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.
We don’t think much about the seconds in our marriage. We tend to think of marriage in terms of years. But the seconds in our marriage have cumulative consequences. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Something similar could be said of marriage. “Watch your seconds and your years will take care of themselves.”
A few seconds of inattention here and a few seconds of distraction there can add up over the years and produce dire consequences in marriage.
We are all guilty of ignoring the power of the few seconds in marriage, but we can change that. We can change the flavor and the legacy of our marriage by capitalizing on the power just a few seconds here and a few seconds there.
It only takes a few seconds to:
- Say a heartfelt thank you.
- Give a compliment.
- Help with the groceries.
- Text a note.
- Say I love you.
- Leave a sticky note.
- Give a kiss or a hug.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Think before you speak.
- Take out the trash.
- Hold a hand.
- Pick up a favorite snack at the store.
- Speak a kind word.
You get the idea.
I spend most of my days talking to spouses about strengthening and improving their marriage. I talk to them about spending more time together, going on dates, improving their sex life, speaking their spouse’s love language and a host of other ways they can invest in their marriage. What I hear more often than not is, “We’re so busy we just don’t have that kind of time.” You may not have large blocks of descresionary time, but you have a few seconds here and a few seconds there. You can exercise the power of few seconds.
So how are you spending the powerful seconds in your marriage?
This week, look for places where you can use a few seconds to strengthen your marriage. Then, leave a comment on ways you have found to better use the power of a few seconds.
Copyright © 2016 Bret Legg