September 23, 2010
Things That Seem So Small
"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back."
Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)
Yesterday, I was just 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 outside the airport window spoke of danger. But then suddenly I remembered the flight from New York 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 more times in marriage than not. Now I have blown it enough to make myself a single mom. 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."… Anonymous
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 even the most seemingly stable of legacies. 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 great 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 am going to hold my tongue against saying anything careless. I am going to intentionally use my words as gifts to my husband today and nothing else.
Not that one day of doing this can protect my marriage forever- but it sure is a good start. Care to join me? Oh you know there will be challenges ahead sweet sister, but I'm up for it. What about you?
Dear Lord, help me to realize that with each word I speak, I am making the choice to bless or to curse. Please help me to speak words that are pleasing to You - even when my emotions run high and my feelings beg me to betray this commitment. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Identify the areas of your marriage you may be struggling with - complacency, pride, laziness. Look up verses in God's Word that address each.
Spend intentional time in prayer this week for your marriage and your husband.
What have I said recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?
What have I done recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?
What have I thought recently about my spouse that seemed so small initially?
Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (NIV)
Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." (NIV)
Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (NIV)
© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 23 September 2010.