My bike had spent eleven long years silently waiting in the cool storage area, waiting for me to pick it up again. When I parked it there, I thought it was just for a short season, just until we finished the project that was consuming most of our time—building our home. The months stretched into years and when I added up the time since I last rode my bike, I was astounded.
Has it really been that long? I can’t believe that much time has passed!
So, in the heat of summer—with the hottest temps on record and in the middle of extreme drought conditions—I pulled out my bike to renew our old relationship. And as I’ve been biking again, it occurs to me how many similarities there are between the discipline of this strenuous sport and the discipline of working on a marriage.
Just like a body grows flabby and bloated without physical work, a marriage will grow stale and sometimes out of control. Without putting in some hard work, root issues will keep erupting and causing problems, and the longer you go without putting in some “relationship effort” the more out of shape the relationship gets.
A funny thing about getting back in shape physically is that I know I need to do it, and that I’ll be glad in the long run, but it’s really easy to put it off. The first day I finally climbed back on my bike—I was enjoying it so much—I rode seven miles! I couldn’t believe how much I’d missed it.
Why did I wait so long to pull this out? Why haven’t I been riding?
But even though I love the ride (most of the time) I literally have to make myself get on the bike in the morning. I know I’ll be glad I did, but it is a literal fight with my body every morning. I hope the more I do this, the less fight I’ll have.
I think it’s the same for working at your marriage when you’ve reached a really crummy place or you’ve just settled into a state of indifference, you just don’t want to make the effort. You’ve given up hope and decided that this must be as good as it gets.
This month we’ve been focusing on the marital relationship and I’m hoping if you’ve parked your marriage efforts for awhile, you’ll make the hard choice to get back on that “bike” and start a workout that will be worth it.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1: –7)
Anybody willing to join me for this ride?