The Broken Washing Machine

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a lady who was on her way to buy a washing machine.

“Oh no,” I said, “Did yours break?” She explained that all of a sudden, the spin cycle just stopped working so she was going to buy a new one. No big deal, right?

Well, I got caught up in the hustle and bustle of my day and didn’t think twice about the lady and her brand new washing machine until that night when my head (finally) hit the pillow. Sometimes, that’s when my mind works the most, I think, no matter how tired I am.

Why is it that instead of working to fix something, we tend to just back out and want a new one? I wanted to call the lady and ask her if she had even considered hiring a repair man. Had the thought of fixing it even entered her mind, or are we, as a society, so driven by instant gratification and the need to see problems solved quickly with shiny, new replacements that it never even occurred to her? Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never had the financial capability to live like this, but I’d like to think it’s the value I place on people that made this impact me so much.

Now, I’m no longer talking about this lady and her new washing machine. For all I know, she’d had that washing machine for 15 years and it had been fixed several times before she finally broke down and bought a new one. It’s not my place to judge or assume, but God spoke to me about relationships through a washing machine, so how could I not share my heart?

I started thinking about that washing machine like relationships. Sometimes, relationships are hard. They get worn down by everyday life, sometimes they can be frustrating, and they take serious work to maintain. When a relationship is broken, do we try and fix it or do we look for a replacement? What would happen if we worked to repair what’s broken? Just thinking about the amount of broken families that could be prevented, the waste that could be avoided, and the hope that could be renewed through this mentality wrecks my heart. When did we become so carelessly wasteful? When did we become so selfish?

The more I asked myself these questions, the more I realized that I do, in fact, have a theory about this. I think it all comes down to what a person is looking for in a relationship. Are they looking to find happiness through the other person? Is the driving force behind the relationship whether or not they “make each other happy?” If it is, it makes sense for the relationship to be carelessly replaced when things get hard. Our problem is that instead of having a heart of service and devotion and faithfulness, we have become so self-absorbed that we are unwilling to work at relationships that no longer bring us the happiness we expect. This is a heart problem, not a happiness problem. The truth is that true joy and happiness can only come from our Savior, so if we’re looking to find that in a person, we can easily get tangled into the complicated web of recklessly replacing people. Like that washing machine, we won’t even try to fix it, we’ll just move on in search of a new, shiny, updated relationship and expect it to bring us the happiness that can actually only come through an intimate relationship with Jesus.

If you’re in a situation where you’re tempted to throw in the towel (get it, washing machine…) and give up on a relationship that could be fixed with Jesus’ help, I challenge you to seek His face today. Don’t give up. It’s worth the work. Lets strive to have a heart like Jesus, who never gives up on those He loves.

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