It is always good to be reminded of the courtesy and respect we owe to those nearest and dearest to us!
It all began in a cafe, like so many of the meaningful moments in my life. He and I were sitting together over a grande latte in the newly-opened coffee shop at the Green Hills Mall when my dear friend Susan walked in.
My face lit up as soon as I spotted her. She and I had only known each other for a short time, but we’d made an immediate connection the minute we met…Soul-sisters.
Our young family had recently moved to Nashville and I’d felt rather alone up until then. Being with her was like a breath of fresh air to me.
So I shot her my sunniest smile, “Hey, girlfriend! C’mon over!”
A big hug before both of us began bubbling over with all the latest news. I complimented her on her new dress. I told her how much I liked the way she was wearing her hair. I thanked her for the book she’d lent me and emphasized how glad I was to see her!
At some point, I noticed how subdued my husband had become. I waited until she’d left us, then asked him what was up. Something was clearly on his mind. I could tell that much.
He said it so softly, I barely heard him. “I wish you’d do that for me.”
“Okay, I don’t mean to be difficult… but do what??”
“Light up with a sweet smile. Speak kindly and say nice things.”
No further explanation was needed. I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. And he was right. I was all smiles for Susan. Saved my grumpies for him. Rarely bothered with the niceties anymore. Not particularly gracious or polite.
In all honesty? I didn’t offer too much of this kind of thing to my husband. He was supposed to love me “just the way I was”. No frills or syrup for him.
But how hurtful for him to see me put on my “sweet face” for everyone else—everyone except the man to whom I’d pledged my lifelong love. Here I was handing out the big smiles and warm compliments to my new friend….and dribbling out the tired frowns and whiny complaints to him. There’s something not quite right about that.
Now don’t feel badly if you’re cringing. I was cringing too. Somewhat sickened, really….Definitely convicted.
So, girlfriend, that’s what got me thinking…. If we’re putting on our brightest smiles for our sisters… If we’re saving our warmest words for our friends…. If we’re sharing our kindest thoughts with the girls….
Then we might want to consider how hard it must be for him to watch. Maybe he doesn’t mention it, but my guess is that he’d appreciate some of that warmth and kindness shown to him too.
So even if he’s around most every day, why not light up when he walks in the room? Tell him how handsome he’s looking today…. How glad you are to see him. A big hug and maybe a bit more. Put on your sweet face and say nice things.
Be like a breath of fresh air to him.
Be a kind wife.
– Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook