When my children were young, we used to drive to the Fresno airport, park, and spend an hour or two just watching planes take off and land. We were mesmerized by the fact that these huge pieces of machinery could get off the ground. Oh yes, there is a detailed scientific explanation as to how that can happen – but my brain still marvels at the feat. Airplanes just don’t look like they should be able to fly – but they do.
For some, marriage seems to be an equally challenging feat. I mean – men and women are wired so very differently, it is simply amazing that marriages can ever get off the ground. But they do – and when flown following a good flight plan – they fly well.
Some people really enjoy the take-offs and landings when flying. The rest of the flight is pretty boring and seems to just happen. However, it is during the time that you are enjoying your in-flight beverage that the pilot is taking care of all of the necessary adjustments and communications that make your flight safe and smooth. Marriages may take off with the big “I do”, but that is only the beginning. Whether or not the flight goes well depends upon how you handle the mundane hours of creating flight plans and tinkering with the controls. You cannot put your marriage on autopilot and arrive at your destination. Relationships require intentionality and investment. That investment may be in carved out time for talking with each other from the heart, sharing dreams, reading books about marriage together, or even participating in a weekend marriage retreat together. Without a thoughtful approach, when your kids leaven home, you are destined to stare at your spouse, who has become a stranger. You don’t want that and neither do your kids. They are trusting the grown-ups (that’s you) to be diligent in flying the plane. All competent pilots continue to update their flight skills and those experiencing healthy marriages do as well. What can you do this week to update your skills?