People who know me know I am not a handyman. I’m someone who can turn a simple fifteen minute fix-it job into an all day nightmare. I am the guy from whom repair people make their money.
So with that in mind, here’s the story…
It was around eight in the evening and my wife was in the laundry room when I heard these words. “Oh no! That’s just great!” Though I didn’t want to, I asked, “What’s wrong?”
It seems our dryer (which was only fourteen months old) was not heating and drying the clothes. Knowing what you know about my lack of handyman skills, you can imagine my reactions:
- Avoidance. “Maybe it just needs a rest. Perhaps, if we go to bed, it will be working fine in the morning.”
- Anxiety. “We really don’t have the money to pay a repair man. What little money we’ve stuck back was going to go for something else.”
- Anger. “That dryer was only 14 months old! Just two months out of the warranty! How do they get away with such poor workmanship?!”
I don’t think I said any of this out loud. (Well maybe that thing about poor workmanship.) But I could feel these things rising up in me, and they were beginning to ruin my night and my attitude.
So I grabbed my phone to begin looking for a repairman. But when I reached for my phone, something prompted me to do something different. (I think the prompting came from God, but you can think what you want.)
I went on social media and reached out to my friends for suggestions. Within minutes, they gave me numbers for trusted repair people, suggestions about possible problems, and videos on how to fix the suspected problem. So later that evening, I decided to undertake the repair myself.
I got up early the next morning, got the replacement part I needed, and a half a day later the dryer was back in business. All it cost me was $14 and a few sheet metal cuts on my fingers.
My friends told me I would have a sense of accomplishment in doing the repair, and they were right! But I got something more than just a sense of accomplishment. I learned something applicable to life and marriage.
Things in life and marriage will always change. God has been schooling me on this concept for several weeks, and He has shown me that I will be able to celebrate life more if I learn to embrace change rather than fight it.
The dryer debacle was a simple hands-on lesson for me. I can either except change and work with it, or I can catastrophize change and fight it.
What does this have to do with marriage?
Every marriage will encounter unwelcome changes. There will be…
- Financial set-backs.
- Changing demands.
- Increasing responsibilities.
How you face change will determine the health and longevity of your marriage. You can either avoid, be anxious, and get angry; or you can accept the change and adjust to it. How? Here are some suggestions:
Face the change. I could have worried about it, got mad about it, or run from it, but my dryer was still going to be broken. It’s the same with change. You can avoid it, worry about it, or fight it, but the change is still going to be there. So don’t waste your energy. Instead, take a deep breath, calm your mind, and face the change. Chances are, it’s not as bad as you’ve blown it up to be in your mind.
Reach out for help. I could have kept to myself and tried to figure out the dryer problem myself. But it would have cost me more time, more frustration, and more money than reaching out for help. Reaching out for help is hard for some… including me. But God has designed life and marriage to be done in community, because He knows none of us has everything we need all the time. So reach out to friends, a pastor, a counselor, or someone else who loves you and wants to help.
Do the work. Even after listening to friends’ advice, looking up websites, and watching videos, my dryer was not going to fix itself. I had to do the work if I wanted to see my dryer fixed. As I heard Aaron McManus once say, “ You can’t expect a return on investment if you don’t invest.” When you’re facing changes, you can reach out to people for help, but in the end you have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.
So are you wrestling with some change or problem in your life or marriage? If so, let me encourage you to face forward, reach out, and roll up your sleeves. I’m not saying it will be as easy as fixing a dryer, but it might not be as bad as you think.
When it comes to facing change, which of these three do you most need to implement today? I encourage you to take the first step and see what happens after that.
Copyright © 2018 Bret Legg