That man you met and exchanged phone numbers with for the first time? Kiss him goodbye.
That man you wondered about and wanted when you were apart? Kiss him goodbye.
That man who took you to a movie or bought your dinner and you were too nervous to eat in front of him or to laugh too loud or to talk too much? Kiss him goodbye.
That man you hoped your family or your friends would love and they did or didn’t but you stayed with him anyway? Kiss him goodbye.
That man you let yourself think you could love forever? Kiss him goodbye.
That man you said the vows and slid the rings and jumped into marriage with? Kiss him goodbye.
That man who used to make your stomach flip that maybe later started to make a certain finger want to flip? (Or is that just me.) Kiss him goodbye.
That man who has either seen you at your worst or knows what is worst about you? Kiss him goodbye.
That man you were so sure about and now you’re not so sure? Kiss him goodbye.
That man picked you too. Kiss him goodbye.
That man was nervous too. Kiss him goodbye.
That man wondered about and wanted you too while you were apart. Kiss him goodbye.
That man agreed to love you forever too. Kiss him goodbye.
We have a ring for a reminder and a cross for the remainder.
That man is more than just a man. He is your husband. God created marriage for us to be together because it is not good for a man to be alone. God made a helper for them. That’s us. As their wife, their helper. Not a slave, not a dictator. A helper. God knew, more than a larger brain or better tools or a bigger heart, that man needed a wife. God knew more than anything that husband and wife needed to become one flesh through marriage and to agree that God is bigger than them and that at the center of everything they do is a promise to hold on when everything else wants to tear them apart.
We have a ring for a reminder and a cross for the remainder. For the remainder of our lives, for what remains after we compare what we want with what we actually have, we have Jesus to cross out our pain and our heartache.
We have a ring to remember His promises and his promise. God is perfect at keeping His promises but our husbands are not. And neither are we, wives. So let’s just stop acting like we are and they aren’t. Even if it’s mostly their fault, it’s a little bit our faults too.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
So we know all these things but how do we make it work? What can we do?
This is it:
Kiss him goodbye, hug him hello, and never let go.
If we are going to love them well, we have to kiss our husbands goodbye in the morning. Wives, our husbands are headed off to war every day. They might not make it to work before another woman jogs by in nothing but a bra and my seven year old’s shorts. They might not make it to the coffee pot at the office before a selfish thought enters their mind of what they’d rather be doing than drudging through another day with that boss, or that client, or that meeting. They might not make it to lunch before they’ve tried to numb a pain they can’t even name with pills, or a pipe, or porn. They might not make it to their afternoon appointment with a minute of the day not under a cloud of disappointment.
Kiss him goodbye, hug him hello, and never let go.
I don’t know what your husband is going through. Most of the time, I don’t know what my own husband goes through. But I do know life in this world is an everyday battle. And I want him to know I am proud of him for fighting it and that I’m standing with him in the fight. So he gets a sendoff. And he gets a welcome home. And he gets to know that I’m never letting go. Even if he acts stupid, even if I do too, and even if we don’t know what to do, I’m never letting go.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
I haven’t always felt this way. I used to let go. I used to let him walk into his mistakes alone, shame him while he was trying to get out, and remind him where he came from when he did. But ever since I started hearing Jesus’ words from the Bible in church, something shifted. And ever since I started reading Jesus’ words in the Bible, something sifted. And especially since I started believing Jesus actually died for me, love moved into my heart. I knew I was loved and I wanted to give it away. The first and the last person I want to give it away to every day is that man. That man that became my husband because that man is part of God’s plan for me and that man God entrusted me with.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
If you are feeling hopeless right now, like the burden is too heavy. The sin is too dark. The amount of work is too much. And you’re tired. And you’re hurt. And you’re angry. I see you. God sees you. And your husband needs you. And you need your husband. Don’t listen to those lies that you don’t need each other. Tell them to hush because you’re not falling for it today.
I don’t know what tonight looks like for you or for him. But tomorrow? Try kissing him goodbye. Try sending him off to battle knowing you’re with him because he felt it. Yes, even if and despite what if. God set us aside for his purpose and took away our sin. He did the same for you that He did for him. We can set aside our exhaustion, our hurt, and our anger for one, real kiss. We can. Kiss him goodbye, hug him hello, and never let go.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8