There’s a craze going around about self-driving cars – autopilot cars. Similar to Google Maps, you plug in in your destination, sit back, relax, and the car does all the work.
On one hand, it sounds like a blast! Imagine all the things you could get done on your morning and evening commutes? Think about all the things you already do that you’re not supposed to do while driving – brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, fix your hair, put on makeup, and catch up on your phone with emails, texts, or a myriad of social media options.
On the other hand, I’m more than a little leery of the entire proposition. First, I am a conspiracy theorist at heart. Movies like iRobot (a movie in the early 2000s that centered on intelligent robots and self-driving cars) do not help my condition. The thought of a car taking over - and me giving up control - is not for me. Also, we talk about how new technology will free us, but what we’ve seen is that it creates more room to be bound. We typically fill our new-found “free time” with other things, which is the opposite of freedom.
Unfortunately, some of us treat our marriage like a self-driving car. It’s just buzzing along in the background while we do our “other” more important stuff. Your “other stuff” could be things such as your career, recreational activities, shopping, entertainment, TV, sports, and the like. Fill in the “other” as you may.
If we’re honest, we did not get married to have our marriage and spouse just buzzing along in the background while we do “other stuff.” We got married because we saw someone with whom we wanted to spend the rest of our existence here on earth with every day. Marriage should not be placed on autopilot.
Here are 3 simple ways to keep your hands on the wheel.
My pastor always says, “start simply and simply start.” You and your spouse may not be able to do everything listed above, but the Lord honors our effort and not our result. He is always looking for willing, yielded, and trusting hearts. Can you consistently yield your marriage to the Lord? Can you and your spouse, through the Holy Spirit, trust Jesus with your marriage?
Just like autopilot cars, it may appear to be freeing to let marriage just happen without intentionality, thought, and planning. That is the passive approach to marriage, and God certainly does not call us to passivity. Check out Genesis 3 and how that turned out for Adam and his marriage.
Driving, at least for today, is a very active privilege and our marriages are no less. As we take our marriages by the wheel, it actually provides more freedom and dispels the farce of freedom that passivity promises but has yet to deliver. Following the 2 greatest commandments in our marriage (Matthew 22:37-39), will not only deepen our marriages, but enrich our communities, provide refreshing reassurance to friends and family alike, and make God’s renown known to all those we frequently brush up against. It’s a great time to be married, so let’s do it well!