Back in March of this year, Alex traded in his Spyder Can Am for a motorcycle with a backrest. He made this trade mainly because it was always his ultimate goal to have a motorcycle and also because He wanted me to have a backrest so I could ride with him more and be comfortable. To be honest, this trade made me super nervous because he was going from a three-wheeled motorcycle to two wheels. I had the grand experience of one ride on a motorcycle that had happened over 10 years ago and my times on the Cans Am were not that great because it did not have a backrest and I was constantly sliding all over the place. I had all but quit riding it because of how nervous it made me. I thought that this would be even harder for me since we were losing a wheel and would now have to add balance to the list of things I would need to think about when I was riding. I was excited for Alex but at the same time, I was not looking forward to the learning curve.
Our first few rides were super short and just ok. It had been a hot minute since Alex had driven a motorcycle with two wheels and we all know my experience level. So we were both getting used to the new bike. We have a lot of people at our church that rides so Alex organized a ride for all of us to go on after church one Sunday. I really wanted to go on that ride with Alex but I also knew I really needed some more time on the bike before that happened. We both have really busy schedules but we found a night 3 days before the ride for us to go out. This ride was not fun at all. In fact, I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel because the biker life was not for me when something happened that turned it all around.
We had been riding maybe 30 minutes and in that time I felt like I was doing everything wrong-all the things. If it could have been done wrong I was doing it wrong and I think I was inventing new things to do wrong as I went along. Alex was trying to give me pointers along the way but it just seemed like he was yelling at me and I could not fully hear him so it just seemed pointless. Finally, Alex pulled over turned the bike off and we talked for a few moments. He calmly explained the things that I need to fix, told me how to fix them, and then to my surprise, he asked me if I wanted to keep going? Honestly, I did not want to keep going and it shocked me that he did. I wanted to quit. I wanted to cry and then quit but the fact that he was willing to keep going spurred me on to not give up. I agree to go on because Alex wanted too. If he was willing to get going I felt like I should too. Was the rest of our ride perfect, no, but something did shift at that moment. We had both made the decision to keep going and keep trying to improve and because of that things did improve.
Fast forward three days, we go on the ride with our group from church. We had not been riding very long when it occurred to me that I was actually having a good time. I wasn’t anxious or scared and Alex was not telling me to do anything differently. In fact, by the end of the ride, I was hooked and we were both having so much fun. The things that were scaring me 3 days ago were not bothering me now! The things that were making me want to give up 3 days ago were now easy and even fun!
As I was praying about what to do this week’s blog and video on the Lord reminded me of the ride and the things that I had learned by not giving up. He showed me that marriage is a lot like riding a motorcycle. You can have a smooth ride or a bumpy ride depending on how you work you put into it. So I want to share what I learned with you guys in hopes that this makes your marriage go a little smoother.
Marriage Lessons from a Motorcycle Ride
You can’t fight against each other
One of the first things Alex told me before we even got on the bike was that I could not for any reason fight against him. If he leaned I had to lean and if he didn’t I couldn’t. He explained that we had to work together or this was not only not going to work but that it could be dangerous for both of us. The same is true in marriage. We have to work together for our marriage to go smoothly. If we are constantly fighting against each other we are not only not enjoying the journey but we are opening our marriages up to certain dangers. We have an enemy that would love nothing more than for our marriage to end in divorce.
When we make the decision to work together instead of against each other we take away any opportunity the enemy may have to harm our marriage.
Stop and Communicate
Communication is very important if you are going to have a smooth ride but sometimes it is hard to do while you are moving. There are times that you just need to stop and talk things out. On our first ride, I really thought that Alex was mad at me and was yelling in anger. This only added to my frustration and was not helping the ride at all. It wasn’t until Alex stopped and turned the bike off that I realized he was just trying to speak loud enough that I could hear him over the noise. Once it was quiet and I could hear him it was much easier for us to communicate and then get a plan together to tackle the rest of the ride.
