How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. — Psalm 139:17,18
When you were dating, perhaps you said to your sweetheart, “I can’t stop thinking about you!” But maybe things have changed since you got married—and birthdays and important events have slipped by without thinking. Oooops . . . . and that has caused problems. What started with forgetfulness can become an accusation of thoughtlessness, inconsideration, and total frustration between you both. Learning to be intentional about thoughtfulness can prevent such missed opportunities to demonstrate love.
Deployment will complicate this whole matter. Not only is there the separation and distance factor, but the responsibilities of the mission overseas and at home can loom large during this demanding time. This is all the more reason to be intentional in thinking about each other and saying so!
The book that we’re going through, The Love Dare, reminds us of the differences between men and women in this matter of thoughtfulness. Men can focus on one thing seemingly to the neglect of other things, while women characteristically have ever-rotating radars which can pick up on “signals” from (too) many fronts. A couple who knows this difference, and appreciates it, can help each other.
It reminds me of a conversation in the movie Rocky where Paulie is quizzing Rocky about what Rocky sees in his sister, Adrian. Rocky’s response goes something like this: “I’ve got gaps . . . She’s got gaps . . . together we fill gaps.” Rocky was a wise theologian in his understanding of how in marriage a husband and wife “complete” each other.
Another way we can be thoughtful is in conversation. When the movie Fireproof came out we posted an Excellent or Praiseworthy devotion called “Ready! Fire! Aim!” (October 2nd). The purpose was to encourage all of us to think before we speak. So while thoughtfulness means remembering important events, it also means saying the right thing at the right time. As The Love Dare says, “Great marriages come from great thinking.” (p. 18)
Here is today’s dare during deployment: By email or telephone, if possible, ask your spouse the question, “How are you doing? Is there anything I can do for you?” As we think loving thoughts we are spurred on to loving actions.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. — Ephesians 4:29
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. — Proverbs 16:24
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)