Keeping the boats together

By DR. JAMES DOBSON,
Imagine, if you will, two little rowboats setting off to cross a choppy lake. A man sits in one, and a woman rides blissfully in the other. They have every intention of rowing side by side, but then they begin drifting in opposite directions. They can hardly hear each other above the sound of the wind. Soon the man finds himself at the northern end of the lake, and the woman bobs along at the south. Neither can recall how he or she drifted so far from the other or what they should do to reconnect.
This simple illustration has meaning for newlyweds who embark on life's journey. They stand at the altar and pledge to live together in love and harmony. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Unless their relationship is maintained and cultivated, it will grow distant and estranged. In essence, that is why romantic little rowboats often drift toward opposite ends of the lake.
The question to be raised is, how can husbands and wives remain in the same proximity for a lifetime? The answer is to row like crazy. Take time for romantic activities. Think not of yourself but of the other. Avoid that which breeds conflict and resentment. And listen carefully to the needs of the partner. These are the keys to harmony and friendship.
It's difficult to keep two rowboats floating along together, but it can be done if each partner is determined to row. Unless they are willing to paddle, however, the currents of culture will separate them forever.