Speed Bumps

Speed bumps are a pain for drivers, but they serve a significant purpose. After living in our current home for over thirty years, some of our neighbors—all four of them—decided to have a number of these dreadful inconveniences installed on our not-so-widely-traveled country road.

I was not a happy homeowner in the beginning, but sometimes it is what it is.

Soon after the petition was delivered to the powers that be, a sign was posted at each end of our road: Caution: Five Humps Ahead. Instead of grumbling, I decided to look at this change as a safety precaution for my granddaughters and the neighbors’ children. All the smart people in our area adapted to the change and conditioned themselves to slow down when approaching one of these humps. It didn’t take long for the community to memorize the location of each one. They figured out quickly that flying over one of these devices without braking could tear up their car or propel them into a ditch. Not a fun way to spend your day or your hard-earned cash.

Do you see where I’m going? Spiritual, mental, and emotional speed bumps arise in every marriage at some point. Some are larger than others, and not all are strategically placed. They’re put there to warn us to slow down and approach with caution. If we ignore these speed bumps—or keep flying over them without slowing down to think about the consequences—our marriage could end up in the ditch. When that happens, the marriage might require costly repairs, be totaled, or go up in flames.

Angry words never solve a problem, and the hostility makes it difficult to move past an offense and make up. The angrier you allow yourself to become, the harder it is to stop. You can literally work yourself into a frenzy that becomes a downward spiral, picking up momentum with each barb. There’s no stopping until you hit the bottom with a thud.

Before you lose control, take a step back and count to whatever number it takes to keep those prickly barbs inside. Watch your words and check your attitude.

Your Turn

Join the conversation by adding your comments below.

What are some speed bumps that tax your marriage?

by Andrea Merrell

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Andrea Merrell is an author, freelance editor, workshop leader, and writing mentor with a passion to encourage other writers and help them sharpen their skills. She is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Andrea has been published online and in numerous anthologies. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript: Writing and Editing Tips to Keep Your Book Out of the Editorial GraveyardThe Gift and Praying for the Prodigal. For more information or to contact her, visit www.andreamerrell.com or www.thewriteediting.com.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.

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