My son called me the other day to tell me about another old Ford Mustang that he is considering buying. Immediately, I went into parent protection mode: "How much rust is on it? How does the engine look? Any oil spills? Did you test drive it? Did the transmission slip?" I was trying to help my son not make a bad financial decision about this car.
Wouldn't it be great if he could test drive the car for about 6 months to make sure it was what he wanted? Just to be certain that the transmission was good to go, to know that the car would start every morning and to make sure there were no hidden problems.
Even if he could test drive it for 6 months, we all know what would happen at 6 months and 1 day. The engine would fall out! Then he’s stuck with it.
That is where many people are in their relationships: stuck. They entered into the relationship thinking that it was perfect. Many times they even "test drove” the relationship to make sure things were the way they wanted them to be. The problem is, like cars, people change. Sometimes there is hidden damage that no one is aware of. Five, ten or fifteen years go by and then the hidden damage becomes visible. Many times, the words "I am just not happy anymore," follow that exposed damage.
Buyer’s remorse sets in… If they only knew then what they know now...
But not my son! If the engine fell out, that would be ok. He would have purchased the car not because it was perfect, but because he loves old Mustangs.
Granted, relationships are a lot more complicated than buying an old car. It takes two people, actually three counting God, to make a relationship work. When the sole basis for the relationship is a temporary feeling of happiness, or that we've tried this out and it seems to work, something important is missing.
Not just the feeling of love, but the commitment to love whether or not the engine falls out.
When I see couples who have been married 50, 60+ years, I know they are not the same people they were 40 years ago. Life has brought change into each of their lives. There had to be days the car didn't start, or the tire was flat. How did stay together? How did they stand the test of time?
It was a committed decision on both parts to love each other. One that we need to make in our own relationships.
I wonder how many relationships have been formed based solely upon what you do for me today; based solely upon the test drive. But when the rust starts showing, the engine starts knocking, when things start to change, it becomes all too easy to trade that old car in.
Unless you love old Mustangs.