Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones.
Many years ago, when all of my children were young, I read
an article that greatly influenced me. The author of the article shared that
when he saw his children, he made it a point to smile brightly. If he caught
their eye across a crowded room, he trained himself to light up and to show
delight in their presence. When they ran out of the front door to greet him,
regardless of how tired or cranky he felt, he reminded himself to greet them
with glowing excitement. He went on to share how quickly this little act became
a habit; a habit that he no longer had to produce, it simply happened
automatically. He discovered that the more he showed joy and excitement at the
sight of his children, the more joy and excitement he felt in his heart.
With many young children draining my energy and emotions,
this man’s advice was a relationship-saving epiphany for me. For the last 25
years, I’ve made it a point to show my delight when I see my children. I
brighten my eyes when they enter the room and laugh in delight in their
presence. However, lately I’ve sensed the Lord challenging me to take this
little habit and to apply it to the most Important human relationship in my
life-My relationship with my husband.
I’ve been married for 29 years now and I love my husband!
He’s my hero, my protector, my lover, and my best friend. I know that, but
sometimes I wonder if he knows that!
While I’ve been diligently training myself to delight in my children, have I
somehow missed the boat when it comes to delighting in my husband? Do I light
up with joy when he enters the room? Do I beam with excitement when he comes
through the airport doors? Do my eyes brighten when we catch a glimpse of each
other across a crowded room? So many questions, but for me, questions that
demand an answer.
I don’t know about you, but it’s much easier to show my
delight in my children than it is to show my delight in my husband. There’s
something very vulnerable and transparent about allowing him to see how excited
I am about him and how necessary he is in my life. However, it’s that very
vulnerability that will continue to build and strengthen our marriage for the
years to come. My relationship with my children, by its very nature, is
temporary. My relationship with my husband is intended to be permanent; and not
just a permanent roommate relationship; but instead, a sweet relationship that
points others to Christ. Your relationship with your husband is intended by God
to paint that same picture of oneness and joy.
So, how can we train ourselves to build that habit of
rejoicing in our husband’s presence? I think Proverbs 15:30 gives us some great
starting points. First, we must learn to brighten our eyes when we see our
husbands. For me, this means stopping to consider how to make him feel welcome
and missed when he comes through the door. My husband, because of his airline
job, is gone frequently, so we have frequent “Welcome Homes!” But, even if our
husbands are only gone from 9 to 5, it’s important to let them know how happy
we are to have them home again. Ladies, this isn’t degrading…This isn’t
becoming a doormat…This isn’t below our dignity! Really, this is nothing more
than “Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us!”
The second habit Proverbs 15:30 encourages in my life is
this: Give him good news! Too often, my husband’s homecomings become my prime
time to share all of the troublesome things that have invaded our home that
day. Instead of coming home to a bright smile, warm greeting, and happy family,
my husband is greeted with bills to pay, children to discipline, and a tired
wife to pacify. Trust me, I know how tired you and I can be at the end of the
day, but wisdom tells me to remember how tired my husband is as well. I know,
without a doubt, that I could find abundant energy to cheerfully welcome my
best friend to my home, how much more so should my faithful husband receive
that type of greeting?
These habits aren’t hard to physically implement, but
sometimes they aren’t easy to put into practice. Extending a warm welcome and
controlling our complaints takes diligence, commitment, and a heart that is
self-forgetful and instead, oriented toward our husbands. But, how sweet the
fruit those little habits can produce. When we bless our husbands, we are
blessed in return. Even on those days when frayed nerves or untimely words have
marred our marital fellowship, a commitment to smile in welcome and
faithfulness to encourage with our words can change our hearts from lukewarm to
loving. Soon, it won’t be a habit we are practicing to perfect, but a new way
of life that we are loving to perform.