We are talking about painting the inside of our home. It has been years since we last did it–11 to be exact–and it is time. But considering the colors we want, it will most likely lead to changing furniture, wall decor, rugs, carpet and a slew of other things I’m probably not thinking of yet. It makes me want to say, “Eh, never mind.” Why is that? I know I will love the results, but is it worth all the work needed to do it right? Like most things the answer is YES.
Our home is comfortable. It fits us. But change is good in that helps us reevaluate systems that worked when our kids lived here, but don’t work as well now. Taking a fresh look at our space gives us a new perspective on how we live. It may feel strange at first but it will become our new normal.
We are in a new community group reading through Gary Thomas’ book, Cherish. This is at least the 10th time we’ve done this, and each time we are inspired ourselves and also by the couples who get it! However, there are usually those who have struggled in their marriage for years–maybe 11 or more–and the question they ask is, “Is it worth it? Or will I be disappointed once again?” I get it. When years of bad habits have developed it can actually become comfortable in an odd sort of way; like our old lumpy sofa. It fits us even though others who come and sit don’t have the same impression–literally.
A husband who has never offered to be involved in the relationship suddenly starts asking questions, make suggestions and want to change. The wife can take offense that he has come out of his corner and actually has opinions about things. She has said for years that she wants him to do this but once he actually does? It messes with her comfort zone.
A wife who has been indifferent and disconnected to her husband on all levels suddenly realizes her err and repents. Now she wants to be with her man, yet he pulls away because she’s too close. He has become comfortable with the wrongs suffered over the years. He is used to the distance.
These are both very common scenarios. It requires a fresh look at where you started to accurately assess your commitment to each other and to God.
In redoing our home, we take it down to the bare bones. This helps us see the possibilities and build fresh on the foundation that was laid at the beginning.
Our vows are like the bones of a home; they are what hold the marriage together when we don’t feel like it. And we should take them seriously. We said them before family and friends, but most of all God. He sealed our love and He alone can heal our hurts and failures. But we must be willing to do the work. He may lead us to the changes needed and provide help from those who can encourage us, but the day to day choices to lean in and fight for our marriage, rather than pull away and flee are ours alone.
Sadly many couples sell out and move on rather than rolling up their sleeves and doing the all that is necessary to restore what the enemy has tried to steal, kill and destroy. Being comfortable isn’t always good.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have built an entire empire around fixing up old homes and restoring them to new life. Is your marriage a fixer upper? If it is, Demo Day can be one of the most exciting days because it removes what no longer works and replaces it with what does. We can think of it as hard work, or jump in and make it fun as Chip does so well. The choice is yours.