Because I hate climbing into a cold bed at night, I made a microwaveable heat bag large enough to warm up a good portion of my side of the bed. Every night this winter, my husband has faithfully heated up that bag and carefully placed it in the bed so I will have a warm place to snuggle. Now, he might do it partly to keep me from placing my freezing extremities anywhere on his warm body, but if that were truly the case, he would let me warm the bag up and put it in the bed myself. No, he does it out of love and concern for me.
For the past few weeks, as I have snuggled up to that toasty bag, I have said this to my husband: "Thank you for the grapefruit." This expression of thanks has baffled him, and he has given up trying to figure out what I mean. "Thank you for the grapefruit??? OK, I know my wife is a little on the crazy side."
I am NOT a little on the crazy side (OK, well, maybe I am), but I am speaking in a kind of riddle. You see, my statement of thanks actually comes from a story my husband told me about his grandparents. He has told me this story many times over the years. It is a story about an act of love and service his grandfather did for his grandmother. This act of service obviously had an impact on my husband.
Let me tell you the story.
Every morning for many years, my husband's grandfather rose early before his wife was awake. He lovingly prepared a grapefruit and a cup of coffee so it would be waiting for her when she got up. Every day! Such a small thing, and yet such a kind and loving act.
My husband told me this story so often, and that small act of kindness seemed to impress him so much, that I began to wonder why he didn't do the same thing for ME. Where was MY grapefruit in the morning? Then I realized that he does. He does it in so many little acts of service every day. He builds me a fire in the wood stove so the house will be warm. He feeds the chickens and gathers the eggs even when it is cold and rainy. He changes the oil in my car. He keeps the house in good repair and makes additions to it that make my life easier and more enjoyable. He works hard to make a living. He helps me with the dishes. And he bring me my heat bag. Every night. That is why I tell him "Thank you for the grapefruit." Because he learned from his grandfather that being faithful in the little things is just as important as being faithful in the big things. My husband doesn't think much about the gushy sentiments and gifts on "special" occasions. He might forget to buy me a card or overlook a gift-giving opportunity, but he seldom misses the chance to bless me with the more important, everyday gifts. His small acts of kindness throughout the year mean more than tokens of appreciation and love on the "special" days.
Husbands and wives, marriage is not about being served, but about serving. It is not about what our spouse can do to make us happy, but about what we can do for our spouse. It is about giving the way God has given to us. Faithfully and lovingly. If we all decided to serve one another in this way, just think about the kind of marriages we could have and the kind of world we would live in. If simple acts of kindness ruled our thoughts and actions in every aspect of our lives, what a difference we could make!
So I will continue to say, "Thank you for the grapefruit". I will say it not only as an expression of gratefulness to my husband, but also as a reminder to myself. A reminder to always look for the positive, to appreciate the little, everyday acts of kindness, and to do likewise; to remind myself to serve my husband and to serve others the way God desires. We might never realize the impact our small acts of kindness will have on others, or the example we will set, even for generations to come
Thank you, Regan, for all the grapefruit.
BY: Sherine W February 14, 2013