I was distracted during the sermon this morning.
We had walked in about ten minutes late, so I was having that feeling of not being able to just be slow and calm after running around for the past hour or so. A man and his two sons walked in ahead of us and ended up sitting directly in front of us. Naturally, I thought it was just the three of them. After only a couple of minutes, the man left and came back again. His wife walked in and sat down a few minutes later. From left to right, it was the mom, the older son, the dad, and then the youngest son.
When the woman walked in, the man kept looking at her, an almost… longing coloring his facial expression. The woman didn’t even glance his way.
But his eyes seemed to be begging for her attention.
As the sermon actually began, her body language amazed me. She had an arm over the back of the chair next to her and, ironically, it wasn’t the one her son was sitting in. The chair was empty. Her whole body was turned away from the men in her life. Both sons were slightly angled in toward the dad, who was still having a slightly hard time keeping his eyes off of the mother.
Throughout the sermon, she eventually stopped fidgeting and her shoulders relaxed a little bit. The younger son brought his lips close to the dad’s ear: “Can I go sit with mom?
The dad told him that was fine. The younger boy, somewhat timidly, approached his mother, who pulled him up to sit on her lap. Her arms wrapped around him, he let one are snake up and curve perfectly around the back of her neck, holding himself to her. Clearly, he loved the attention his mom was giving him. Clearly, he loved her in every way his tiny heart knew how.
At the end of the service, the dad finally leaned over to the mom and asked her something. As they were speaking softly, her hand automatically reached up to cup his face. But, after watching them for an hour, how was that the first bit of love I had seen between the two of them?
I don’t know. I may be reading into things. I probably am. But… I just hope that if, when I’m married, someone is watching my husband and I, they’ll know we’re in love. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
If you are married, please, don’t take your spouse for granted. Goodness, believe me, I know being that close to someone has it’s many challenges, but love them every chance you get. Leave them little notes just to tell them you can. Catch their eye just to make them smile. Hold their hand, just because you can. It takes work. From both parties. But do all you can. Show us younger people that love still exists. Show the kids with horrible parents that there is still hope. Show the kids with only one parent that it doesn’t have to be like that.
When over half of marriages end in divorce, be the exception. Be the example. Be selfless.