This is a true story. There is a house that I drive by several times a week and have been doing so for years. Each time I drive past this house I can feel the weight of what happened there, or more accurately, what didn't happen there. At one point, when the "For Sale" sign went up, the weight became heavier still. And when the moving truck pulled away with the last of this house's former belongings, the weight for me was palpable. I have considered finding a new route that does not include driving by this house, but I cannot ignore what happened there and I must work through it. I must learn from it so that it never happens to me.

In this house lived a husband and a wife, the foundation of a future family. They had been married about 7 years, during which there was neglect from both the husband and the wife. This neglect led to an affair for one of them.

To be sure, infidelity in marriage is the ultimate betrayal. I have seen many couples do some very hard work and recover from this betrayal, but some choose not to, or believe they can't. The latter is what happened to the couple that used to live in this house.

So why do I bring this up? Why focus on something so negative in my writing, especially for someone like me who is usually so optimistic? The answer: because this poor couple never saw the devastation that was headed their way. Like a freight train headed into a tunnel towards them with it's headlight burned out, they never saw it coming. It doesn't have to be that way for you and I.

When was the last time you checked in with your spouse and said, "How are we doing?", or, "How am I doing as a husband or wife?" These kinds of questions are difficult to ask because they make us feel very vulnerable. Yet, if we don't ask them, our vulnerability is, in reality, many times greater. Do you see what I mean here?

For me, I want to allow this empty house to represent what happens to a marriage when the ball is dropped, when a husband or wife starts to check out emotionally, or when a spouse fails to act intentionally to foster a marriage that thrives. If my marriage is not growing, it is dying. I cannot and will not allow my marriage to die a slow painful death like this, and you shouldn't either.

What kind of marriage lives in your house? Is it one that is growing or one that is dying? Are you intentional to invest into your spouse and your marriage or has life become so difficult that one (or both) of you has checked out emotionally? Even if you don't feel love at the moment, are you choosing to love and serve anyway?

I do have control over whether or not my marriage lives happily in my home—and so do you! Choose well–because failing to choose is also a choice.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

By Brad & Tami Miller. Contact us at brad@TandemMarriage.com. Copyright © 2017

Link to: https://tandemmarriage.com/vacant