Our marriage is filled with small rituals. Each morning after Jan and I greet each other, we enjoy a long hug and a kiss. Then we move to our second daily ritual of morning writing. Jan heads off to her chair in our bedroom, and I enter our living room where my writing chair awaits. After about an hour of writing, I make breakfast and take it to Jan. Every morning, I place a small piece of chocolate on Jan’s plate to be savored after breakfast as it melts in her mouth under the warming influence of her last cup of coffee.
It’s that little piece of daily chocolate that I am thinking about as I write these words. In case you might have some idyllic thoughts about our marriage, it’s that little piece of chocolate that I hope will create some relational equity when later in the day I say something stupid or hurt Jan’s feelings.
Buying your wife flowers for no reason – just because, or doing the dishes without being asked or putting a piece of chocolate on a breakfast plate is what I call “depositing sweetness.” Anything we do to express our love to another person is like making a deposit in a savings account. Over time it collects interest.
My father was a rough and tumble kind of man. He grew up in the depths of the Great Depression, just trying to survive. He hopped freight trains to find work and boxed a few rounds on Friday night for a $5 purse. Yet, in all his manliness and strength, as a young boy, I watched how he tenderly treated my mom with on-going expressions of his affection. He did the little things that mattered. When he did fail as a father or husband, it was the interest gained from those loving acts deposited over time that kept our family together in the tough times. Witnessing those small expressions of love given to each other over time created a respect that my brother and I have for our parents who have long-departed this life.
It’s never too late to start expressing your love. Today, look around and discover a place to deposit a little sweetness in the lives of those you love. That deposit may seem small, but it will not go unnoticed.
A few weeks ago, I got busy with our breakfast preparation and forgot to put the little piece of chocolate on Jan’s plate. When I walked out of our bedroom to return to my writing chair, I heard Jan say, “A little piece of chocolate would be nice.” Nothing we do in love for those we love ever goes unnoticed.