Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Small Picture

On Am's blog the other day, she wrote an excellent post about divorce. In the comments we all went back and forth talking about the causes of divorce and Margie posed a valid question, to paraphrase...what about the small stuff?
Does the small stuff in life count or should we rise above taking notice of things that might seem inconsequential? Margie talked about shaving one's legs as an example. She's rather obsessive about this, but I digress. Could hairy legs cause a divorce? I don't think so. But I do think that a bunch of small stuff that no one takes the time to tend to causes a mountain of problems. Add looking like Sasquatch to the other thousand little things, and just maybe it's one thing too many.
We try around here to lighten each other's load whenever we can. There's a trick to that, however. And without doing it right, it's a noble but useless gesture. The trick is to know your loved ones burdens and let him or her decide what is the "small stuff." What is a small issue to me may be a back-breaking load to my husband. I need to not brush off his weariness by calling it small, but decide if it's small to me, I'll be the one to carry it.
Smallness is a matter of perspective.
The little things are the stuff we might call pet peeves. Unimportant to all but ourselves. And yet, haven't we all been pushed over the edge by our individual pet peeves? Does it ever really help to have someone tell us it's no big deal? No, it doesn't help. Because to us, it is a big deal.
So my husband doesn't particularly care if I've shaved my legs recently. Maybe that's because I have approximately four leg hairs in total; maybe it's because he just thinks I'm so freaking gorgeous even if I am a Sasquatch. But he does care about spooning at bedtime. Another small thing? Not to him. If I push him away when he tries to cuddle, it hurts him. I'm not talking about S-E-X, I'm talking about falling asleep in each other's arms.
I need to know what matters to him, and those are the big deals...no matter how small.
And if you don't think that small things matter, consider the mustard seed.
Small things have big influence.
Matthew 17:20
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

7 comments:

Margie said...

I know that you think that I am obsessive about the leg shaving thing, to me - it's a big thing. I also think it's HILARIOUS!!! I'm warped...

I think you are incredibly wise, I think 1000 small things can add up. Think about 1000 quarters... that's $250, that's pretty signifant to me, somedays I might welcome 1000 pennies equaling $10, that may seem pretty significant to me on any given day...

and PLEASE don't make me take out the garbage... so what if it's 25 feet, it might as well be 25 miles.

You are so wise... and I am done babbling...

Arlene said...

Great post, as always! You will do such a good job in this new life group you are going to "guest host". It is the little things that add up to big things. I believe the Bible talks about the little vines spoiling the branches. We all need to be extra sensitive to our spouse's needs and sometimes that may not be what we want to do, but that's part of the fun of marriage. Sacrifice. That's something people don't know much about these days.

Margie, just so you know, I shave my legs and under my arms EVERY time I take a shower. I have to or..it could be disgusting!

tina fabulous said...

its very important to know about all those little things that your significant other deems important. that way, you can use them as leverage to gain control!

i find myself getting angry when something i previously didnt even think about is considered a matter of great importance to someone else... like "how dare you put these expectations on me!". but then, i'm very spiteful.

Jada's Gigi said...

Taking notice of the small stuff is really quite the point...no one small thing breaks a marriage, however the insensitivity, the selfishness, the lack of attention to what makes your spouse tick...is played out in the small things but add up to a much bigger picture...and translates into...do you care? will you bother with this relationship?..are you taking it for granted? small things speak volumes.

Jada's Gigi said...

PS..you have a husband who LIKES to cuddle?!?! You are indeed a blessed woman! :)

Amber Land said...

I think it should be known that Sara doesn't have the ability to be hairy. Most of the women in her family are this lucky!

Pat said...

Amber gave us away - we are a smooth-skined bunch of women. If you put the three of us together, we don't shave more than 4 or 5 times a year.