Wedding Preparation – Human Fax Reports

Preparation M 
(Not to be mistaken with H)

What should every individual do before taking those risky and beautiful steps down the wedding aisle?  It’s Wedding Preparation Time!!!

A.  Order a Human-Fax Report

Most people in this country will not even purchase a used car nowadays without finding out about its history.  For years, there were far too many lemons sold, far too many bad buys and far too many machines breaking down before the first payment was made. 

In response to this problem, some genius out there created a system by which potential car buyers could check out an automobile before making an expensive commitment and plunking down their hard earned cash.  This Car-Fax reporting system has been used by millions of people to find out whether the car they are considering has been wrecked or in any way mistreated.  People can find out about a driving machine’s repair history and then make an informed decision about the possible purchase.  With this information in hand, a buyer can know whether this car is worth the risk.

Now I am not saying that getting married is the exact same thing as buying a car, but one thing the above makes me wonder is why people insist on this sort of intense information gathering when it comes to car buying, but rarely seek to discover the detailed history of a potential mate.  I believe this level of tire kicking is necessary, not only for buying a used Audi, but also (and certainly more so) for purchasing a marriage partner.  After all, isn’t a life commitment to another human being, who might turn out to be a walking talking lemon, a bigger decision than monthly payments?  

I believe this is a huge deal and that is why I advise all of my counselees, before they get married, to fill out a “Human Fax” report (and order one from their mate.) .

While there is no actual faxing to be done (unless you want to), the idea remains the same — People providing vital and detailed histories about their brokenness, about their past wreckage and about their repair status so that someone else can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to enter into a commitment.

While it is true that someone can lie about their past and present condition, it is not likely.  After all, most people want to be somewhat honest when they step into a relationship because they want the same sort of honesty to come back to them.  Thus, the value of this “Human Fax” is huge.  It reveals to both parties potential areas of weakness and places in need of repair.  And just because a “Human Fax” report exposes these types of things does not mean that a relationship will be a lemon.  Just because someone has wreckage does not mean that they are un-drivable.  It just brings reality into the open and hopefully draws individuals into the hands of mechanics who are able to help them become “roadworthy.”

To those in pre-dating mode:  I recommend that you fill one of these outtoo.  Even those who do not yet have a significant person in mind for marriage.  It is never too early to look under your own hood and to get yourself into the shop.  (It has been interesting to work with single individuals on their “Human Fax” reports because what they find are the very problems that have been stalling their romantic pursuits in the first place.) 

On the next page, I have included an example of a “Human Fax” report.  It uses symbolic car language.  Don’t let that throw you off.  Just roll with my weird brain for a bit and answer the questions you feel are relevant. 

For those spiritual people out there:  As you fill this out, ask God to search you and show you the truth of your condition.  If there are lots of problems with your “car”, do not despair.  Simply seek repair.  If you are filling this form out with a significant other, make sure to offer grace to both them and yourself.  Talk together about what must be done so when you take this longest relational road trip of your lives, you will be able to make it to your destination with minimal problems.

Do the following exercise:

Filling out a Human Fax Report

My Human Fax Report:  When filling this out, recall that you are thinking of your relational life.  

Part One:

  • How have you been wrecked by life/by others?  Have you been in fender-benders?  Dented?  Flipped over and left in a ditch?  Did the airbag release?  Have you ever felt totaled?
  • Who/What has smashed into you?
  • Who/What have you smashed into?
  • How did the crashes come:  Words?  Physical abuse?  Sexual abuse?  Failure?  Rejection?  Betrayal?  Abandonment?  Manipulation?  Parental Modeling?  Selfishness? 
  • How much damage did each crash cause?  Did it cause visible and/or invisible wounding?
  • What did this/these event(s) bring about?  What insecurities did each crash bring about?  How much caution/protection do you now have as a result?  How much fear of rejection?  How much embarrassment?  Shame? Do you hold onto grudges and unforgiveness? Did you develop patterns of comforting addictions to help you get through?    
  • Have you ever taken your life to a good mechanic?  Met with a therapist or pastoral counselor?  Let a trained someone do some Diagnostics and a Fix?  Was there Permanent or Temporary repair?  
  • Did you try to do the mechanic work yourself?  Or did you just suppress everything under a new paint job and drive on as if the things of the past would not affect your decisions/reactions/responses of the future?
  • What damage still needs to be fixed?  What broken pieces are sticking out?

Part Two

  • How is your Power Train (spiritual condition)?  Are you connected to God?  
  • What sort of roads can you handle and do you tend to drive upon?   
  • How much mileage do you have?  Were most of the miles easy or hard?  How many miles to the gallon do you get?  (Speaks of emotional/relational energy)
  • Describe your make and model?  Are you a Porsche or a used Ice Cream Truck?  What is your current price tag?  How much are you worth in the Relationship Blue Book?  What do you base that on?
  • What parts have been taken from you?  How have you been stripped?  Do you sense that there are missing parts and what does that mean for you?  Replacements?
  • Have you been careful to have regular oil changes (emotional, spiritual, mental refills) or do you ride along until you hurt your overall condition causing permanent damage to self and others?
  • What are the seemingly benign glitches you just let be?  Why?
  • How often do you get a wash?  A detail?
  • Who else besides you do you allow to drive your life?  
  • If you keep running as you are, how long do you think it will take for you to require a push?  Who do you have in your life that you call on for a push?
  • Can you move forward or do you just look backwards?  Have good rearview mirrors?  (Are the things of the past closer than they appear?)
  • Are you high-maintenance requiring tons of upkeep by someone else or are you low-maintenance and able to roll on without much support from someone else?
  • If someone kicked your tires, would they pop?
  • What is your safety rating?  Should people worry about crashing when driving along with you?
  • Are you dependable?
  • Can you be driven long-distances or do you overheat when you are made to wait?
  • How many owners have you had?  Did they treat you well?  Rag you out?
  • How big are your blind spots?  What are things you cannot see to the right and left of you that threaten your safety if you make any sudden changes?
  • Do your lights work (for when the darkness descends)?
  • Do your brakes work?  Can you put a stop to a relationship firmly or are you a brake pumper who can never seem to let go, even at obvious relational red lights?
  • What sort of driver are you suited for?
  • Do your windshield wipers work when a relational storm hits?
  • Are there any dead things in your trunk needing to be confessed or buried?
  • Are you a tow truck who makes a habit out of hooking up with broken down humans?

Human Fax summary:  Once you get to know yourself as written about above, it is key that you do not let the information define you.  Sometimes when we decide to take a closer look at ourselves, we get depressed by what we discover and identify ourselves with the findings.  But, you are not necessarily what it is you found out. You are simply being affected by it.

Sure, the Blue Book might say you are worth five hundred dollars because you can only get around behind a tow truck.  But truth is, you can and will be restored if you let yourself enter into a holistic process of healing and transformation. (Jesus is great at restoration!) 

Yes.  You have been broken and some parts of you do not work as well as they should. And while these parts are causing all sorts of relationship problems for you right now, the time will come when you will leave the junkyard once and for all.  

Suggestion:  Get a pro therapist to help you deal with your emotional junk and then ask God to reveal your actual value.  If you can find a spiritual director in your community, I’d recommend using them to help you with this second part.  There seems to be too much self-hate in the hearts of too many of us.