Small acts of love and kindness can have a big impact on marriage, but as time goes on, these small acts tend to get lost in the clutter of marriage. They begin to fade like an old pair of jeans.
It happened to me, and my wife lovingly brought it to my attention one night as I was preparing to go to sleep. How did I handle it? I blamed it on a CPAP.
I guess this calls for some explanation.
I sleep with a CPAP machine. For those of you who don’t know, this is a machine that helps you breathe better at night. It consist of a small unit that sits on the bedside table, a mask that goes over a portion of your face, and an accordion-type hose that attaches to both.
Let me say up front, I hate this machine! Why? First, it feels like I’m being way too intimate with something that resembles a small vacuum cleaner. Second, it makes me sound like Darth Vader when I breath. Third, it’s hard to look attractive and desirable to your spouse when you have major hardware strapped to your face. (I could go on, but my blood pressure is starting to climb.)
I hate the CPAP, but I wear it, because (1) it helps me get better rest, (2) it eases strain on my heart, and most importantly (3) it keeps my wife from sleeping on the couch to escape my snoring.
What does all of this have to do with failing to do simple acts of love and kindness in marriage? I’m getting to that.
The other evening my wife and I were in bed reading. Ready to go to sleep, I turned out my light, strapped on my gear, rolled over with my back to her, and pulled the covers around my head to make it less obvious she was sleeping with some sort of cyborg.
As I was settling in, she leaned over and kissed me on the back of the neck as she usually does. But this night she did something different. She gently and sweetly whispered these words in my ear. “I’m going to hang a sign over our bed that says, “Kiss your wife before you go to sleep.'”
Her words were not mean or snarky. They were sweet and loving, but they hit me like a taser!
So what did I do? I blamed it on the CPAP. I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a poor excuse. You could have kissed her before you put the CPAP on.” (Wished I had thought of that at the time.)
What’s the deal? I used to kiss her every night before I went to sleep! What happened? I had become complacent and let a little act of love fall by the wayside.
What little acts of love and kindness have you let fall away in your marriage? Kissing them goodbye? Saying “thank you”? Bringing them a cup of coffee? Telling them how good they look to you? Opening the door for them? Flirting with them? Leaving little notes? Giving them flowers?
What excuse are you using for not doing these little acts of love and kindness? Too busy? Too tired? Kids? Work? Forgetfulness? Stress? Age? Not getting anything for the effort?
We all have our own CPAPs we need to quit blaming, and our own little acts of love and kindness we need to start doing. It requires very little of us, but it pays very big dividends in marriage.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
And just in case you’re wondering…the next night I kissed her before I strapped on the dreaded CPAP. (I think I slept better.)
If there’s a small act of love and kindness that you’ve let slide, let us know what it is and what happens when you start doing it again.
Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg