I don’t know who initiated it, but on the third pass the guy in the middle was holding hands with the girl on his left while his support–buddy, on his right, was left out in the cold. It probably started innocently enough with the fingers and hands kind of bumping at first. Then one decides to slip their hand around the other where the inside of their hands graze and eventually are clasped. Oh, the excitement as the pleasure sensors flare–up.
It’s young love—puppy love—they call it. We all go through it—a rite of passage. But with this couple, by the fourth pass, they were no longer holding hands. Don’t think they already broke up—they were still walking and talking together. Perhaps, there were too many Christian school teachers lurking in the hallway who frown on this PC (“personal contact”). You could see in her eyes and face that she likes this boy. While he took the trash out, from the conference eating area, she was texting a friend. Maybe it was “HE HELD MY HAND!’ Upon his return he must have said something that was interesting or wasn’t interesting at all. Yet, she looked up to him and gave him a broad and wide smile.
This took place on the church/school grounds at a conference (Biblical Counseling) while I was manning a table displaying my ministry—“The Nathanael Project.” During sessions the hallway is virtually empty except for a few stragglers. These teens were walking during lunch break when the traffic was brisk and the hallway almost filled.
I wish I could see in the future to know if this day will be one they will remember for a lifetime. They’ve got a bunch of years to work on this relationship and, hopefully, remain pure.
Although I held hands with several gals before my wife of 41 years entered the picture (not a lot, just several), I’m glad that all the relationship remained pure. Kind of neat to have two virgins marrying—an anomaly today.
I asked Vonnie if she could remember the first time I held her hand. She could not, neither could I. We officially started dating in May when I gave to her my highschool ring. A year-and-a-half later, in August, I asked her to marry me. We got married the following May. It was a week after I received my BS degree that she got her MRS. And we’ve been holding hands ever since.
It wasn’t always easy. Marriage is a challenge almost from the get-go. The newness wears off when personal preferences clash and “the way it’s always done” is challenged. A give-and-take approach is needed. Grace sprinkled into the relationship allows the love to grow. Commitment needs to be firm and nonnegotiable. And it is a key ingredient which made our society so solid in years past. Not the case anymore. Marriages are considered expendable no matter how the children are affected. “Till death do us part” has been replaced, for all intents and purposes, until we can no longer get along or someone else comes along. Single parent homes continue to rise with 72–percent of African American children being born out of wedlock. And we wonder why our society is unraveling—broken from its moors.
We need to get back to holding hands. We need to get back to that marital commitment for the sake of our children, our own personal well–being, society in general and, more importantly, because we made that vow before God.
So, the next time you’re out walking to the store, the restaurant or wherever you and your spouse are going, reach over and bump the fingers at first, graze the inside of the palms, and then grab onto that hand just like you were back in high school. Watch and see if it doesn’t fire up some old emotions.
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