Every morning before I leave for work I gaze at my gorgeous girls, lingering a little longer on my hottie husband, and I deposit a farewell kiss on their foreheads. Never one to wake the rest of the house in the pre-dawn hours, I will tread lightly, and even in my goodbyes I am silently contemplative. I pray for them with unspoken words, and I slip out the door as discretely as I got ready for the day. Typically the only one in the household who even stirs is our tiny dog, who will roll onto her back for a good tummy rub from mom, but otherwise the household snoozes on. Yet that wasn’t the case this morning.
My morning had gone okay, and that’s me being really optimistic. In full transparency, it has been a tough morning. I found my mind doing circuits over things I could not change, and despite my best efforts, I dwelt on things below rather than those above. In lieu of my regular shower prayers, I struggled through pleas for God to guard my heart and mind against the muck that persisted in taking up residence there. Thoughts that I wasn’t good enough, or that God couldn’t use me where I previously thought. Thoughts I was certain had been previously vanquished. Point being, there was a lot of armor being slung around in my bathroom before coffee had even been made.
Later I had prayed for my babies, while the java finally brewed, and as my last task of the morning routine I brushed my lips lightly upon their sleeping heads. I saved my spouse for last, and after my lips left his warm skin I was surprised to see his eyelids flutter open.
“I’m sorry I woke you,” I whispered.
But he seemed unbothered, quickly and smoothly enveloping me with a warm, welcome embrace. I sunk with surrender into his arms, and it was like I melted there in the safety of his love. Perhaps it sounds melodramatic, but I cannot otherwise explain the weight that seemed to lift from my shoulders as I rested my head against his chest. It was like an addict’s fix, and I had not even realized I was jonesing for unconditional affection.
Later, during my commute, I realized the sweet release had continued. I felt lighter, less burdened all around, and my enhanced mood made it seem like a magic spell had been cast upon me. I guess love is like that.
If I’ve discovered anything in marriage, it is this. When in doubt, hug your spouse.
If they’re quiet, hug them. If they seem down, hug them. If they’re happy as a lark, hug them. If you’ve had a fight, hug them. If you want to make-up, hug them.
When you’re running late, hug them. When you’re bone-tired, hug them. When you’re in a bad mood, hug them. And when you’re feeling celebratory, hug them. Just hug them.
When you have no idea what to say, hug them. When you don’t have the answers, hug them. When you think there’s nothing you can do to make things better, hug them. When in doubt, hug your spouse.
Never underestimate the benefits of physical touch. A person can be wound tighter than a two dollar watch, and not even realize it. Yet a caring embrace can allow their guard to be let down, releasing the built-up tension and stress.
A well-placed hug says, “I see you, and I care about what you’re going through.”
It says, “I’m here for you. You don’t have to say a word, but know I’m here.”
Life is crazy; I get it. Our schedules are overloaded, our days busy, and our to-do list over done. But never miss the important things. Sometimes it’s the most simple of assurances that mean the most. So, when in doubt, hug your spouse.