Keeping up with the Maintenance - Part 2

March 4, 2016, 12:00 am


Doing an Annual Inspection

Prior to moving back to Michigan in 2001, my family and I were living in Pennsylvania. Unlike Michigan, Pennsylvania requires licensed vehicles to pass an annual inspection. So every spring I would take my car to the local mechanic. While performing the safety inspection, my mechanic would call me if anything needed to be repaired and we’d go over it. It gave me peace of mind knowing that my car was safe to drive for another year.

Marriages can benefit from a yearly inspection, too. If you are married, you and your spouse need to get away every year and spend some time dedicated to working on your relationship. This works a lot better if there is some structure to it. The two of you need to decide ahead of time what that structure will look like. As Team Elmer’s employees,  we are privileged to attend an event known as A Weekend to Remember that takes place every February in Grand Rapids. This is a fine opportunity to hear marriage experts offer advice on how to strengthen your marital relationship.

If A Weekend to Remember doesn’t work for you, there are other options available. Search sites like Google will open a number of options simply by entering “Marriage Retreats in Michigan”.  One ministry that I like is called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. They do marriage retreats all over the country in churches and other venues. They also offer the entire retreat on video which can be ordered from their website.

A few years ago my wife and I stayed at a retreat center called The Shack.  The Shack is located just outside of the village of White Cloud. It is about thirty minutes north of Grand Rapids. They offer retreats at different times throughout the year. We found it to be a relaxing, inexpensive place to connect with each other. Family Life Radio out of Midland also helps sponsor marriage retreats.

You and your spouse might want to do something on your own. Let me offer some suggestions for making this time productive. You may want to work through a book on marriage together. One book that I really like is called Love and Respect. The author does a great job of describing what a husband and wife need in order to feel connected to each other within the marriage. If you only have a short amount of time to get away, I suggest that each of you write down two or three things that you would like to talk about. When you talk about things, come up with a plan to implement them.  Make sure to structure some time for fun into your getaway. Keeping up with this type of  annual inspection can really help you enjoy a lasting and loving marriage.

Talk to you next week.

Tom

Posted by The Chaplain's Corner at 12:00 am
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