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 than you might expect. The apostle Paul took time to encourage his readers to greet one another warmly when they met. In fact, near the end of his letter to the Romans, he asked fellow believers to greet twenty-seven of his friends and loved ones for him. He even took time to list each one by name.
It’s not just about your friends, however. Jesus noted in His Sermon on the Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people they like. That’s easy for anyone to do. But He took it a step further and said that being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindness.
This raises an interesting question. How do you greet your friends, coworkers, and neighbors? How about acquaintances and those you meet in public?
You may even encounter someone you don’t necessarily like yet still acknowledge them out of courtesy. So if you’re this nice and polite to other people, doesn’t your spouse deserve the same? Times ten?
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.
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.
Think of a specific way you’d like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.
For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love. (Philemon 7)