The Small Things Threatening Your Marriage
"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
One day, I was mindlessly looking out the window of an airport watching a few seagulls dart about overhead while airline workers were busy loading bags.
Nothing about the scene spoke of danger. But then I remembered a flight from a while back that was brought down by a few geese. The seagull that faded into the background just moments before became a point of extreme interest to me. What if?
It’s amazing if you stop to think about it that a huge airplane could be brought down by just a few birds. Birds. Who would have thought? It makes me think about other seemingly small things that can cause great destruction as well … especially when it comes to marriage.
Words vented in frustration can seem so small.
Slightly disrespectful attitudes can seem so small.
Complaining about lack of finances can seem so small.
Brushing off his desires can seem so small.
Making mental lists of things you wish were different about him can seem so small.
But each one of these seemingly small things can so easily and tragically wedge itself into the core of a marriage and send it spiraling toward destruction. Entire families have been ripped apart by things that once seemed so small.
Listen to the heartbreak in this note that was anonymously posted on my blog:
"Girls … I know this seems small … but, it’s really not. Take it from someone who has blown it to the point where he gave up and divorced me. It’s too late for me. But, it’s not for you. Please be aware of the little things. I wouldn’t have you join me for anything in the world. Be on your guard and protect your marriage."
I am challenged by this. I can’t just mindlessly assume that my marriage is coasting along okay and that little problems can’t topple us. I can’t get complacent. I can’t get prideful. I can’t get lazy. I can’t take the gift of my marriage for granted.
I have a good marriage, but sometimes I slip into automatic and stop getting as intentional as I should about investing richly and deeply into our relationship.
So, I’ve decided to declare this my "get intentional" week. Today I’m focusing on my words. I’m praying for God to interrupt my mouth at every turn today. I want "these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart to be pleasing" (Psalm 19:14) to the Lord and honoring to my husband.
I’m going to hold my tongue against saying anything careless. I’m going to intentionally use my words as gifts to my husband today and nothing else.
Not that just one day of doing this can protect my marriage forever — but it sure is a good start.
Dear Lord, I want my thoughts, words and actions to always reflect Your love in me. Help me to extend grace to my spouse just as You have extended grace to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (NIV)
RELFECT AND RESPOND:
Consider these questions:
What negative thing have I said recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?
What negative thing have I done recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?
What negative thing have I thought recently about my spouse that seemed so small initially?
Then, look for ways this week to counteract those actions with a loving word, a graceful gesture or a forgiving thought.
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