A newly married woman was hanging out with some of her friends on the beach at a church camp we were at. I watched her husband run up, kiss her on the cheek and ask how she was doing in the heat, if he could bring her anything and what she needed from him.
It was a sweet moment, but I was trapped in my own chains of bitterness as I felt overwhelmed by my two little kids.
“We’ll see how long that lasts, just wait til they have kids to look after.” I thought angrily to myself. “How the other is doing will be the last thing on their minds.”
It was a really hot day, and I was stressed out about the kids getting heat stroke, and was constantly worrying about how much water they were drinking and that the bugs weren’t eating them alive.
Seeing that exchange, the thought fluttered through my mind about how Andrew was doing in the heat.
“He’s a big boy, I don’t have time to worry about him.” I silently seethed, deep down missing when all we really did worry about was each other.
In that moment I somehow became “that mom” or “that wife” that I never, ever wanted to be. The kind of annoying woman who says things like “just wait until they have kids”, or “if you think it’s hard now…”, scarred by her own disappointments.
This realization made me break for a heart check, and I saw I was feeling taken for granted. It was all just about the kids. And I fed into making it all about the kids.
Of course each of us are big enough to hold our own and make sure we’re taking care of practical day-to-day needs. But are we married simply to manage to survive caring for little kids? Of course not.
Everyone wants to feel cared for, and it only takes a moment to show that you care about how the other person is doing.
I caught up with Andrew later, and asked how he was. He looked a little shocked by the question (showing that I obviously hadn’t been the most attentive wife lately), and said he was tired but doing ok, then asked how I was.
It was literally just moments, but it was a reconnection that needed to take place.
It hit me in the face that I can’t take him for granted. He’s an amazing guy, and if I don’t take the time to show him I care, someone else will.
As I’ve been asking God to help me keep my husband at the forefront of my mind, along with my kids, the Lord has give me this verse of encouragement.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)
Genuine affection can just take moments, but it is a powerful sword against taking each other for granted!