Things That Seem So Small
Lysa TerKeurst

"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)

Yesterday, I was just mindlessly looking out the window of an airport watching a few seagulls dart about overhead while airline workers were busy loading bags. Nothing about the scene outside the airport window spoke of danger. But then suddenly I remembered the flight from New York a while back that was brought down by a few geese. The seagull that faded into the background just moments before became a point of extreme interest to me. What if?

It's amazing if you stop to think about it that a huge airplane could be brought down by just a few birds. Birds. Who would have thought? It makes me think about other seemingly small things that can cause great destruction as well… especially when it comes to marriage.

Words vented in frustration can seem so small.

Slightly disrespectful attitudes can seem so small.

Complaining about lack of finances can seem so small.

Brushing off his desires can seem so small.

Making mental lists of things you wish were different about him can seem so small.
But each one of these seemingly small things can so easily and tragically wedge itself into the core of a marriage and send it spiraling toward destruction. Entire families have been ripped apart by things that once seemed so small.

Listen to the heartbreak in this note that was anonymously posted on my blog:

"Girls...I know this seems small...but, it's really not. Take it from someone who has blown it more times in marriage than not. Now I have blown it enough to make myself a single mom. It's too late for me. But, it's not for you. Please be aware of the little things. I wouldn't have you join me for anything in the world. Be on your guard and protect your marriage."… Anonymous

I am challenged by this. I can't just mindlessly assume that my marriage is coasting along okay and that little problems can't topple even the most seemingly stable of legacies. I can't get complacent. I can't get prideful. I can't get lazy. I can't take the gift of my marriage for granted.

I have a great marriage but sometimes I slip into automatic and stop getting as intentional as I should about investing richly and deeply into our relationship. So, I've decided to declare this my get intentional week. Today I'm focusing on my words. I'm praying for God to interrupt my mouth at every turn today. I am going to hold my tongue against saying anything careless. I am going to intentionally use my words as gifts to my husband today and nothing else.

Not that one day of doing this can protect my marriage forever- but it sure is a good start. Care to join me? Oh you know there will be challenges ahead sweet sister, but I'm up for it. What about you?

Dear Lord, help me to realize that with each word I speak, I am making the choice to bless or to curse. Please help me to speak words that are pleasing to You - even when my emotions run high and my feelings beg me to betray this commitment. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
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Application Steps:
Identify the areas of your marriage you may be struggling with – complacency, pride, laziness.

Look up verses in God's Word that address each.

Spend intentional time in prayer this week for your marriage and your husband.

What have I said recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?

What have I done recently to my spouse that seemed so small initially?

What have I thought recently about my spouse that seemed so small initially?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (NIV)

Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." (NIV)

Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion was for me today. I let work, school, and life take precedence over my husband, adn I know that he is frustrated. I need to be intentional about my love for him and need to make it explicit. Thank you for challenging me and waking me up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is especially challenging for me since my husband and I work together everyday. We even ride to work 30 minutes each way every day. It is hard to find the balance between work roles and marriage roles. Please pray that we are both intentional and focused on our marriage and don't take that for granted since we are always together...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I am not married yet, I am asking that you pray for my future marriage so that I will not take my spouse for granted. Please pray that I don't brush off the small things in the godly relationship that I am in now, and that I learn how to lift him up, encourage him, and to speak good. Please also pray for me to not brush off the small things with my family and friends as well and for God to improve on my character. This was very encouraging :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great reminder. My husband and I always say it's the little things that make a difference.. I hope and pray we always pay attention to that. I really needed to hear this message in my work life. The things I say and how I say them, have an impact on ppl. I need to always be aware and intentional about how I talk to ppl.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how timely God's word is!! I have a meeting today and was anticipating having to speak my mind to some supervisors for the sake of the "little people" - but I would just be a fool venting frustrations rather than offering words as a gift. Thanks for helping me take a step back and refocus and prepare to offer kindness rather than be argumentative. I love how God's words are applicable in many situations - marriage relationships and work relationships - all conversations should offer words as gifts!


Blogger horseprariechatter said...

Little wounds that are allow to fester soon become big problems. Thanks for the reminder that as I take precautions to keep myself in good physical health, paying attention to the little things, I need to carry that practice for relational and emotional and spiritual health. Ah, the little things. thanks, Lysa.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reflections in today's devotion refer to marriage.
But as a single person I know I can take this devotion and apply it to all relationships in my life.
relationships in my life.

Blogger Unknown said...

You can't know how much I needed to hear this today. I fear that I am teetering on the edge of becoming a single mom (again) like the anonymous poster you mentioned. I fear that there have been words spoken by me (to others) which have caused serious damage to my marriage. I pray each day that God will help me to control my thoughts, words and actions. I want to be a blessing to my husband and my family. Instead I find myself hoping that I haven't gone past the point of no return.

Blogger Brenda S said...

Lysa, thank you for the gentle reminder of the wonderful gift my husband is to me. We have a great marriage and he is a good and Godly man but I do know that "good" marriages can fall apart due to lack of maintenance. I pray that the Lord will continue the blessing on our life together and that I will curb my tongue when it is so easy sometimes to lash out and soften my heart when "I" want to stay angry. Lord, help me to build him up daily and never tear him down. Thank you for this wonderful man you have blessed me with. Help me to never forget that he is precious in Your sight. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last few month have been very hard in my marriage and in my family. My daughter moved out in anger and it has taken 3 months to even come to some kind of working to fixing this relationship. I have failed over snd over as a wife and mother my husband feels worthless and would rather die then try to fix our problems. This devotion was amazing because I felt God saying start with the small things and give the blessing not the curse. Thank you. I ask for your prayers to start a new relationship with my husband.

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