“Little things are important.” “It’s the little things that mean the most.” These are sayings most of us have heard all our lives. The reason little things are important and matter so much is that big things are made up of little things. Little things require a lot of thought, discipline, commitment, and sacrifice. That means that little things are actually “big things.”
A few years ago there was a book published entitled, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” While I agree we shouldn’t get overly anxious or bogged down in small, inconsequential things, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the little things.
Little things are important, because big things are made up of a series of little things. If the little things are not properly cared for, the big things are liable to falter. Just ask anyone who has ignored little things like putting oil in their car, air in their tires, or gas in their tanks.
Sometime back I was listening to a news report about a school shooting when I heard the newscaster say, “It only took 80 seconds for a high school senior to enter the high school, shoot a fellow student and then kill himself.” 80 seconds! Less than a minute and a half! That’s all it took to take two lives, irreversibly devastate two families, and traumatize a school and community forever. Just 80 seconds!
Listening to this story, I was struck by the power of a few seconds and I began to think of other situations effected by the power of a few seconds. A few seconds of distraction behind the wheel. A few seconds of inattention to a safety valve. A few seconds of leaving a child unattended by a swimming pool. There is power in a few seconds.
The same is true for marriage. A few seconds can make all the difference.
Parents spend a lot of time and energy teaching the importance of manners to their children. Parents constantly remind their children to say “please,” “thank you,” and “may I.” They stress the importance of not interrupting someone and sharing things with others. Manners are a big deal to parents.
But Look at all the things children must learn and master over the course of their life:
Every so often, I run a post on Normal Marriage that starts with these words…”Little things mean a lot.” I do this because it’s really easy to focus on the big things in marriage (communication, conflict, sex, etc.) and forget that the little things are just as important…if not more so.
Holding hands when married can be much the same. It can be a little awkward at times, but it can also carry the same “We’re a couple!” feeling.