I Never Did Mind the Little Things

We’ve become more loving, considerate, and selfless in our service to one another, but it’s not like we took a magic potion to suddenly become the perfect spouse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted on

I turned to throw a used cotton-ball into the tiny bathroom trash can, and I suddenly noticed the huge ball of long gray hair. It sat on the outside of the swinging door entrance to the garbage, and I easily identified it as my husband’s, since the rest of us were all crowned with differing shades of dirty dishwater blond. I could picture him standing in the small bathroom, running his fingers through his long, more salt than pepper hair, before gathering it into a tidy ponytail and absently flinging the loose hairs that had caught between his digits toward the trash. Sigh. This was my husband.

I easily and quickly pushed the wad of forgotten hair into the awaiting can, while also depositing there any hint of frustration that had tried to rear its ugly head.

I never did mind the little things.

I smiled to myself as the line from a nineties movie starring Bridget Fonda came to mind. In the film, she had been a thief turned government assassin, who subsequently had to be turned from a crack addict criminal into a lady of refinement (ain’t Hollywood grand), and her etiquette coach encouraged her to repeat the phrase to herself to remain calm when nervous.

I never did mind the little things.

Although I wasn’t hiding behind a small, kitchen counter loading my Beretta while gunfire exploded around me like our dear Bridget, I could certainly relate to my emotions getting the better of me. And though it wasn’t my life I feared for, it was my marriage and family. Even though I couldn’t see the bullets blowing up around me, I knew that fiery arrows flew in my direction. As a child of God, I knew it wasn’t flesh and blood I battled, but attacks from an enemy who seeks to destroy the covenant of marriage. One very effective weapon of warfare in his arsenal is the missile of comparison and the smoke bomb of selfishness. As silly as it may sound, he brought both of those things stealthily into the atmosphere of marriage to create an air of discontent and division.

I never did mind the little things.

My defense was my ability to not take offense. In other words, when I felt nudged to selfishly compare myself to my spouse, I had to take inventory.

I had to ask myself, “Is this really worth being bothered by?”

I had to remember my faults and not just highlight my husband’s.

My husband and I will have been married ten years this month, and I learned early on that we have our differences. Things I felt were important weren’t as much to him, and things that bothered me didn’t cause him concern at all. As we’ve grown as a couple over the years, we have learned how to take the feelings of the other into consideration and act/react accordingly, but it’s not like we’ve changed who we are. We’ve become more loving, considerate, and selfless in our service to one another, but it’s not like we took a magic potion to suddenly become the perfect spouse. He wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t perfect, but most importantly, we didn’t expect that of each other.

A widow will tell you how she pines to find her late husband’s laundry outside of the basket. The very things we may find annoying at one moment are the very things someone else could only hope for. A dirty dish beside the bed is far better than a forever empty sink. It comes down to having a choice to make in your relationship. You can choose to focus on the minuscule madness or see it all as a beautiful mess. You can point out the idiosyncrasies of your spouse while ignoring your own, or you can celebrate having someone to share in the ups and downs of life. I’m not saying you ignore blatantly inconsiderate actions, silently taking abuse like some marital martyr, but I am suggesting we take a moment to calm our emotions and take an inventory of what is most important.

I never did mind the little things.

Is being right every time the most important? Is winning every argument? Is it never picking up the slack when your partner doesn’t carry their fair share of the load, assuming that you yourself never falter in such a way?

If you answered yes to the above then marriage will not be enjoyable to you much of the time, because instead of a partnership, you’re viewing it as a competition.

Perhaps a happy union means that you decide to let the little things go. Maybe it means serving someone in love while expecting nothing in return. I think it involves changing your perspective, highlighting the positive, rather than magnifying the minor faults that arise. I don’t see a ball of discarded hair or a pile of dirty clothes as much as I see a loving man who makes me feel beautiful always, who serves me consistently, who teaches and disciplines our children with grace, who would lay down his very life for us.

I never did mind the little things.

Because I’m too focused on the big things. I see to the heart of the matter rather than being distracted by the things of this world. I don’t expect perfection from my spouse. The only perfect Man died for me over 2,000 years ago. But I will appreciate the man God has placed in my life to love me, my faults included. I’ll be thankful he adores me despite those same faults. I’ll be grateful that he, too, never did mind the little things.

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on briegowen.com
Featured Image by A. L.
In-text Image by Brie Gowen
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. Please visit Brie's homepage for more information at KingdomWinds.com/brie-gowen/