Still Holding Hands
By Lysa TerKeurst

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

The other day while driving back from the beach, an amazing sunset stretched before us. For me, it was like a love letter from the Lord. Though no words flashed across the sky, there was clearly a message in this beauty.

My mind was drawn back many years. Fifteen-and-a-half years ago to be exact ... December 5, 1992. A young couple stood at the alter having no idea what the vows they nervously repeated meant. "To have and to hold from this day forward"... it was just what the pastor said so they repeated it back in a clueless kind of way.

They felt in love. A giddy kind of electric current drew them together. They liked what they got from each other. It just felt right.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk to myself that day I donned a veil and pranced down the aisle. I would caution that bride that you don't feel your way into real love. You choose your way into real love. I would tell her to look at the verses of 1 Corinthians 13 and not see it as a wish list of how she feels entitled to be treated by her groom. Rather, see it is a list of choices they each must make of how to treat each other.

Instead of reading it, "Your love should be kind and patient and not keep a record of wrongs," I would tell her that they must make the choice instead to say, "We are making the decision that our love will be kind. We will work toward making our love patient. And we will choose not to keep a record of wrongs."

I would tell her to especially listen to the words of the prayer that Art's Dad prayed over us during the ceremony. In one part of the prayer Mr. TerKeurst said, "And then when the sun is setting and the years have gone by, may this couple be found then as now standing together, still hand in hand, still thanking God for each other."

Something about that sunset-love-letter from God the other night brought all this to my mind and made my breath catch in my throat. For I suddenly remembered that wedding day prayer and I must admit I felt convicted.

Somehow in the craziness of life's schedule, I couldn't remember the last time we just took time to hold hands and talk about us. Not our teenager's choices, or the broken down car, or why there are so many weeds this year, or how did your meeting go today, or did you return that video back to the store... not that kind of conversation. No, I mean the kind of conversation that seems harder and harder to find time for in the midst of life.

The kind of conversation that we are overdue for is the kind you remember, treasure, and hold on to. For another day will surely come where these conversations will be the sweetest of all our memories. The day when the sun sets on our lives and one of us will lay the other in the arms of Jesus...may it be that we laughed and talked and freely forgave and lived with no regrets.

Dear Lord, marriage can be so hard sometimes. Please show me how to make sweet conversation time with my husband a priority. Help us to connect on a deeper level than just the quick, necessary conversations in our daily lives. Help us to create the love story we long to live in. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst’s blog today to learn about a great marriage building activity.

Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Write out some of the love qualities described in 1 Corinthians 13. Beside each one, write a commitment that you will make to actively love your husband this way. Find other verses from the Bible that relate and commit them to memory.

How can I schedule time to create intimate moments with my husband?

Do I have some wrong attitudes that are contributing to our disconnect?

Have I made praying for my marriage a priority?

Power Verses:
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not even married...(hoping to be one day), but this was such an encouragement. relationships in general! i've been experiencing different feelings/emotions about some of my friendships/family ties/church situations. and through reading this and then careful study of 1 corinthians 13, it was just an eye-opener on what God requires of our relationships. whomever they are with. such a blessing. i hope to put these things into better practice now, and also in my future marriage.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Lysa: Thanks for the reminder that we both need to work at letting God flow through one another. I recall when my husband & I were 1st married...25 years ago. We often saw elderly couples holding hands & he opening the car door for his "bride". We both spoke of how we hoped that God would help us be the same way when we grow old & gray together. Well, the gray has come (!) and the old is coming, yet I'm thankful to say that we have weathered many a storm and are still holding hands & yes...he continues to open the car door for me after all these years! May Jesus provide you & your husband with many a sunset walk, hand in hand, laughter & smiles, snuggles & giggles. *.*

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Second baby on the way. I have been feeling rather disconnected from my husband lately. The devotional helped me to remember our wedding vows and focus on action in relation to 1st Corithians 13. Thankyou

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