In our newest book, A Couple’s Journey with God devotional, Bill and I are very personal. We open up the doors of our hearts and home so others can see how God has met us on our journey, and how God can meet other couples on their journey of love. Even our junior high son once said, “You can sure tell a lot about a family by what is hanging on their walls.” So what is hanging on yours? Here is the story of one very precious photo that hangs in our home.
One the wall of our bedroom is a beautiful portrait taken by a well known photographer. The photo is black and white, then recolorized to highlight certain aspects of the portrait. The picture is of Bill and me kissing. In the photo you can’t see our faces because I am wearing a hat, but you can tell it was a kiss of real love. How?
In the photo, I am standing on my tippie toes reaching up to give Bill a kiss. That peck was apparently so amazing that it caused Bill to rock back on his heels. (I think this might be where the term, “head over heels in love” came from). The look of our feet in this position of a public display of affection was the selling point, and this photo became the front cover of a Focus on the Family book on marriage.
Hearts and lives meet up in many ways. To encourage that, it is imperative to cultivate these kinds of events:
- A glance across the room
- The touch of your mate's hand
- A small caress
- A squeeze of hands, or footsies under the table
- A wink and smile
Small touches of affection add up in big ways over time.
When I had the photograph framed, this verse seemed so appropriate to place in its matting:
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other (Psalms 85:10 NIV).
The linking and balance of each couplet is what it takes to have long lasting love:
Love AND faithfulness: The passion of love ignites the flame of intimacy but it is the commitment to faithfulness and fidelity that keeps passion alive year after year. When we wrote Red Hot Monogamy, we found research which showed that trust is the number one key to unlock passion so a woman can fully enjoy sex. And trust is what keeps a man investing his heart, time and energy into the marriage relationship. Trust is built with a secure knowledge that your mate is faithful!
Righteousness AND Peace: In marriage, it is important to do things RIGHT. Skills like communication, kindness, and servanthood are just a few of the building blocks for love. Sometimes well-meaning spouses fall into the no-win trap of pointing out all the “improvements” the other can make in the relationship. It is easy for the other person to perceive this stance as he or she always needs to be “right”. Pushing for what you think is right is not always “right.” That is where peace comes in.
Peacemaking and peacekeeping are the equalizers to pushing for the precise. Sometimes we each need to accommodate for the other to bring peace. For example, one day my friend caught herself correcting the way her husband buttered his bread. Now in the scope of all things important in this world the way her man butters bread is miniscule—and she wisely recognized that. This is peacekeeping. Bill tends to run late; I choose to forgive this small habit rather than nag. This is peacekeeping. I am very spontaneous; Bill rolls with the changes in plans rather than dig in his heels. This is peacekeeping. Give grace over preferences. Save your opinions for the things that truly reflect righteousness, like keeping a promise, living with integrity, or committing to love your mate as God loves him or her.
This month, which of these characteristics is most needed now in your marriage? Love, faithfulness, righteousness or peace? What can you do, or what can you hang on your wall to help righteousness kiss peace, and love and faithfulness meet up?
Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, international speakers and authors of over 35 books including best selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and their newest A Couple’s Journey With God. For free articles and more resources by the Farrels: www.Love-Wise.com.
Publication date: November 7, 2012