Love It or List It?
By Jim Mitchell
My wife and I are home improvement show junkies. Give us a relaxed Saturday afternoon and we’ll binge watch like nobody’s business.
We’ve house hunted vicariously all the way from Austin to Australia. We’ve spiced up kitchens, crashed bathrooms, and traded spaces. We’ve flipped ‘em, flopped ‘em, fixed ‘em up, and designed ‘em on a dime. It’s one of our few shared TV obsessions.
A show we especially like is the HGTV hit Love It or List It. If you’re not familiar, each episode features a couple choosing either to renovate their existing home or find a new one that better fits their needs.
Not only do the spouses typically fall on opposing sides of this decision, but so do the program’s dual hosts. One oversees an arduous, budget-starved renovation process, while the other scours the market for instant-gratification, turnkey alternatives. Love it or list it?
As a viewer, I admit I almost always favor listing it. The newer houses just look nicer, with no mess and no hassle.
So which option do you think most couples on the show choose? The arduous, budget-starved renovation, of course. And it’s maddening to watch! Why in the world would anyone in their right mind choose the imperfect over the dream?
It’s simple: story.
The imperfect has story. Memories from years gone by, hard to release and non-transferable.
A child’s growth markings on a door jamb. A family dog’s favorite napping spot. A rickety porch swing where boo-boos were bandaged and tears kissed away. Mature trees planted as saplings, with a well-worn path underneath.
These perfectly imperfect sights and smells and sounds are part of a routine, full of charm and nostalgia, with a rich relational patina no amount of money can buy.
Some things are worth hanging on to, not in spite of imperfections, but because of them. And a marriage is one of those.
So, make yours a “love it” episode. Don’t list it, flip it, trade it, or crash it. Accentuate the positives. Enjoy the imperfections. You’re building something lasting and non-transferable.
The good stuff: Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk in it.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
Action points: Decide today, afresh, that it’s official … this relationship is here to stay, a place where you’ll put down roots and build a shared history, an “ancient path,” with a lifetime of non-transferable memories.
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