You may not believe the amount of mail that churches get. Of course some of it’s junk and deserves an immediate introduction to “file 13” (know what that is?). But some of it – OK a lot of it – can be truly useful. The problem is that I rarely have the time to read and react to all the good mail that comes in. So, I place it on a corner of my “desk” for later review. You may be guessing it already, but that pile builds up. It starts with a few relatively thin postcards, and ends up a mountain of postcards and envelopes, threatening to crash onto my poor dog laying below.
I really had good intentions. I intended to read every one. But I just let it stack up.
I promise, I am not a pack-rat, but I let these stacks pile up over the place – including my marriage. Seemingly innocuous things – little things – stack up and become problems.
Sometimes, I forget to say, “I love you,” as I leave for the store. Sometimes, I forget to say “thank you, that was amazing,” when she labors over a meal. Sometimes, I forget that the blog post I am writing can wait – she’s trying to talk to me. Sometimes I forget to open the car door for her. Sometimes I forget to carry that box from the children’s worship center for her. Sometimes I sit and watch her work. Sometimes I forget that I am just as capable of washing dishes as she is.
If any of these things happen as an isolated occurrence, there’s no big deal. But, when I stack all these things together, I look like a terrible husband – she might see me as a terrible husband. It’s not like I intentionally took advantage of her, or overlooked her, or took her for granted. But the stack of stuff threatens to topple over – and it’s intimidating. What can I do about it?
Unlike that stack of mail, this stack does not require tearing through each individual item and reacting to it. All I have to do is be intentional about making another stack. I must purposefully create a new stack of things done just for her.
I can send her flowers for no reason at all (trust me, as much as they gripe about you spending money on something fleeting, they still LOVE to get flowers). I can plan a birthday party at her office for her and her friends. I can prop her feet up on my lap on the couch and massage them for her. I can surprise her with dinner (home-cooked or not!). I can hold her hand as we walk from the car to the store. I’m sure I can think of more.
Here’s the thing. I can’t do anything at all about that stack of bad stuff that I’ve created in our marriage. But, as I build a stack of good stuff, I notice that she’ll throw away gobs of that bad stack – all on her own.
Let’s start building that “good” stack. (1 John 3:18)