Thursday, February 12

Little Things

"Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, while our vineyards are in blossom."

A few days ago Sean and I chose this verse from the Song of Solomon to discuss with the couples who gather here on Thursday nights, focused on strengthening our marriages and building our families.

Sean and I decided that it would be a good idea to send each couple home with individual assignments this week to think/pray/meditate on what little foxes each of us are allowing or contributing to our marriage. This is an inward exercise, not a time to come up with a list of our spouses offenses or character flaws.

You know, some couples look to divorce because of "big" things like adultery and pornography, betrayal, addictions... But a lot of broken or dysfunctional homes come about as a result of little things adding up. Little irritations, impoliteness, rudeness, lack of love, disrespect, selfishness... Before the couples know it they've "fallen out of love" and are second guessing whether they married the "right" person, contemplating calling it quits.

I've been spending a little of my prayer time every day focused on this, asking God to reveal to me what I am contributing to our marriage that is damaging and thinking of examples to share tonight as we talk.

One thing I realize is that I do little things, little quirks, little annoyances, little grown up tantrums (can I be honest here?), little rudeness's - and because Sean is gracious and loving and mostly always wonderful he brushes them off or lets me tell him how to make the custard the right way because his is too lumpy even though he was doing me an enormous favor by making it in the first place...

It's the little things with me, I think, that "Oh, Sean doesn't mind so I don't need to change, it doesn't seem to bother him, I don't need to practice patience or self control, because it must not be affecting our marriage..." When truly it is affecting my character, my outward/inward likeness to Christ, my relationship with Sean and with God, the example I am giving for my children, the legacy I am leaving - all these things.

I am painfully becoming aware.


Ways of Zion said...

Wow, okay, I really needed that post. Thanks, I'm crying, but thanks!

Kit said...

Oh yeah, you got me where I live on this one. Thankfully, the Lord is not going to leave me where I am. I, too, am becoming painfully aware.

Trudy said...

You are right. Those little things really do matter and they will add up. Those little things are like Chinese water torture, doing its damage one drop at a time. One day you could find yourself wondering why there is a distance between you. Your husband sounds wonderful, but he is only human. We all can only take so much. I'm not saying you are awful. I know you are a great wife and mother. But I would still encourage you to take these little things seriously and never take your husband for granted because he has been so gracious. There is a book that is awesome and has turned many marriages around, that I have been able to use to save marriages that were on the brink of divorce and that I was able to use to restore my husband's love and affection for me after I had spent 16 years of the little comments and rudenesses that I thought weren't a huge deal, (because you see, I have a very gracious husband as well.) The love was gone! He felt depressed, lonely, unfulfilled, and extremely unhappy after so many years of this. He handled it well for years, but it accumulated. But all is mended, praise God! Please read the book yourself and recommend it to your friends. I don't agree with every single thing in the book, but we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. There are so many valuable truths in it, that I think you can discern and overlook the couple of things that you don't agree with, if any. It shows you how to stop doing these things and how to become fascinating to your husband, more than you already are. It explains what men find fascinating in women, how to understand men, how to bring out the best in your husband, how to react when a man is thoughtless, unfair, or negligent, how to accept him at face value and show him true respect and admiration, it goes over the man and woman's roles, how to arouse his deepest feelings of love and tenderness, how to gain true happiness in marriage. The book is called "Fascinating Womanhood" By Helen Andelin, first written in 1965.

Karen G. said...

I love to be right. I have a medium quick temper and Glen just won't take the bait when I try to get him to argue with me. That is my shortcoming and he is very gracious. I'm thankful that he waits until later to talk with me about it or he will just let it go forever. Of course, he has his quirks too, but love and continuing to communicate with each other is a big thing for us. Thanks for sharing. WE are all human.