Day Nine: When Auto-Pilot Goes the Wrong Way
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:17
Auto-pilot. It’s designed so aviators can multi-task without crashing a metal tube full of passengers dependent on safe arrival. It allows pilots to focus on broader aspects of the flight, like weather monitoring, systems assessment, and the like. It can be a useful tool when used wisely. But the secret is ‘focusing on broader aspects of the flight.’ Autopilot was never designed to give mass-transit operators a free pass for paying attention to the mission at hand. And nearly always when it’s used in this manner, chaos ensues. (I mean, have you ever seen this end well in any movie about airplanes and unaware pilots?!)
Living with someone for any period of time can cause ‘autopilot issues’. It’s the lament of every mother on the planet as they pick up towels and stray socks and commentate on the lack of appreciation freely flowing through the hallway of the home – knowing with complete assurance her kids would never treat a host’s home that way. We grow familiar with one another – and we wander into ‘thoughtless’ territory.
It happens in marriages all the time. The demands of work and kids and bills and in-laws and…fill in the blank with any distraction that causes you to look beyond the instruments on your dash… take our eyes off the most important relationship we have. In a flash, we’re on autopilot and dancing on the precipice of ‘thoughtless.’
And just like those Hollywood disaster films, we don’t realize there’s an issue with the autopilot until the buzzer sounds and the lights flash and the plane heads for a nose dive.
This verse is a warning flare before the panic button sounds.
Marriage is an easy place to slip into routine. We trust each other. We love each other. We grow familiar and begin leaving our dirty socks anywhere but in the hamper.
But scripture is pretty clear on how marriage should look. It takes an intentional attention to every dial and knob on the dashboard. Are you looking? Are there any warning bells sounding? What’s happening in your marital cockpit right now?
Read Ephesians 5:21-33
For her: Are there moments where you have taken your husband for granted? Confess those moments to him today and ask for his forgiveness.
For him: Are there moments where you have taken your wife for granted? Confess those moments to her today and ask for her forgiveness.
For us: Identify and share those moments that cause ‘autopilot’ in your marriage – work, kids, bills, etc. Commit together to think ‘thoughtfully’ about your marriage especially during those times. Together, create your own ‘autopilot’ button – a magnet for your refrigerator, something tangible you can see in an important place in your house – write ‘Ephesians 5:17’ across it and pray together that God might help you to act thoughtfully, intentionally, purposefully in your marriage.
Used by permission: Cornerstone Christian Fellowship