I kissed my husband, the preacher, this morning.
I kissed him in front of the church secretary.
My aunt, also a pastor’s wife, gave me this wise advice about safeguarding my marriage: “If you don’t flirt with your husband, other women will.” I’m not sure if she meant in public as well, but it works for me.
I digress. This morning, when I kissed my husband in front of another woman, I had no flirtatious intentions. After 34 years of marriage, a kiss means so much more than sensual attraction.
I kissed him because our marriage has been through a lot in the last 6 months.
We’ve traveled through the refiner’s fire and faced a tsunami of flood waters. We still smell like smoke and are wringing out the aftermath from our deluged emotions. But we’ve come through by the grace of God – together. My kiss was a seal of the intimacy that comes from shared suffering.
I kissed him because we’ve come to realize how much we need to rely on each other to keep moving forward.
Jack went through a difficult back surgery with an equally tough recovery period. Emotionally weakened before the surgery date from the loss of a close friend and heavy ministry burdens, there were days I wondered if either of us or our marriage would survive. We’d stay together but would there be permanent cracks in the family façade from the strain? That single kiss reminded me that while there may be cracks, God is touching them with His golden grace and welding us together so we are stronger still.
Life is precious and unpredictable. We never know when death might interrupt our marriage relationship. We also never know when life may take a hard pull around an unpredicted corner, changing the person we once knew but to whom we’ve made a commitment to love.
My kiss was:
- A commitment to our united front.
- A thank you for, oh, so many things.
- An affirmation that we’re in this together and there’s no one else I would want to do this with.
Marriage in the later years is a commitment to intimacy. It’s doing all those little nit-picky parts of life together that no one else sees or talks about.
- Changing the bed clothes at 2 in the morning because a post surgical spouse had an accident in the bed.
- Examining a rash on the other’s shoulder blades that’s caused from too much stress.
- Talking through how to handle a relative’s reaction to a mistake you made on a birthday gift.
- Sharing joy over ice cream after being confined at home for six weeks.
- Hashing out confused feelings over the loss of a mutual friend.
Life is short, unpredictable and at times, not easy. So:
- Hold close the ones you love.
- Do the messy part of life together.
- Keep short accounts.
- Remove the nasty, negative, and unnecessary words from your conversations
- Have the courage to cry together.
And don’t forget to kiss. Even in public.
How have you benefited from long-term relationships?