December 4, 2013 - Marriage

Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. In marriage we need to look for them and take advantage of them. Although we like to anticipate the big events and the grandest presents, the unexpected opportunities that come along are often the most memorable. The following story is from the book, Thirteen Months.

Gwen and I had been married about sixteen years when I came home one night from residency and she was frazzled. Having been with the kids all day was the norm for her, but this time it had really gotten to her—she needed a break.

I took over watching the kids for the evening and then got them all in their Jammies and tucked into bed while Gwen soaked in a tub I had run for her. After they were all snuggled away, I went back in and set up a few candles in the room and sat on the floor, placing circus peanuts on the edge of the tub one by one as she ate them—she loved circus peanuts.

We sat and talked as I occasionally ran in warm water to keep it toasty for her. She finally looked at me.

“I hate to say this, but I have to wash my hair tonight.” She made a little pouty face with her lower lip pushed out.

“Why is that a bad thing?” I was a little puzzled.

“It’s just that I’m so comfy here I don’t want to move. I wish I had a servant to wash my hair for me.” She slumped down a little and scooped some soap bubbles in her direction.

“Baby, if you had a servant, he wouldn’t be allowed in here anyway.”

She giggled and turned to me. “You know there are female servants too.”

I stood up from the floor and took off my shirt.

“Are the kids asleep?” she asked abruptly.

I laughed. “Relax, little lady—you are mistaken regarding my motives.”

“It will be the first time.” She purposefully batted her long eyelashes at me, and for a moment I almost reconsidered.

I took the flexible shower head from its perch and adjusted the water temperature until it was just right. She tilted her head back as I slowly soaked her hair being careful to keep the water out of her eyes. We had three kids—I was an experienced hair-washer.

I applied the shampoo and slowly, carefully worked it through her hair, massaging her scalp. She slumped down deeper into the water.

“Baby—you okay?” I asked.

“Hmmm.” She never opened her eyes, just smiled as she said, “You have an hour to stop doing that.”

“I love you, Gwen. I have discovered that I also love washing your hair.”

She grinned to let me know she was still awake.

“I love you washing my hair too … who knew?”

I smiled even though she wasn’t looking at me—I had to.

After rinsing her hair, we moved to a chair in the bedroom and I dried it as she sat with her eyes closed—loving every moment as I brushed and dried, brushed and dried.

Little did I know it would become one of the most cherished things I would ever do for her. It wasn’t simply washing her hair—it was an act of love that touched her very heart.

This was not a difficult task, nor one that I had planned. But when it presented itself, I took advantage of the opportunity to show Gwen how much she meant to me. I know it was a little thing, but to her it was huge.

Do something for your spouse that shows them that you love them even though they know it. And recognize the little things—they can change your marriage—they can change your life.

Question: Have you had the opportunity to do something “small” for your spouse or is there something that they did for you that made a difference?