"Do you know who is going to be most sad when Yaasha marries someday?"
When my mother asked this of my father, I sat up straighter in the back seat of the car and tried to pretend that I wasn't listening with all my might.
"Who?" Daddy asked. Yes, who? My mind echoed.
"Asher. Those two are always doing something together, and he seems to really enjoy the time she spends with him, and to listen when she talks to him."
A wiggle of pure delight danced in my chest. My brother Asher is almost 11 years my junior. So while I'm in my mid-20s, he's in his mid-teens. That age gap is often a huge hurdle for siblings. For my brother and I, it's just another reason to spend more time getting to know each other.
We can’t fool ourselves about the power of physical contact. Contact can begin innocently—hugging or holding hands—but it may not end there. Even something seemingly innocent, like tickling, can become passionate embracing in the blink of an eye or can create a situation in which the hands might touch somewhere that’s not appropriate. It can happen so easily, even with the best of intentions.
The Chemistry of Physical Contact
In fact, there are chemical reasons for why physical contact can start something that is difficult to stop.
When I was little, talking—not listening—was not my specialty, and I often got myself into trouble.
I am not unique. We live in a world of talkers. Every conference, radio station, and social media site confirms the prevalence of talking. We all want to affirm our importance.
When I was training to work at a crisis pregnancy center, I learned that our importance as client advocates lay in doing the exact opposite of the rest of the world. We were trained to listen.
He must know and love Christ.
This is the most essential criterion for a husband. There is nothing unclear about God’s will here.
God’s will is clear: Believers must marry only other believers.
When my aunt died unexpectedly, family and friends spoke at her funeral service of the little ways in which her kindness had impacted them, and one of the stories that most stirred me was someone’s recollection of my aunt’s faithfulness in sending cards.
She didn’t wait for a particular occasion to make someone feel special. People in her community and amongst her loved ones all recognized the hand-painted watercolor cards, with the usual chatty note inside.
“I was thinking of you the other day, and thought I would send you a note. How are you? What is going on in your life?”
My aunt’s cards are now treasures in my family, memorials to the woman who spread such light and encouragement to those around her.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.