I’ve recently been performing some required maintenance on my car. You know, the battery dies & you replace it. Shoes (tires) wear out & I have to get new ones. I live in Texas, in June & looking at 100+ degree heat waves. My AC goes HOT & I prefer not to arrive at my destinations looking (& smelling) like I just left the gym. Then…it’s the tune up required after 100k+ miles & probably brakes. Because I’ve learned & teach sound financial principles, I purchased a used car that had all these points checked & approved prior to my purchase. Of course, I’ve doubled the miles on it within the past 4 years, so…..it’s time.
I am frugal, economical, & even tight when it comes to these type things (OK…. most things!). I shop around securing the best prices, request price matches, & order online as opposed to local parts places.
A friend asked a very normal question during a casual conversation discussing my maintenance investments. “Why don’t you just trade your car in & get a new one?” I say normal in the eyes of a society ridden with debt, stressed to the max & overwhelmed from one day to the next. I choose not to live that way!
Her question was posed to my car, yet I couldn’t help but think how sad it is applied in relationships. Being single for the past 20 years I’ve seen my share of disappointments in marriages, engagements & even friendships. The “new car smell” has worn off & the “check engine light” is on requiring necessary, routine maintenance. Wait!! Why pay for maintenance when you can trade in for a newer model! Zero money down, free financing for a year, low-interest rates! Newer models doesn’t necessarily refer to being age specific, but newer in experiences. I immediately grieved for the marriages that are hanging in the balance right now. Engagements being called off because he/she loved her/him, but doesn’t like her/him at all. How many times do we see couples invest in their weddings without one fraction of investment afterwards in their marriage?? You see them too! Many times a divorce is in process & the couple is mediating about who will pay for the credit card debt acquired because of an elaborate wedding. Don’t get me wrong…..I love weddings, but have learned I would now beg couples to invest in personal development, financial management & accountability instead.
There are many, many great *books available which will aid in answering questions & scenarios that are guaranteed to surface. My ultimate reference is the Bible as it offers wisdom of the ages, timeless council & advice. Invest in your relationships regardless of the stage & consider it the pre-loved inspection! When maintenance is required, the resources are mapped out, emergency deposits were made & you’ll never be left stranded!
*Not an exhaustive book list, but several of my absolute relationship favorites!–>>> Bible – God; 5 Love Languages, 5 Love Languages of Apology, & many other books by Gary Chapman; Wild At Heart – John Eldredge; Men Are Like Waffles & Women Are Like Spaghetti Books – Bill & Pam Farrell; His Needs/Her Needs- Willard Harley; Love & Respect and many other books by Emerson Eggerichs; Intended For Pleasure – Wheat, Wheat & Rainey; The Anatomy of Peace – Arbinger Institute; Walking With God On A Road You Never Wanted To Travel and many other books by Pastor Mark Atteberry; Sexperiment – Ed & Lisa Young.