AN ISSUE for all couples is this: How do we make a big difference at the right time when the relationship is really struggling? A more poignant issue for all couples, however, is this: How do we, as individuals, show we love our partner in meaningful ways every single day?
Relationships survive on the small things that 1) are directed toward our partner’s need, and 2) address the issues about us that annoy our partner. Yes, even in the context of major blowups, these are the little things.
But little things can be difficult to shift. They say the devil’s in the detail...
They say the devil’s in the detail,
And that may be true of contracts,
But love is an exception to this rule,
Because thoughtfulness attracts.
Thoughtfulness is the demonstration of love by way of doing the smaller, more detailed things. A person evidences their love by doing the little things – without complaint, grandeur, or need of recognition.
How and Why Thoughtfulness Focuses on ‘the Small’
There is no sense to love without thoughtfulness. In fact, thoughtfulness is a sort of weighed sense of reason, involving the heart, toward an act of love.
Thoughtfulness focuses on doing the small things because that’s the character of thoughtfulness – and there’s a plethora of small things that might be done. I remember a recently separated father-of-two who boarded with us one night putting our dishes away. Had he been asked? No way! He was a guest. He not only found where everything went, he put all the dishes away very early in the morning whilst we were still asleep. He was so quiet!
Thoughtfulness doesn’t up the ante for its own pride sake. It raises the bar because it has considered, “How can I bless him/her.” This addresses ‘why’ thoughtfulness does the small things. It’s nothing about what it can, of itself, gain. If anything, thoughtfulness wants nothing for itself.
How does this fit in the context of marriages and relationships? It should be a rhetorical question.
First and foremost, marriages and couple relationships ought to be about love – not simply romance. It’s great that thoughtfulness is thought of as romantic, but that’s not its inspiration. Its inspiration is blessing – being a blessing to the other. In this way, the thoughtful person is blessed by God.
Relationships survive on the small things that 1) are directed toward the other partner’s need, and 2) address the issues that annoy the other partner. Yes, even in the context of major blowups, these are the little things.
It’s in the small things of life where thoughtfulness comes to bear. When we do the small things well, the big things look after themselves, because actually, there are no big things.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: this article was inspired by Kenny Luck’s video, Men, How to Begin to Develop a Healthier, Stronger Marriage.