I think marriage is like living in a mansion. We can settle for living in a couple of small rooms, or we can live large, filling the house. The first is a weak, small marriage with little depth of love, while the second is a marriage full of love getting better every year. What I’ve been proposing the last couple of days is moving into those empty, unused rooms of the mansion that is your marriage. But what if you find those rooms filled with junk?
A friend of mine recently sent an e-letter in which he discusses how living generates trash – and just as our physical living generates physical trash, our emotional, mental, and spiritual living generates motional, mental, and spiritual trash. Trash is not inherently evil (sinful) but it’s not something one wants to live with. Thing is, we tend to be lazy, and dump our trash in any out-of-the-way place … like those empty and unused rooms in the mansion of our marriage.
So, what trash needs to be hauled out to make way for claiming everything God intended your marriage to be? Odds are you’ve both brought some trash into the marriage – wrong attitudes, bad examples, and the pain from rejection in past relationships (romantic and family relationships). Then there are those early marriage problems neither of you was willing to really work out – you just avoided them and slowly abandoned the rooms were the problems were dumped. There are betrayals large and small, fears, distrust, and so much more. The longer you’ve been married, the more trash you’re likely to have, and frankly it can be overwhelming.
How do you deal with all that trash?! Just start hauling it out – piece by piece. Don’t get all sentimental about it – you don’t check the trash cans every time you empty them, do you? And don’t try to assign each piece of trash to the person responsible for it – its trash, just get rid of it!
Yes, you’ll likely come to some things you can’t easily remove due to their size and weight. When this happens you’ll need to attack the issue and break it down so you can handle it. In this case, the person the trash belongs to may be important, as that person may be the only one who can deal with it.
And please, don’t be embarrassed to bring in a professional cleaning crew if you need the help!
Okay, I have to stop now – either that or make a “tortured metaphor” tag! :mrgreen: