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  • Writer's pictureBrian Lindner

The Color of Your Boxcars

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Image credit: jgorzynik / 123RF Stock Photo

In grade school math story problems were always my favorite. Visualizing airplanes or cars zooming along always seemed more interesting than lonely numbers with no context. As I recall they sounded a little like this:

One train left Seattle traveling east at an average of 37 miles per hour. Another train left Chicago traveling west at an average of 43 miles per hour. The train from Seattle had 7 boxcars, 2 were yellow and 5 were red. The train from Chicago had 8 boxcars, 3 were blue, 3 were green, and 2 were purple. When the two trains finally reached each other at the train station they combined boxcars to form one train. Together how many boxcars do they have?

It’s simple addition 7+8. The tricky part is the other distracting numbers, colors of the boxcars, the speed of the trains, or even where they are from. The last part of the story problem always outlines the goal. When looking back at the story much of the details are unnecessary once the main goal is stated.

For this story problem and in marriage it doesn’t matter where you come from or how fast you go places.

The important part of your marriage story is what you become together. Jesus said the most important commandments are to love God and to love others. When you focus on the main goal of loving God and loving your spouse, all of the other details of life become periphery.

Drop distractions and focus on your relationship. The math becomes easier, and your marriage will too.

What distracts you most from focusing on your marriage today?

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