I was reminiscing the other day about the first vacation my husband and I took together. It was to the island of Maui, along with his parents and younger brother. It was spring break, and we had been courting for three months. We had not seen each other since our relationship began, as we lived on opposite sides of two different countries. Our only communication was through emails and phone conversations. It had been a long time, and we were so excited to spend a week in paradise together.
The “week in paradise” ended up being overcast and rainy. Our hotel was undergoing construction, which often began early in the morning. Even with all of these minor details, I remember drinking in our time together.
My father-in-law continually brought up our constant hand-holding and physical touch. We brushed it off and concluded that we were starved for attention because of the
distance. Funny, now that we are married, it was perfectly normal to be in the same room and not be physically touching each other. And I wondered … what happened?
Do couples just become so used to the presence of their spouse that they take things for granted, assuming nothing will ever change? It amazes me sometimes how much we “forget” to appreciate the things or people we have until, sadly, they are gone.
When we were courting and engaged, I held on to my husband’s every word, and continually thanked the Lord for the few days, or hours, we would have together. I was so grateful for every opportunity I had to be with him to share whatever time, adventure or experience together. I counted each blessing and considered both him and my time with him a treasured gift.
And now, do I still hold onto each memory? Do I still listen to each word attentively and with great interest? Do I still thank God at the end of each day for him, the incredible blessing that he is to me, and the ways in which I feel like a better person because of him?
My sister sent me a letter shortly after we were married, and the profound words of advice she offered seemed so mature for someone so young. There was one sentence that summed everything up: “Never forget that you are both a gift—a gift from God to each other.” Perhaps we would all be better spouses if we remembered that and caught hold of the truth in that statement. Your spouse is your gift from the Lord.
And perhaps we would all be better people if we took hold of this truth. God’s gift of giving, quite obviously, is evident in the blueprints of all of our relationships. We would be better parents and children, and sisters and brothers, if we caught hold of the notion that people are precious gifts from the Lord.
The next time your spouse walks through the door after work, greet them as if God had personally Fed-Exed you a present. Take time to enjoy each other’s presence, words, hobbies and interests. Enjoy dinner at the dinner table instead of in front of the television! Hold each other like you did when you were first together, and listen as if this was the first time in months you had heard his or her voice. Take time to scribble your spouse a love note before he or she leaves home in the morning or travels out of town for business.
There are probably moments when you will feel more excited to do these little things, and likewise, so will your spouse. He or she may not always deserve your special treatment, but neither will you at times. And when your spouse doesn’t, just remember, they are still your most precious gift from God.