Don’t get me wrong, sweet girl. You can still have passion and tenderness and intimacy, and I pray you do, but the rush of the first kiss isn’t the same with the second. Because you’ll know the contours of his face, and the feel of his lips against yours and the smell of his skin and it will be familiar and right but never new.
And we make a trade. Dropping the masks, being naked and unashamed.
He promises tenderness and love when she writhes in pain and the doctors search for an answer. When she is too weak to make herself pretty, her body ballooning like a dough set too long to rise. When she no longer feels sexy or desirable, he pulls her close and tells her she is all that and more. In sickness and in health.
She promises faithfulness when he comes home to tell her the job is gone. Contracts fell through. There is no money and the hall table is littered with shut off notices in the dead cold of winter. She stands by him when they pack their things, and move boxes and say goodbye to their home. For richer or for poorer.
They guard their hearts. They promise to never have that first kiss or heady flirtatious desire that comes from being seen as wholly perfect by an infatuated admirer.
They remember that to be without flaws or layers of years or knowing is the lesser.
And that to be seen as they are and loved, not just because of it, but in spite of it, is the glory and the grace of marriage. They promise to forsake all others.
And when they do these things, honey girl, they have a foundation to build on.
This is from the archives written last August.