by Patrick and Dwaina Six
It’s the little things that count. It’s the butter on your popcorn. It’s the icing on the cake. It’s the pickles on your burger. It’s the…well, you get the idea!
In marriage, it is the little things that can keep a marriage strong and vibrant. Think with us for a moment about some of the following “little things.”
Holding hands! Do you have any idea how important touch is to a human being? Think of the times when Jesus either touched someone or was touched by someone, and that someone was healed. As a former pastor, whenever I (Patrick) asked permission to pray with someone in the hospital, almost instinctively they would move their hand from under the covers, inviting me to hold it as I prayed. Recently during a worship service, we noticed some friends of ours standing a few rows ahead of us. This sweet mature couple held hands as they sang their songs of praise to our Lord. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I took the hand of my beloved spouse, and just held it?” Well partner, that’s too long!
Winking! There is something special about the look you receive from the person you pledged to spend the rest of your life with. Now different looks can say a lot of things. As a matter of fact, facial expressions are a form of non-verbal communication that speaks louder than mere words. When you smile and wink at your spouse, you are saying to them, “I like you. You are special to me. I still have a crush on you and I want you to know it!” Winking at your husband or wife can also communicate a message of confidence, which is especially encouraging when they are going through a difficult time.
Serving each other! Just recently, we read the Apostle John’s account of Jesus and His disciples celebrating the Passover before Jesus’ death. As a way of demonstrating His love for these men (even those who would deny Him and betray Him), Jesus took on the role of a servant and washed their feet.
Thanking each other! There is nothing quite as effective in showing appreciation as expressing genuine thanks. That expression may come in the form of a verbal “thank you,” a thank you note or card, or a returned Random Act of Kindness. A random act of kindness usually carries with it the idea that you do something for someone else for no apparent reason and whether you know them or not. In this instance, however, your random act of kindness is done especially for your spouse to specifically thank them for what they have done for you.For almost twenty years now, I (Patrick) have been bringing coffee each morning to the bedside of my bride. And I (Dwaina) serve Patrick by cooking meals and waiting on him when he is sick. A good relation-ship is all about serving each other, not ourselves.
One time we went to a Christian bookstore to get a card for some friends of ours in Venezuela who do not speak English. Since we don’t speak Spanish, this was going to be a little difficult. Thank the Lord there was a woman there who was bilingual. She helped us find the appropriate cards to convey the message we wanted to send. As a way to say thank you to this woman who was a Godsend to me, we got her a $5.00 gift certificate for that bookstore as we checked out. That woman had no idea we were going to do that. It was a random act of kindness to specifically thank her for her help. We’re not sure, but we hope the gift certificate was as much of a blessing to her as her help was to us.
Thanking your husband or wife is a way to let them know that you do not take their actions for granted. It lets them know that what they did was special to you. It’s like saying “Alpo” to a hungry dog. (Well, maybe not exactly! But you get my drift.) We think you would have to agree that when you receive an expression of thanks, it is a real motivator to keep on keepin’ on.
- Open the door for your lady. Car door, front door, restaurant door, garage door—it doesn’t matter, just step ahead and open the door, and let her go through first!Chivalry! (Now, except in some extreme circumstances, this one is just for men.) There are some who have said that chivalry is dead. Not in the Six’s household! I hope it is not dead in yours either. But just in case you may have forgotten some of the chivalrous deeds with which true gentlemen fan into flame the sparks of love, let’s remind ourselves of a few:
- Seat her at a restaurant. Be careful with this one. Pulling the chair out from under her won’t get the response you’re looking for.
- Protect her. When she hears a noise outside at 3:00 AM, and she wants you to go check it out, that’s not the time to play possum! As hard as it may be to keep your eyes open, and as easy as it would be to try to explain away the noise while remaining cozy in bed, flatter her by investigating. Don’t forget to carry your house shoe with you as an offensive weapon! What the shoe make lack in strength can be compensated in smell.
Chivalry isn’t intended to convey the notion that your wife can’t open a door or seat herself or even protect herself (my wife could probably beat me up!). It simply says to your beloved bride that she is a treasure worthy of special treatment. If you are not doing these things, men, then I double-dog-dare you to adopt a manliness that includes chivalry!
Our list of little things could go on-and-on. But you know what? I want to challenge you to make your own list of little things. Then, as you take action, watch and see the love between you and your spouse take on a new depth and vitality.
Scripture tells us, “Marriage should be honored by all” (Hebrews 13:4, NIV). These little things will help your marriage do just that, and it will inspire a watching world to do the same – Remember the couple we spied holding hands at church?
You see, we believe that people are watching us to see if this thing called Christian marriage really is different, and we never know when they are going to be watching. We believe that our peers and our children and grandchildren want to see if our love for one another really is stronger because of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s honor our marriage and our spouse in the little things.
Patrick and Dwaina Six have long been associated with GTO. Patrick is pastor a church in El Paso, Texas and have a deep passion to help couples live out their marriage God’s way.
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