Most of my friends are married. Except for a few recently divorced friends and my single group from church, all the friends I know have a significant other. Even my honorary ‘care group’ is made up of couples. Being married for twenty-five years, I have lived on both sides of the fence, now being single again.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Proverbs 5:18-19
Husbands of friends are willing to give of their time and help with ‘honey do’ tasks. I have two friends whose husbands take on the tasks that I have trouble handling. Leaking pipes, fixing the garage door opener, changing electrical switches, and running commodes are just a few of the home maintenance tasks that they’ve helped me with.
I’m often invited to join my friends at their homes to hang out, eat dinner, or to go out to eat. I’m welcomed as one of the family. I love spending time with them as a family. I’m taken in and loved and the empty spots in my heart are filled while I’m there. Most of my friends’ children have already gone off to college, so it’s usually just us adults sitting around visiting. I tend to notice the small things here. How they sit together on the couch, help each other in the kitchen, or simply trade conversation about family or work.
It’s these small daily things that I miss doing. Sometimes I get to witness the small intimate gestures. A shoulder rub, fingers entwining, a small caress, and my heart longs to be touched in that loving way. I miss the intimacy of being with another person who puts me first in small ways.
One of the things I am privy to is the conversations between husband and wife. These make me smile. Sometimes as I listen, I”d like to make a comment about some of the things that sound so trivial to me. I, like my friends, took my husband for granted. I thought our time would be endless, at least until we became old, gray, and wrinkled together. Tomorrow is not promised to us. We were guilty of wasting our time that we had together. We let the small things take precedent over us. Our schedules sometimes ruled our lives. I didn’t worry about money because John was always responsible with that, but I am saddened that we let so much go unsaid and let the insignificant parts of our lives become more important than the couple that we were.
In hindsight, I would have told John, so much more, how much I loved him and appreciated all the things large and small that he did for Cam and me. I would have made sure that I sat beside him more on the couch and held his hand. I wouldn’t have stayed up late to watch TV, instead I would have snuggled nightly with him. I regret each kiss that I missed. I wish that I told him more often how proud of him I was as a dad, and how honored I was to be his wife. I would have teased him more and laughed at his unique sense of humor. Appreciated how giving he was of his time and service to others even though it took hours of time sitting in front of the computer.
What I’d like to say to every wife is to not worry so much about the small things that sometimes gets in the way of treasuring the time you have together. The day-to-day of living and working can make a couple forget that loving should come first. That appreciating the strengths and personality of the other person is why you are forging this life together. It’s why you are married.
The material possessions that you’ve collected with one another and the house that you are striving to pay off is not what matters most in life. Sometimes you just need to sit and laugh. Don’t be so critical about the small things that can drive you up the wall. Accept him for the person that he is now. Remember the energetic person that you married, but embrace the person he is now with his bigger belly and his balding head. He loves you more today than the day he married you. He is, just as you are, more precious than you can possibly imagine. Try to envision what life would be like without the other.
It’s the children you’ve raised and the loved one that shares your life that will be with you in the end. They are the people who you want to be reunited with in Heaven when we go to our true home.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Often, I get to hear the loving or teasing conversations that go on between wife and husband. I see the arm wrapped across the shoulders or the hips snuggled together on the couch. I witness the husband or wife performing a task for the other to make life less stressful for their love. These things make me smile and I long to do the same for my loved one.
So as you look at your other half, remember the eyes that made you melt and the smile that set your heart racing. Touch his hand and remember the first touch. Laugh over funny stories and share your history with your kids. Hug often and tell him that you love him. Celebrate the small things in life. Dance in the kitchen. Live each day as if it was your last together. Time is short and love is forever.
Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3