’ll never forget the helplessness we felt.
How could we have not seen the ditch on the side of the road? The entire right side of our rental car was stuck, and there was nothing we could do now but hope for help.
We remembered our AAA membership and called for help, only to realize we had no idea where we were–“um, we’re on a back road by the big red barn!”–didn’t cut it in helping the tow truck find us. 😦
How often our marriages can experience situations like these. Everything is going along fine; you decide to pull over to enjoy something beautiful when an argument hits out of no where. What was a great conversation ends up in the ditch of communication and you have no idea how to get unstuck!
It’s easy to point fingers and blame the other, “how come you always…why weren’t you more observant…etc.” But pointing fingers has never helped a marriage get out of the ditch. The best way to free yourself from the awkward place is not so difficult, but it requires a bit of humility. Let’s look back at our day in Detroit…
Once we realized we couldn’t use AAA’s services (thank God we have GPSs now!), we prayed God would send help. And guess what? Some friends who “happened” to be passing by, saw us and stopped. They “happened” to have a hook and heavy rope in their huge truck and were able to safely, and quickly I might add, pull us out of the ditch. What seemed like an impossibility, wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be.
When was the last time you asked a mentor, pastor or friend to help you and your spouse with an unresolved conflict? It can be humbling to ask, but the Bible states God gives grace to the humble. Think of grace as the friend passing by the road and noticing your dilemma. Oftentimes our friends don’t notice unless we humble ourselves and ask them for their input. Most who know us would be glad to lend a helping hand or hook! 🙂
A word of caution, don’t ignore the ditch you’re in.
It may seem that things have smoothed over and your marriage is back on track, but unless you’ve both come to a resolve and repentance has been sought, and forgiveness given, you’re still in the ditch! Many marriages set up camp alongside the ditch and it becomes their new normal. Don’t let this happen.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
(Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV) emphasis mine.
Allow God to use the means He’s chosen to help your marriage get back on the road again. Even if it’s embarrassing to some degree. It was humbling to say the least, when our friends showed up and saw our demise. Yeah, they even mocked us a bit, but their presence really did help us laugh at our trouble, instead of being angry thus ruining the day.
By the way, I got a great shot of the barn. 😉
This is post #10 in the challenge to post everyday in April.
ok, I realize you are coming at all this from a Christian standpoint and I understand, but I would like to know if you are familiar with the fact that there are people who have personality disorders that get into relationships and marriages with people who don’t. Would you still counsel someone married to a malignant narcissist to stay in the marriage while being abused? That was my story, still is other peoples’ situations that I know and counsel. Don’t you think that some relationships are just plain unhealthy and dangerous?
Absolutely! We are in no way encouraging a relationship where sinful behavior like abuse and adultery are rampant. But we have seen God restore relationships that we would have never believed would have made it. I’m so glad you commented to make this point clear. Get help and do all you can to make the marriage work, but it takes two.
As soon as I opened this page and say the title I thought, “That’s right!” Great post, Debi. Not only do I love the picture of the barn 🙂 but your admonition to not ignore the ditch you’re in. We all need help every now and being humble enough to realize that can keep us from spinning our tires and digging ourselves in deeper. Great analogy.
Thanks Fawn. Sorry I was so late to link up with your Monday post. I had a crazy weekend and today actually felt more like Monday. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement.