The morning began like any other: snuggles, breakfast, coffee, schoolwork, chores.
Mid-morning, my son was reviewing his list of words for the day, which focused on the short “i” sound. After reading each word, I asked him to use it in a sentence to make sure he was connecting the sounded-out letters with real-world meanings.
He got to the word “kiss,” and looked at me, with a grin:
“Mommy and Daddy kiss all the time.”
Then he said, “Well, you do! I see you guys…”
As his toothless grin widened, I was grinning too. Because, honestly? It made me happy that he notices, and that he perceives that as his “normal.”
ARE YOU AFFECTIONATE, ON PURPOSE?
Now, I need to level with you. We do kiss a lot. I still really, really, really like– and love– my wonderful husband.
But sadly, there are also a LOT of days when the affectionate kisses that used to be normative have unfortunately been reduced to a peck on the cheek as one of us runs out the door.
This is something I still need to be purposeful about. And I bet you do, too? It’s so easy to fall into routine interactions.
WHEN WE SAY GOODBYE
Difficult goodbyes with passionate kisses in our early days together, later become “bye!” with a quick kiss. At some point, if we’re not intentional, that will turn into even less affectionate partings— with no kisses, and maybe no words spoken at all. A head nod, wave, or quick, “see ya!” may become normative.
Now, I’m not advocating that the passionate partings of our first week of marriage set the standard for what “goodbye” should look like when we’ve been married 5, 15, or 50 years. But it illustrates: as the years progress, we are apt to SLIDE into a lack of passion.
However, the truth is this: we are not relegated to an affection-less, mundane coexistence after a certain number of years together.
In fact, the Bible tells older women to teach younger women:
"to love their husbands" (Titus 2:4)
This specific Greek usage of love, “philandros,” is not used anywhere else in the New Testament. It refers specifically to an affectionate, friendly, companion-type of love… it evokes the picture of a wife who likes to be with her husband, and is affectionately welcoming toward him.
And this is something that OLDER women in the church are to be practicing and doing in such a way that the younger women could/should learn from them.
- FOR OLDER WOMEN, this is a challenge: Is your marriage affectionate? Do you share warm, welcoming companionship?
- FOR YOUNGER WOMEN, this is a challenge: be intentional!! Don’t let your marriage slip into routine, joyless interactions!
FOR ALL OF US, it’s a reminder:
Smile! Kiss! Connect! Be your husband’s affectionate companion!
HOW CAN YOU DO BETTER, TODAY?
No matter where you’re at as a couple with your affection, what can you do today to infuse passion and delight into your interactions?
- If you normally just say “goodbye,” let me challenge you to forcer yourself to stand up, walk over, and give your husband a hug, kiss, and/or quick shoulder squeeze when you part today.
- If you normally just say “bye,” tell him “I love you. I hope you have a great day!” Don’t just say goodbye… encourage him with words and smiles as he starts his day or heads out for an appointment.
- If you normally just peck a quick kiss, let me challenge you to pull him closer and kiss him in a way he’ll feel all the way down to his toes. 🙂
- How about pulling him close and welcoming him with a kiss “hello” at the end of the day?
What can YOU do differently today to increase the level of affection in your marriage?