“Doing the “Little Things” in LOVE Matters Big Time”
We all care deeply about our spouses. We want to “love” them well. But so much of the confusion and heartache in marriage comes because we are not making the other person FEEL cared for in the way we think we are. Or we’re even hurting them and not realizing it! Doing “all the right things” that we think should be important to the other person – in other words, insisting on loving our spouse in our own way -- really gains us nothing if it doesn’t signal love to them.
And what I found in the research is that there are different little actions that deeply matter to the opposite sex – but which we tend not to know are important. If you will learn and do those little day-to-day things, it will help your spouse believe in a deep-down way that you truly care about them.
For example, wives: notice the little day-to-day things your spouse does and say “thank you,” which is the emotional equivalent of him saying ‘I love you’ to you! “Thank you for putting the laundry away,” “Thank you for mowing the lawn even though it was so hot outside,” “Thank you for putting the kids to bed. You’re such a good dad.” Sincerely saying thank you several times a day soothes his deep (and hidden) self-doubt about whether he measures up. It makes him feel appreciated and respected –which is what he needs, in order to feel cared for.
Or, husbands: take your wife’s hand when you are walking across a parking lot, or put your arm around her when you are sitting together at church. Regardless of what her ‘love language’ is, those gestures deeply please the vast majority of women I’ve surveyed, because they relay the all-important message that, “You’re mine” and “I would choose you all over again.” Yes, it seems so simple, but it is a priceless reassurance of your love; a signal that soothes her hidden question about whether she is loveable and whether you really do love her.
These daily little comments and actions may seem so simple or minor that it is easy to discount them – but don’t. They are so powerful that they can transform a relationship even if only one person does them! Why? Because they signal how you feel in a way that your spouse will actually understand and absorb – and which builds a deep confidence in their heart that that 'my spouse truly does care about me.'
Dear Lord, I want to show my spouse how much I care, in the way that matters to them. Forgive me for all too often insisting on loving them in my own way. Help me to learn those little day-to-day things that will make them feel cared for, and do them in the same spirit of love that You have shown me. Amen.