Greet Him With A “Sloppy-Wet-Holy-Kiss”

Greet one another with a holy kiss.  2 Corinthians 13:12

My boys wake up at dark-thirty.  I come by early risers honestly, you know, and every morning (like clockwork) I can anticipate the pitter-pat of little feet making their way down the steps to greet me.  Little boys eager to give me their first ounces of energy in a big, around-the-neck hug.  Some mornings they still let me pull them to my lap and sit with me long enough kiss on their cheeks and ask them how they slept.  I  know these days are  numbered.  My ten-year-old in almost as big as me.

The same is true for the first greeting after school.  My boys slap their backpacks in the passenger-side seat and climb in the back, buckling in boosters with their hearts packed full of words and stories to share about their day.  We take turns the entire drive home, swapping tales of math tests, grammar lessons and touchdowns scored at recess.

My initial greeting is so important.  It speaks volumes of  “I’ve missed you.  You are important to me.  I want to know about your day.”  A greeting communicates,  “I’ve been thinking of you.  I want to know you better.  I couldn’t wait to see you again.”

Greet {aspazomai} – verb.  To draw to one’s self.  to salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to (b) to receive joyfully

But greetings of these kinds are super easy, effortless really, with my children.

But what about my spouse?

Why is it that some mornings I sit right here, tap-tapping away at this keypad, and don’t even raise my eyes to the man who swept me off of my feet all those years ago?

Why is it that when his gray car pulls up in the driveway, I don’t run out to greet him – anxious to give him a big, around-the-neck hug and ask him the details of his day?

No, most days I can’t wait for him to get home so I don’t have to (and I quote myself here) “be the point person anymore.”

I long for daddy to be home so I can refer the children to someone else and cook our dinner in peace.  In a kitchen cleared of hungry boys digging in the macaroni pot.

Be joyful.  Grow to maturity.  Encourage each other.  Live in harmony and peace.  Greet each other with Christian love.  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  2 Corinthians 13:11-14 NLT

My morning greeting to my husband has the power to set a tone for our entire day.   A post-workday greeting has the power to set the tone for our family dinner.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to encourage one another.  This is both verbal and non-verbal.  To greet {aspazomai} is a way to draw our loved ones close and bid them welcome!  Live in harmony.  Wish them well.  And receive them JOYFULLY when they walk into the room.

These words aren’t just final greetings in Paul’s epistle.  These are instructions for a happy home…  Encouragement for a happy marriage…  And an exhortation to protect our relationships from unraveling at the seams.

The enemy is very subtle.  A marriage usually doesn’t explode one day and end in divorce. No.  A divorce is usually a by-product of a chipping-away for years.  An accumulation of lame greetings, slated words and non-verbal dissatisfaction.  Years and years of deterioration.

Greet one another with a sloppy-wet-holy-kiss today.  Wait for your spouse at the door.  Give him a big, around-the-neck hug and look him in the eyes.  Tell that man of yours that you love him, you want to hear about the details of his day and that he is more  than just “relief from the kids.”

Lord Jesus, protect my marriage today.  Let me take initiative to love and greet my spouse with a “holy kiss.”  In Jesus Name, Amen.

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”  Martin Luther

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