I spent a recent Saturday scraping and repainting the outdoor trim around the doorways of our house. I don’t care too much for painting but it was past time for it to be done. The paint was chipping and the trim was starting to look pretty shoddy.

So I scraped and scraped and then I sanded and sanded some more. Then I painted carefully easing the brush along the trim. Then I grabbed the wet paper towel and dabbed the paint that got on the siding.

As I was working on this job, I thought about how this related to relationships. Consider marriage, for instance. When a over-timecouple gets married, everything is new and fresh, like a new paint job. But over time, the relationship gets weathered. Thunderstorms come along and pound against it. Winter comes along and brings its icy chill. The summer sun beams its heat on the painted surface. Season after season the paint job endures the changing temperatures and various weather conditions. Soon enough the paint starts to chip away and you need to give it some attention to get it back to what it looked like when it was new.

So it is with our relationships. Stuff happens. A baby comes along. A job change. A financial challenge. Another baby or maybe a miscarriage. A fight. Hurt feelings. Stress upon stress. Soon enough the paint starts to chip away and you need to give it some attention to get it back to what it looked like when it was new.

I am not going to go to the hardware store every Spring to get a quart of paint to freshen up the outdoor trim. But I am, or I better be, going to the flower shop or leaving a note for my wife occasionally throughout the year to let her know how much I love her. You don’t have to freshen up the trim too often to maintain it. But you do need to tend to the woman God gave you as your life partner.

My wife and I have never been consistent with a weekly date night but we do make time to talk most evenings. We have regular prayer time together and we get away alone together once or twice a year.

We have our disagreements and stressful situations and challenges like every couple does. This is all the more reason we need to be intentional about taking time together to maintain our relationship.

How long has it been since you last took your wife out for dinner or even out for coffee? I understand your life is busy. Schedule it in. Make a personal appointment. Make it happen.