|Cheyenne – “The Culprit”|
It all began when my husband and I were trying to decide how to deal with a problem our dog was having at night—barking and whining. We started out discussing the matter and ended with a full-blown “dog fight.”
Days passed and the “dog issue” wasn’t getting resolved, so we tried to figure out what to do next. Again, our small, minor issue degenerated into an angry war of words with battle-scared feelings. This time we would not get over it so quickly. This time we would retreat to our corners.
Days and weeks passed and the “dog situation” was not improving. Our nerves were shot. Our bitterness was blackening. And now we were snapping at each other over “non-dog matters.”
In an effort to avoid making the situation worse, we quit talking about it. But like all good dogs with a bone, we couldn’t resist the urge to dig it back up and gnaw on it a bit more.
Before we knew it, we were unable to even say a kind word to each other—dog or no dog.
Finally, this well-worn dog path led to the door of a divorce lawyer. We wanted this madness to end with what seemed like the only logical, reasonable, compassionate solution.
Yes, it’s true that my husband and I fought over a “dog problem.” But no, we are not divorcing. We did argue a couple of times over this, but we did not let it linger as I suggested above. I just wanted to play out this scenario in an effort to somewhat demonstrate how a small, insignificant issue can become the demise of anyone’s marriage.
I’ve noticed over the many years of my marriage that it’s very often the little issues that trip us up more than the bigger ones. For some reason, we turn toward each other and God more when the challenge is greater, than when we feel like “Okay, we’ve got this.”
There’s an odd little verse in Song of Solomon, “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!” (2:15 NLT)
I think there’s a profound truth here that’s often overlooked …
Simply replace “those little foxes” with “that irritating dog,” and you’ve got the perfect ingredient for the eventual destruction of a marriage.
If you aren’t already dealing with any bitterness that might be developing in your heart over the years of multiplied small issues—and perhaps a few big ones in between—then consider yourself warned!