A Stitch In Time….

Posted: March 6, 2012 in Love and Marriage
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“A stitch in time saves nine,” wrote Ben Franklin, one of the wisest men who ever lived, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, much of his wisdom is lost in a world of modern technology where many don’t even realize what a stitch is.  As a metaphor for marriage, or even life, old Ben was right on the money, though.

A stitch in time, for those of you who don’t know, refers to the sewing of a garment when there is only a small tear, or unraveling of a seam.  Rather than waiting until it’s a major problem, if the small things are attended to right away, they won’t ever become major.  It’s not unlike when your car begins to exhibit some small sign of a problem. If you get to it before it gets worse, you may only need a minor repair, but if you ignore it, you may eventually find the damage has reached the point of catastrophe.

As my earlier posts indicate, I was entirely neglectful and failed to put this principle into practice where Ceecee was concerned.  I allowed the small things to become big, and instead of taking care of the routine maintenance, I waited until the damage was nearly beyond repair before taking action.

In Patrick Morley’s devotional, “Devotions For Couples,”  he writes about “oneness” as the overarching goal of marriage.  “Oneness is to make a third entity of two who forsake themselves for each other, ” he writes.  “Unfortunately, after the honeymoon…selfishness sets in.  The one becomes two again.”  He then challenges couples to ask themselves: Are the two becoming one, or is the one becoming two?

For so many years, I felt myself grasping at something that I simply couldn’t take hold of.  I knew that things were wrong.  I knew that something was missing.  I just couldn’t get my mind around exactly what it was or what to do about it.

I really had no excuse.  I should have known what love was and what love required of me. I should have listened to my wife when she told me what she wanted and needed from me.  I shouldn’t have been lazy when it came to the most important earthly relationship that I had.

Now, we don’t let even the little things slide.  When something even begins to appear to be wrong, we address it.  We talk about it and make immediate adjustments, while the issues are very small.

Having loved and lost, and loved once more, we are extremely protective of what we have.  Just the other day, we had a slightly negative interaction and I made a comment to the effect that this was more like becoming two.  It wasn’t an accusation, just an observation.  It didn’t feel right, so I said so.

My wife didn’t get upset or respond defensively.  Instead she recognized what I was seeing and we adjusted our course.  It’s easy to fix the little things, and by so doing, we don’t have to fix any big things.

Only days before that, I had told her that for some reason, I had just felt a little bit off for a day or two and that I was sorry that I hadn’t been my usual self.  I know I had been a bit grouchy and less attentive than I normally am.  I wanted her to know that it wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t for any known reason, and it wasn’t going to persist.

When you notice the car making a funny sound, or something doesn’t seem quite right, that’s the time to deal with it.  It’s probably going to be very simple to fix.  It may be low on oil, a tire is out of balance, or a belt may be wearing out.  If you ignore it, you may need engine repair, new tires, or be stranded along the side of the road somewhere.

It’s the same way with your marriage and anything else in life. Keep up with the routine maintenance.  Take care of those things that are important and don’t let them get into a state of disrepair.  Then you can enjoy a marriage and a life that runs smoothly and avoid the costly repairs of separation and divorce.

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Comments
  1. Debbie says:

    A breath of fresh air, reading of a (two that have become one) teachable spirit.

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