Originally published Friday, 01 November 2013.
“I took great delight...” Song of Solomon 2:3
The Song of Solomon captures the sacred love of two people whose love “many waters could not quench”--a description of a love we all want. So as we peek into the pages of their “love notes” one of the very simple and obvious aspects of their love was that they told each other! If we want the love in our marriages to flourish, we have to water it with our words.
Eric and I tell each other we love each other everyday. But every now and then I wish I could tell him just how much I adore him, admire him, am thankful for him... but the words feel so corny in my mind that too often they don’t make it out of my mouth. Worse yet, some days (weeks...months) are so busy with responsibility that my love for him gets less words than all our to-do items.
So, does your honeyman think you utterly adore him? Does your wife know she still makes your heart skip a beat? Does your husband know the character qualities and physical traits of his that you "take great delight in"? Yes, it's an almost too-simple of a concept, but the reality is that many marriages suffer for lack of verbal affirmation and support. If your beloved left for their day this morning and missed hearing an affectionate, admiring word from you, I hope tonight, they'll get an extra dose! Pray about how you might add more words into your life to make sure your spouse is bathed in your affection.
One idea if you miss those face-to-face moments to share your heart is to write it. We have a picture frame with scrapbook paper behind it and we use a white board marker to write love notes to one another on the glass. It’s fun! We’ll send text messages while we’re out and about. My husband always walks me to the door if he’s home when I run errands and sends me off with a kiss and “I love you.” Both of us have lost people without getting to say “I love you” one last time. So we feel the depth of that reality.
You might be a spouse in a struggling relationship and you’re thinking “I don’t adore him/her!” If so, I’m sorry for the heartache and am praying for your marriage right now! If you are in that place, I encourage you to start a journal and write one thing everyday that you are thankful for about your spouse. And write a prayer of blessing over them too. It might feel too difficult to do this at first, but I’ve seen this simple assignment bless marriages and rekindle fires the couple thought were too far gone.
Sometimes we have relationships where the horizontal (person to person) dynamic of joy and safety that we wish for is missing. But we can have fruitful, positive, vertical (us to God) relationship. Our words of thanks and blessing might not find a welcome home with the individual, but they will with God. If you are struggling in your marriage I pray renewal for the two of you, and for your relationship with God to be strengthened during this season.
Whether you’re struggling to feel the words of admiration for your spouse or just struggle to find the ways to communicate them, your unique place as the other half of your spouse makes you especially influential. You can be a conduit of encouragement like no one else in your spouse’s life.
When the Lord created Eve to be a “helpmate” for Adam, the Hebrew word there is rather unusual. It’s used in a couple contexts, but one context is the way the Holy Spirit comes along side an individual to empower them. As spouses we have a privileged and special role to love on and encourage our husbands/wives. And lavishing that love on them with our words is one important ingredient to having a love that the waters of this world can’t wash away!