I had deadlines. Projects to tackle, e-mails to answer, phone calls to take. As soon as I walked in the house after school drop-off that morning, I gave myself exactly five minutes to load the dishwasher before parking my bottom in my desk chair for the remainder of the day.
Dishes in, counter wiped, faucet off—and that’s when I saw it. Sitting on the counter beside the sink, my husband’s favorite Starbucks travel mug, dirty. Hand-wash only.
I could’ve let it sit. It was his mug, after all, and he didn’t expect me to wash it. That’s his job; I don’t drink his java (unless it’s made by a barista and laced with oodles of chocolate). The coffee maker, the coffee grounds, the half dozen ceramic mugs he used to leave sitting in his car week by week—which is why I bought him the travel mug in the first place—they’re all my husband’s deal. So let him scrub his own precious mug. I had other stuff to do.
How long would it take me to wash that mug? 60 seconds, tops? And I was already standing at the sink. The water was already hot. The scrub brush was just three inches from my fingertips.
Why shouldn’t I wash the mug?
Better question—why should I?
If washing that mug says I love you and I’m thinking of you and you matter to me. Isn’t that worth a one-minute sacrifice out of my day?
Isn’t it worth way more than that?
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16).
Marriage isn’t built on emotional highs. It’s made strong through a bunch of little gestures that are so easily overlooked and under spent. And when we pass on those little gestures day after day after day, when we get in the habit of thinking me instead of you or us, even the emotional highs (if we’re blessed enough to get them) can’t fill the cracks left by missed opportunities to express love for the person we chose to have and to hold all our life long.
Yes, I had deadlines. I had a stack of to-do’s waiting at my desk. But I grabbed that travel mug and scrubbed it shiny clean for the love of my life, the man God picked out of a crowd for me even before I knew who God was. He deserves my attention and my sacrifice and my willingness to serve—even when it’s inconvenient—because loving him is, in essence, loving the One who gave him to me. And all it took was a travel mug to remind me of that very core truth.
So what about you? What little gesture can you make today and tomorrow and the day after that? What easily overlooked choices can you make that say I’m on your side? Day after day, those little choices will add up. And one day we’ll look back over years and be able to say our marriage is strong because I loved you in the little things. I was true to you in thought and deed.
I washed your mug.
Because you mean the world to me.