You can tell a lot about the state of a couple's relationship from the way they greet one another. You can see it in their expression and countenance, as well as how they speak to each other. It is even more obvious by their physical contact. But how much importance should you give a greeting?
The Bible has more to say about greetings. It is not just about greeting your friends, but even your enemies. So how do you greet friends, enemies, coworkers, neighbors, and strangers? You may greet everyone nice and politely out of courtesy, and so how much more should you acknowledge your spouse?
It's probably something you don't think about very often---the first thing you say to him or to her when you wake up in the morning, the look on your face when you get in the car, the energy in your voice when you speak on the telephone. But here's something else you probably don't stop to consider---the difference it would make in your spouse's day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them.
When someone communicates that they are glad to see you, your personal sense of self-worth increases. You feel more important and valued. That's because a good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction. Like love, it puts wind in your sails.
The prodigal son in Luke 15 did not expect a nice and polite greeting from his father after he had hurt him so terribly. But even the son's well rehearsed apology was not heard or needed as his father greeted him with great compassion, running to embrace him with no reservations, and kissing him. The son did not expect or deserve this kind of greeting. No doubt he must have felt greatly loved and treasured once again.
What kind of greetings would make your mate feel like that? How could you excite his or her various senses with a simple word, a touch, a tone of voice? A loving greeting can bless your spouse through what they see, hear, and feel.
Think of the opportunities you have to greet each other on a regular basis. When coming through the door. When meeting for lunch. When saying good-night. When talking on the phone.
It doesn't have to be bold and dramatic everytime. But adding warmth and enthusiasm gives you the chance to touch your mate's heart in subtle, unspoken ways.
Think about your greeting. Do you use it well? Does your spouse feel valued and appreciated? Do they feel loved? Even when you're not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give them value by the way you greet them.
Remember, love is a choice.
So choose to change your greeting. Choose love.
Excerpted from The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 9, emphasis mine.