My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me…” Song of Songs 2:10
I was led to this verse this morning after a discussion I had with a girlfriend on yesterday afternoon. We were both reflecting on the relationship we saw between our parents as children. Each of us, for different reasons, never got to watch a romantic couple in action. Personally, my mother worked nights and my father worked days. One of them was always home, but there was always someone who needed rest, either before going to work or after coming home from a hard day’s (or night’s) work. I didn’t see much romance; I saw provision. They put food on the table for me and for each other, they paid bills, and they kept us healthy and whole. Perhaps that is why as an adult my “love language” (if you’ve ever been exposed to that teaching) is acts of service—I saw love as a child as an expression of things being done. So as we talked, my girlfriend stated that she and her husband had to learn as their marriage progressed how to be a couple. They had to learn how to be a husband and wife, to be lovers.
As usual, the Lord always has an “object lesson” for me in proving His word. My husband was traveling and had asked us to come along. Between my own appointments for personal upkeep (dentist, hair, etc.) and a night of teaching at the college, the trip wasn’t the most convenient for me. Moreover, the kid’s legs are beginning to outgrow the back of his company car, so we’ve not traveled as much with him as we once did. It would have been easy to say no, but I came primarily as a ministry to him. We drove on a foggy, deer-filled night, and I remember the point at which he said, “Thank you for coming with me.” The words were simple, but it meant everything to me as I went to the word of God this morning. He received my love offering, and as we rode with all eight of our eyes (we both wear corrective lenses) on stems to avoid deer, we had a great time talking about the darkness, the isolation of the country road, and reminiscing about trips past.
Sometimes as women we are so caught up in our activities that we forget to, as I heard a pastor say once, just sit and watch the game. I’ll be the first to admit that, again, because of my own love language, I get preoccupied in doing—making dinner, cleaning, making sure that everyone is healthy and whole, just as I saw my parents do. I have to slow down and remember that husbands need most to be respected for who they are and what they do, and that often comes from our ability to just be there. Lewis Smedes of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, writes, “Communication between two people enmeshed in daily preoccupations with jobs, budgets, diapers, and new math can be very difficult to maintain.”
My words may return to haunt me when and if he reads this. Hey, I’m still a work in progress! But I did have an opportunity to experience this truth in a deeper way today. I pray that it blesses you in your relationship as well.