It's a perfect summer day. Not too hot. Not too muggy.
You're relaxing in your chair. Reading a book.
When you hear it.
The worst sound a parents can hear when sitting DRY at the swimming pool.
The splash happens.
You are now WET.
Your book is now WET.
Everything in your vicinity is now WET.
This is so often how we have heard people talk about the breakdown of their relationship. A big catastrophe, like a swimming pool cannonball, has affected every aspect of their relationship. One big situation has changed the trajectory of their life. Everything about their previously dry and happy marriage is now wet and sad.
But a cannonball is not the only way a parent deals with unwanted wetness at the swimming pool is it?
Splash Attacks can come at any moment. Via hands, feet, or a combination of both, you can find yourself less wet than a cannonball, but wet all the same.
Yes, the big things are BIG THINGS. They wound intimacy and can affect your marriage in a deep place. And yet, so many times it is the LITTLE STUFF that erodes the flow of your relationship. It is a slow fade of losing things you used to do for and with each other.
Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.
Song of Solomon 2:15
Ask any gardener and they will say that the reason a bloom begins to falter is because of neglect. Lack of water, lack of shade, general lack of care over the plant. In the same way, there are "little" ways of caring for our relationships that keep them in bloom.
The little foxes are talked about in Solomon's prose as spoiling, or tearing up, the vineyards. Vineyards produce grapes, which produce wine. Wine is often used in scripture to represent The Holy Spirit, the intimacy we have with The Father. In the same way, when we begin to trample on the fruit of our marriages we disrupt the flow of intimacy in our lives.
We recently were honored to attend a Renewing of Vows for a couple and when Jena asked the husband what is the number one thing that has kept your marriage together? and his response was being courteous to one another.
How often do we treat guests in our homes better than we treat each other?
How often do we not thank our spouse for accomplishing a task around the house?
How often do we notice something good and not verbalize it to our spouse?
These are the little foxes. These are the little splashes.
Once you get splashed enough, you are just as wet as if you'd been hit with a cannonball!
Familiarity and Longevity in your relationship is something to be celebrated, but it can also create a level of apathy that can easily become a little fox.
The Little Foxes of Neglect can take root quickly and create a feeling of disconnection.
The little things do matter.
Both Positively and Negatively.
The little negative things that you let go on and on compound until they become a big thing.
In the same way, the little positive things that go on and on compound to create that flow of connection in our relationship.
Just like on the TV show "This is Us" when Miguel tells Jack that the reason his marriage fell apart is because one day I just stopped bringing her coffee, the little foxes sneak in and begin to tear up and destroy the garden of connection that we have worked to cultivate.
There are so many examples of little foxes that come against our marriages. We shared a few different examples in this week's Video Element, but there are so many others. We would love to hear from you, what do you do when you begin to see a little fox sneaking into your marriage garden?