Does your spouse do little things that annoy the heck out of you? Do those minuscule entities combine to trigger major conflagrations? As the fiery argument smolders to embers do you feel silly for allowing such trivial matters to play such a major role in the relationship?
What’s on your list? The toilet paper roll left with no squeezable softness for the next customer, shoes scattered carelessly in the traffic patterns, water pitcher returned to the refrigerator empty, or kitchen cabinet contents reorganized for no apparent reason? Care to share?
Valentine’s morning is not the best time for a spousal disagreement. Shawn and I decided long ago to skip the holiday’s commercialism and the must-buy nonsense, but that day like the other 364 offers me a chance to express my love in tangible ways. And that dreary Sunday morning was one of those times when my mind was frozen on the blue screen of death. I had nothing to pass along, and may I confess I was struggling to get my shirt buttons to come out even. It was just one of those mornings. What meaningful token of love could I share?
The icy fingers of panic that strike husbands who forget birthdays and anniversaries, or who buy really dumb gifts, crept up my spine. I was doomed. And then it happened. I walked into the bedroom just before leaving the house and found the closet light blazing away.
Our closet was delivered by the builder with a single-bulb fluorescent lamp that flickered and played a tune from day one. Shawn hated that light, and when we replaced the bedroom floor I added purchasing a new closet light to the get-it-done list.
The only fixture in Lowes or Home Depot that tickled Shawn’s fancy was a circular one with three halogen bulbs. Think track light with the adjustable lamps arranged around a campfire. The heat from those lamps is extensive and I held concerns about safety should the light be left blazing. At the end of our discussion I purchased and installed said light.
On Valentine’s morning I switched the closet light off and absentmindedly mentioned the issue. I did not think I was yelling or judging, just sharing a reminder of the potential fire hazard. World War Three loomed on the horizon.
At that moment inspiration hit. I am certain it was not a shoe launched by my fuming bride. I knew the perfect Valentine’s Day gift! Later that afternoon, after church and lunch, I invited Shawn to join me for a Lowe’s adventure to secure a timer switch for the closet light. My invitation included a stop at Duck Donuts and a takeout pizza.
I’ll admit there’s not much romance in this gift. But we’ve eradicated another little fox that spoils the vine of love in our marriage.
Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!
Song of Solomon 2:15 NLT
Men, use your creativity as you analyze your list of little annoying things. Is there some small change you can make or action you can take to completely remove an item from the list? That thoughtfulness might just make the love last all year.
(Click for details of my installation experience.)