Life can be busy and words or lack of words can be misinterpreted but if we will stop and talk things through our marriages will grow and it will help us to work together as a team.
Learn from others
When Alex traded his bike, he and I both started talking to people that owned motorcycles and asking them for tips. We also started watching the way others drove and rode their bikes. There is no shame in getting help from people that clearly know more than you do. We were the newbies and we totally embraced that fact. We wanted to know what to do so we went to people that we knew had been riding for a while and could give us good advice. This is so important for marriages always. Find couples that have been married for a while and are happy. Gain wisdom and insight from these people so that you do not fall into certain problems.
Problems are going to arise in marriage but by seeking out good advice some problems can be avoided altogether.
Don’t Get Ahead of the Driver
I knew on our first ride that you had to lean when you went into curves. That was the one thing I knew had to happen so I was ready. The problem was I was a little too ready. I would see the curves coming and would start leaning before Alex was actually in the curve. This threw him off balance and made it harder for him to drive. In marriage, we each have roles and responsibilities as well. The husband is the head of the household and the wife is to submit to her husband. So let’s just say the husband for this blog is the driver and the wife is there to help him as a navigator. When we try to take over and do things out of our role it makes things harder. When I was leaning before Alex it made things more difficult for him. I had to wait on Alex’s lead than follow him for us to get through the curves safely and the same is true in marriage.
Husbands are the drivers and our marriages will be a lot smoother when we let them lead and do not try to get a head of them.
Keep Your Cool in Stressful Situations
So this lesson came from a silly situation. On our first ride, I saw something hit Alex’s hand. Alex looked over and shook his hand. What had hit him then flew over his shoulder and landed on my leg. It was then that I realized what it was. A giant (monster size) dragonfly. It was at that moment that I had a decision to make. Lose my crap and we die in a fiery motorcycle accident or stay calm and give Alex time to pull over. I wanted to pick the first one. Everything in me wanted to pick the first one actually. I wanted that bug off of me asap but I knew that if I did that we would both be hurt. So I sat there until Alex could pull over and I could get this monster off of me. We both had to keep our cool in that situation for us to not get hurt. If either one of us had freaked out both of us could have been hurt. Isn’t that true in marriage as well? Isn’t there times in a marriage that you want to lose your crap? Isn’t their times that you just want to let it fly and say all the things you are thinking? I know I have had those moments when I have wanted to do that but it is in those moments we have a choice to make. We can say the words that we want to say and our marriage can go up in flames because some words are like fiery arrows or we can pull over by keeping our mouths closed and take the time needed to calm down.
Staying calm and holding our tongues in a stressful situation can make all the difference in the world with our spouses. Life and death are in the power of our words. Use your words to build your spouse up not tear them down.
Find Your Flow and Enjoy the Ride
On that Sunday ride, Alex and I finally found our flow. We started working together and when we did it became enjoyable for both of us. Did our ride look like everyone else’s? No! We had to find the pace that worked for us since we were still learning. Your marriage does not have to look like anyone else’s either you just need to find out what works for you and work it. Alex and I do life the way we want to do it and it does not always look like your normal marriage but it works for us and we are happy. As long as you are Biblically correct I say you do you!
Do not think that your marriage has to be like everyone else. Find your own flow and enjoy your ride!
Don’t give up
I know that if Alex had given up on that first ride the second ride would not have happened for me. I wanted to quit but because he did not I kept going and because we kept going we were successful. Let’s be sure to apply this principle to our relationships! Regardless of what is going on and the way things may look, keep going. Don’t give up even if your spouse wants too! Keeping going and do everything your power to keep them going!
You could completely change your marriage by simpling making the decision to keep going!
This may all seem crazy but these things helped me when riding a motorcycle but they have also helped me in my marriage! The Lord uses everyday practical things to speak to me in a way that I can understand and I am so glad he does. I want my marriage ride to be just as smooth as my actual rides with Alex. And I want the same for all of your marriages!
You can do this!
We are praying for you guys!