Of Marriage and Model Cars

As a little kid, I was completely obsessed with cars. My love was for muscle cars in particular, and as a red-blooded young ‘Murican it was all very natural that I gravitated toward muscle of the homegrown sort—Ford Mustang, Pontiac GTO, Shelby Cobra, to name a few. But more than any other, it was the Chevy Camaro that had my heart.

I went especially wild in the early 90s, when Chevy debuted the fourth-generation Camaro. My ten-year-old mind couldn’t conceive of anything more beautiful on four wheels. My dad had owned a third-generation Camaro, but he had traded it in for an SUV a year or so earlier, and I was still in the process of grieving that loss when I saw Chevy’s new Camaro for the first time.

Despite my best and seemingly endless efforts, I couldn’t convince my dad to buy a new Camaro. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. He did buy a new one, and he even bought it for me. But it was plastic, it was less than a foot long, and it was a kit that had to be assembled. I prized that little plastic Camaro, though. And I was painstaking in my efforts to put it together. Once the work was done, I proudly placed my Camaro atop the highest shelf in the bookcase right by my bed. I went to every effort to protect my sweet ride from every threat. There would be no more books, I decided, at least not on that shelf lest the books on either end fall down on top of my precious little car. As is so often the case, however, with so many things that we cherish at first, the weeks and the months went by, and that little plastic icon of my four-wheeled obsession became progressively less important. At first, it was that I no longer worried if anybody put things up on that shelf. Eventually, it got to where I stopped noticing the car altogether. One day, I did something that mere months earlier would have been completely and totally unthinkable. In a fit of rage at one of my parents, over something that, for the life of me, I can’t remember, I stormed into my room and looked for something to throw, something that would break, something that would help me show just how mad I really was. Then I saw it. Right there on the shelf I noticed that Camaro that I had neglected—the same one that I had spent countless hours building, and then countless more admiring—and I hastily grabbed it, then threw it to the ground with all the force I could muster. And then I walked out in a huff, leaving behind a once-prized possession, in pieces. The foolishness of my behavior didn’t dawn on me until a day or two later when my little brother, who had witnessed the tantrum, pointed to the shelf where he had just placed my Camaro after taking the time to cement all the little pieces back together. “I knew how much that car meant to you, Eric. So I wanted to fix it for you.” I was stunned, and I was speechless. How could I have done what I did to my precious Camaro? How could I be so thoughtless and my little brother so thoughtful? How could my brother have put that thing back together, because I seriously thought I vaporized it? From that moment, that little plastic model Camaro bore whole new meaning to me. It resumed its position of importance on that shelf, and it was again protected from books and other potential threats. But its value was now amplified by the memory of all that it took to make that little model car what it was the first time, and all that it must have taken to make it what it was the second time. It would be awesome if such fragility were limited to treasures of the inanimate sort, but they’re not. If we aren’t careful, we can end up neglecting and destroying that which should be prized above all else—our marriages. And although a marriage, once shattered, might be reassembled, it will take a lot more than time and a bottle of liquid cement. A sacred union suffering and neglected can be saved, but will be so much better off if repaired long before it’s totally forgotten and left vulnerable to a moment of pure and unfettered selfishness. Wherever a marriage might be, it can be put back on the pedestal where it belongs, safe and secure as each heart's priority. Check out Part II, offering small and simple ideas to make great things happen in a marriage . . . 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The following two tabs change content below.
Eric loves being a husband and father, and he tries hard to be better at both, every day. He loves to read, draw, paint, exercise, cook (and eat), and drive (he's always up for a road trip!). He loves the gospel and feels deep gratitude for the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Latest posts by Eric Checketts (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *