There are times during married life when mistakes are inevitably unearthed. The ever-changing seasons wash away dirt covering up indiscretions and the past has to face postmortem analysis in the light of a new day. My wife Lori and I have been leading a couples study based on a movie of a few years ago called Fireproof. The premise of the film, which starred Kirk Cameron, involved a couple going through the stages of pre-divorce and the motions of marriage. Caleb, the fire fighting protagonist played by Cameron, tries to rebuild his failed marriage using his own strength. Unfortunately, he hasn’t figured out that he needs to rebuild his own life first. While going through the class materials, Lori and I started talking about a time in our marriage when we lived together separately. I was in my own zone at that moment. Cooking all night followed by drowning any memory of cooking all night. I always got home somehow, woke up with a head made of lead and wandered through nothingland until it was time to go cook again. Maybe I’d surf the internet for things no man should obsess over, married or not. Most days I’d play video games and vegetate.Many late nights, I’d hang around with a fellow cook who always had something nice to say. Nothing happened, but I was still in the wrong place. Stupid, inebriated and listening to all the pretty words. That was my under-married, empty existence.
Lori knew some of the details, others I talked about at length. I talked about what brought us back together and would eventually fireproof our marriage. One night while in the throes of a good time, a grown up I hold in the highest regard grabbed hold of me and it saved my life:
Go home. You’re better than this.
So, I did. That and re-learned to run…and lost 40 pounds. Started to think about what God expected and Lori needed. In the process, I began actually talking to Lori instead of continuing to just pass in the hall between the bedroom and bathroom. We agreed on trying to have a marriage together rather than ending up with nothing separately. I found a way to cook and pay the bills in a way that involved coming home each night to see my family. Was it as sexy, or as much down and dirty fun? No, but every teenage rebellion that starts at age 32 either ends in heartbreak or personal redemption. I chose to be married, because Lori and I had started the journey together. Years later, Lori and I ended up being able to have a conversation about that time and then walk away still married. We were able to have the conversation, because I’d gone home and became better for it.