Thursday, February 24, 2011

Connecting Habits

When David I and first got engaged, he began to take my hand whenever we prayed. Whether we were in a corporate, small group, or private setting, every time prayer started, he would reach out and take my hand. It became a habit, not even a habit, but more of an expectation, something that we enjoyed. It connected us- physically and spiritually. Then a day came when if he was distracted and didn't reach for my hand, I reached for his- I had joined the habit.
I can't think of a time when we haven't held hands for prayer, if there was any way to be near each other at that time. Rarely, we'll pray over a meal at a large holiday gathering and we'll be on opposite sides of the room and just can't get to each other; in that case, we make eye contact before we bow our heads.
Now, this isn't a's a point of connection, a habit we developed rather unintentionally years ago. But, it's amazing. Why is it amazing?
Because in the good times and the bad, we connect.
Let's be honest marriage isn't easy. Two people falling in love and wanting to sacrifice a lot over the course of a lifetime, is a miracle in itself. There are going to be bumps along the way. Tough times, disagreements, frustrations, they will all happen. Having a 'connecting' habit is a great way to bring you back physically, emotionally, and spiritually to the good between you. It's a reminder that the bad isn't so bad and that 'this too shall pass.' There may be times, when these little connecting habits are all you've got or at least the best you've got in the communication department. I am not talking about when someone didn't do the dishes for the 100th time, even though it was their turn. I am talking about when there is a job change, a job loss, excessive work hours, disagreements over kids, money problems, addictions, extended family disputes, health crisis, mental instability, persistent schedule obstacles, and any number of other things a couple may face.
The simplistic beauty in this habit is that it's not entirely dependent on us. Even if we don't find (or prioritize) a time to pray together alone, we are going to be exposed to prayer- at church, in small groups, at meal time, at weddings, in lots of different places.
I wish we could say we planned it; this connecting habit is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to us...and we did it on accident!
And now, I am thrilled to say that the habit has spread to our kids. They love to try and reach out to grab our hand before we can even reach for theirs.

What habits do you have with a spouse, child, or other family member that connect you no matter what's going on in life?
What connecting habit would you like to start now?


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