Monday, April 4, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ Love Me Tender

There is a big difference between being what my kids call "creepy" and being an observer of people. I like to think I'm not creepy. :)

There are times when my husband slips his hand around my waist or tries to pull me aside for a full on hug, and in my busyness or preoccupation (or mood) I'm reluctant to be tender back. Do you ever find yourself hesitating to reach out in the kind of quiet, gentle, explosive gentleness shared between two who love? Why do we miss the promise of tender opportunities? 

Tenderness is power when we take the opportunity. Unfortunately, our world looks on tenderness as weakness, even for women, who were once the source of the gentle touches our world and relationships are gasping for. If we read and listen to the words our time, we can get the impression that tenderness is only powerful when it's a well timed, intelligently orchestrated assertion as part of a plan. Not so says the Lord.

  • God's mercy is described as "tender" (Luke 1:77-79).
  • Tenderness is an appropriate expression of the kind of love shown by the humble Christ, the love we're meant to grow and master (Philippians 2:1-3) towards others.

Both words indicate a passionate affection representing feelings like kindness,  benevolence, and compassion. It's a word not far off from the word used to describe meekness in those who will inherit the earth and in gentle women who have the kind of beauty God considers to be of great worth.

  • He didn't think it was seen, but I saw a young husband reach a finger over to his wife's knee and give it the stroke of "I'm aware of you" beside him. Tender.
  • I saw a wife steal her hand under her husband's arm to wrap her love around him as they sat side by side. Tender.
  • I saw a husband place his hand on the back of his wife's waist in a quiet statement of joy in their mutual possession. Tender.
  • I saw a wife lean over to whisper something private in her husband's ear, finishing it off with a smile from her eyes to his. Tender.

What keeps us from doing the action of tenderness? I'm not creepy, but I learn so much about the beauty of "tender" from noticing these little acts of obedience to God's prompting planted in the hearts of lovers. Especially in a time of stress, challenge, weariness, confusion, uncertainty, or failure, men need the tenderness of a wife's touch and look and voice to be the balm only she can give. A beautiful thing about "tender" is that it bears the fruits of closeness, security, pleasure, comfort, and giving. Tender.

I think the world would applaud and nominate me for "woman who gets it" of the year when I ignore my husband's tenderness or tell my own urges to "wait" while I do things like post a blog, cut a cucumber, check a text, or hear the news. I must be ready to drop my guard, stop my work, take off my mask, and unbind the passionate affection God planted in the fabric of my spirit when He made me and knew I would be a wife.  

Tenderness is powerful when we take the opportunity.

It won't be long before the Author of love will prompt us to reach out in tenderness to our mate, granting us the promise of powerful fruit in our marriages. Let's be tender.

(If you receive this post in an email, you will need to click on the post title "Love Me Tender" to go to the actual blog page and see the linked up posts at the bottom or comment.)

If you want to link up, please remember that Marriage Mondays posts should: 1) Be all about marriage 2) include a Biblical base for truth applied to marriage 3) include a link to this post. Thanks for following the guidelines. ;)

11 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Heidi Pocketbook said...

Very sweet, very true. I know I've been guilty of ducking a touch or a compliment when I've been "too busy" with the wrong thing.

Blessings to you this Monday, Julie!

Michele said...

Love this post on tenderness. Thanks for the reminder not to miss any opportunities. :)

Lisa Grace said...

I love coming here each Monday; it really helps me to start my week with a focus on loving Awesome Hubby and realign any thoughts that might be more me-centered. Can't wait to shower him with tenderness!

Warren Baldwin said...

Very true. Also good to remember that expressions of tenderness too often rebuffed may lead to them not be offered. When couples come in to counseling for anger, arguing, etc., one very noticeable thing they lack toward each other: tenderness. Somewhere along the way it simply dropped off their agenda, probably due to hurt feelings when it was offered, and then a decision not to try. In it's place arouse anger and resentment. Even a brief smile and return touch can keep the interest alive. Good post.

Julie_Sanders said...

"Ducking a touch" is a great way to put it! Strange how we sometimes avoid the very thing that would bring so much joy. Blessings back to you, friend!

Julie Sanders

Julie_Sanders said...

This is so true, Warren. It's something most couples have in common when they come in for help. The decision not to be tender can send us further down a wrong path, but the decision to be tender can help to rebuild those bridges. Appreciate your insights!

Julie Sanders

Julie_Sanders said...

Oh that's so encouraging Lisa! And I pray you'll enjoy the sweet fruit today of showering your beloved with tenderness. :) I am sure you will. Blessings on your oneness!

Julie Sanders

Lisa said...

I want my husband to be tender with me, but only when it's convenient for me. I too, have pulled away from his attempts to be tender when I have been busy. I want to respond in a tender way to him. Thanks for this reminder.

Julie_Sanders said...

Isn't it strange/sad/weird that convenience even creeps into our acts of love for each other? I need to ask the Holy Spirit to "tap me on the shoulder" whenever I yield to convenience over tenderness. Needed the reminder with you. :)

Julie Sanders

Kristi Stephens said...

Always appreciate your Marriage Mondays encouragement, Julie.

And I don't think you're creepy at all. ;)

Julie_Sanders said...

I think that's because you're "creepy" like me! :)

Julie Sanders