Dating: Little Things Keep the Fire Going

Dating2Life is truly a crazy ride. There are great highs and then sometimes the lowest of lows. It’s unpredictable and wild. But with all the big things that we go through, it’s really the small stuff that counts. When we examine our pasts we all remember big events that happened, but with those events we recall the small things that impacted us. For example, when my brother gave his life to Christ, (Mark 16:16) I’m not completely able to remember all of the details, but I do remember the way my big cousin Garrett hugged him. They were, and still are, “manly” men, so to see them hug the way they did with their eyes tearing up, well that’s just something I’ll never forget. This was the most important event in my brother’s life but what I vividly remember is just a small detail. This is just one example of that and I’m sure everyone has had a similar experience.

When writing this, my thoughts were taken to my grandparents, who after 47 years of marriage are still very much in love and happy (Matt. 19:6). They are a strong Christian couple, which in itself makes a huge difference in marriage, but they also care for each other in a deep, affectionate way. On a trip to Mississippi, I asked Grandmommy and Poppa what kept them going all of those years. Poppa was in the Navy for many years, meaning they dealt with a long-distance relationship. To top that off, Grandmommy had five girls to take care of alone. Grandmommy told me willingly that this was a very difficult and stressful time in her life but that her love for God, Poppa, and her girls made it all worth it.

When I asked her what keeps the fire going now, she and Poppa rattled off many reasons, and to prove that it’s the simple things that matter, I’ll share them now. Grandmommy told me that something as easy as holding hands still means so much to her. It’s an effortless thing to do and yet still makes you feel special and loved after 47 years of doing it. As she told me this, she stretched her hand across the middle seat where it was met quickly by Poppa’s. She looked over at him with a loving smile and knowing eyes. Later they also explained that since they shared their “I do’s” they have never left each other without a kiss and saying I love you. The phrase “I love you” is a very easy thing to say, it just rolls off the tongue, but it is still a very important thing that always needs to be said. Verbal and physical affection is necessary in healthy relationships.

They also told me that since they were first married, every night that they have shared together, they have never failed to say I love you before going to sleep. She explained that even if they were still fighting about something, they made a conscious decision to put that aside for a moment and remember that they still and always will care about each other. That to me is a wonderful thing; to never let your anger blind you from your love for each other.

Dating1When they were married, they were different ages and different maturity levels. So because they were apart so often, I asked them if they ever struggled with growing in opposite directions from each other. Grandmommy looked at me and said, “Of course we did!” That response immediately had me ask how they handled it and she gave me the simplest and smartest answer, “We worked at it.” A very sincere and great response from a very wise woman! She told me that in every matter of life the way to get through it is to never give up and continue working at it.

I hope this reveals how important the small stuff is. It keeps relationships thriving and honest. Living for God and your mate rather than yourself makes all the difference in the world as to whether or not your relationship or marriage will work! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Roman 8:28

By Shelby Garrett

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