In his very helpful book What Did You Expect??: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, Paul Tripp says the following very helpful words:
In his wisdom, God has crafted a life for us that does not careen from huge, consequential moment to huge, consequential moment. In fact, if you examine your life, you will see that you have actually had few of those moments. You can probably name only two or three life-changing situations you have lived through. We are all the same; the character and quality of our life is forged in little moments. Every day we lay little bricks on the foundation of what our life will be. The bricks of words said, the bricks of actions taken, the bricks of little decisions, the bricks of little thoughts, and the bricks of small-moment desires all work together to form the functional edifice that is your marriage. So, you have to view yourself as a marital mason. You are daily on the job adding another layer of bricks that will determine the shape of your marriage for days, weeks, and years to come.
Our marriages are the product of all the “little” moments we encounter each day. A marriage doesn’t become beautiful in a day and a marriage doesn’t fall apart in a day. Rather, each of our decisions, words, and actions add another “brick” to our marriage.
When, by God’s grace, I die to myself and serve Jen, I’m building something wonderful and good into our marriage. When, because of laziness, I don’t plan time for us to get out and away from the kids, I’m building something bad into our marriage.
It’s easy to coast and to think that these seemingly little things don’t really matter, but they really, really do. My marriage is the product of my actions. It’s the products of all the little, individuals bricks that I’ve laid down.
Does this mean that we are stuck based on our previous actions? Does this mean that there is no hope for change? Not at all. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can slowly tear down old, sinful bricks that have been laid, and we can begin building a new wall.
So here’s the question: what sort of bricks are you laying?