“Small but frequent gestures of affection and care may appear to be insignificant. But grouped together over days and years they become the undeniable evidence of your highest love and deepest devotion.” (Dr. Ronn Elmore) It’s all the small things done over time that is most meaningful.
If there’s something we’ve learned well, it’s that bigger doesn’t mean better and small doesn’t mean insignificant. God fed a multitude of people with a small boy’s simple offering. Some of the most meaningful gifts we’ve received have been that, which didn’t cost very much.
A foot rub when your feet are tired and swollen, or a back rub given when you’re hurting after a long day is priceless. Or a cold glass of ice water given when you’re outside working in the hot sun is a blessing when your spouse gives it to you without being asked.
Small Things Add Up
As we’re writing this marriage message, I’m looking at a homemade “Certificate of Achievement.” It hangs over our desk. Our sons David and John made it for us many years ago when they were small boys. It says, “This is to certify that Steve and Cindy Wright are the best couple in the world.” It’s framed and signed by both of them.
It may not have taken them long to make it. And it may not have cost them much to put together. But to us it’s priceless. Small and inexpensive can still be priceless when it’s motivated by love.
In the same way, small gifts and gestures can warm our hearts with love when given to us by our spouse.
Sometimes a simple bouquet of handpicked wildflowers or a single rose given with love means more to us that a dozen long-stemmed roses in a sterling silver vase. It’s the fact that we know our spouse took time out of their busy day to think of us.
Dr. Ronn Elmore writes more on the importance of these smaller gifts of love in his book, An Outrageous Commitment… The 48 Vows of an Indestructible Marriage, published by Harper Resources. In it he writes:
Perhaps more than anyone, marriage partners need to remember the worth and beauty of small things. These are the tiny, seemingly insignificant gestures that often go unnoticed by long-married spouses. It is through these acts of consistent, tender selflessness that you and your mate’s aloneness may eventually be dispelled.
Grand gestures say, “I choose to care about you.” But the tiny acts of generosity, the briefest words of reassurance, the unexpected hug, an admiring glance, and the offer of assistance when you didn’t ask for it-these tiny offerings loudly say, “You matter to me.”
Grand-scale displays of affection require extraordinary means. Yet small tokens of affection require little more than choosing to say yes to one of countless daily opportunities. Give in to the part of you that would stop to show a tender kindness if you weren’t in such a hurry to other seemingly significant obligations.
Significance in Small Things
The final week before I was due to turn in the completed draft of my last book was extremely stressful. Along with the anxiety deadlines always stir in me are the computer glitches (stubbornly slow printers, disappearing chapters, and the unfamiliar hieroglyphics that show up on the screen right where intelligible words once were).
Under this kind of pressure, my wife Aladrian saw me become a preoccupied presence in our home. I was totally unaware of her and seldom offered any more than an occasional one word response to her questions as to my progress.
Ever generous with her time, Aladrian offered to help. Did I need her to “decode” my scribbling from my yellow legal pads and onto the computer? Did I want her to proofread every page and correct the countless typing errors hiding there? Or would I be better served by her canceling all her appointments that day so she could stay near me for moral support?
Any of these would have been enormous sacrifices of her time and demonstrations of her love for me. But at the height of my anxiety and fatigue, none of them would have meant as much to me as the one tiny, perfect gesture of her affection that she performed.
Aladrian simply knelt down, removed my shoes, and silently, tenderly massaged my feet. Then she got up and went about her business. It was a small thing, yet I have never felt more loved and less alone than at that unforgettable moment.
Bless with Small Offerings
As you build a life together, over time, it will be your appreciation for the small things that is most likely to be overlooked. You must cling to the commitment of continually making small offerings. If not be given, your mate will always hunger for them.
Turn and bless each other with your modest favors and I promise you marvelous things will happen. The more you give them, the more you’ll recognize and appreciate them when they are returned. You and your mate will discover the pleasant challenge of finding new ways to give until these tender exchanges become a part of you.
We hope you will choose to make a vow to never overlook the importance of giving small gestures of love to your marital partner and then find ways to do them. Some people call them “random acts of kindness.” We call them simple gifts of love. As Jesus said, “When you give a glass of water in my name you are giving it to me.”
Look today for ways to bless each other. In doing so you will not only show your spouse you love them but it will bless God’s heart also.
Steve and Cindy Wright
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