Mitigation is probably not a word that we here or use a great deal. But in Colorado, particularly the past year or so, it is a word that has been used quite a bit. Two weeks ago began the Black Forest Fire, the worst wildfire in Colorado history, resulting in the loss of over 500 homes and two lives. In reading numerous articles regarding the fire, I am intrigued by forecasts the experts have been making about fires in Colorado. They indicate that the increase in dangerous fires is not surprising as trees have grown, needles and vegetation have accumulated, and many have not taken steps to clear our some of these potential fuels – they have not been doing fire mitigation. Others have been intentional about doing mitigation work and their homes will be better protected in case of fire. Now please don’t misunderstand me, when a fire like the Black Forest fire hits, for some homes – no amount of mitigation would have prevented their destruction. Yet, for others, fire mitigation may have saved their homes.
The lesson that I observed from this is that many in relationships need to do better mitigation. By this I mean, removing irritants and obstacles from the relationships; getting rid of language that fuels conflict; building hedges of protection around the marriage that solidify faithfulness; being honest and forthright to keep lines of communication clear. I have seen many marriages end where no one was surprised. The seeds of destruction had been sown for years with nothing done to combat them. Yet, I can’t help but wonder – had the individuals in the relationship done better clearing of destructive fuels – better mitigation along the way, what might the result have been? When a wildfire breaks out – it is too late to do mitigation. What can you begin to do today to clear the fuels that have the power to harm your relationship? Let’s do some mitigation this week.