Every marriage has little rituals. One of our rituals takes place every morning. Each day, I rise a few minutes before Jan to start the coffee and get set up in my writing chair. When Jan walks into the living room I stand and we hug. I usually kiss her on the neck and say something about my love for her and make a short declaration over our day. If for some reason Jan gets busy in another room, I go looking for her to collect what I call, “My morning hug”.
These small rituals of love program our lives and give us a sense of stability. Their expression is not limited to marriage. They are the essence of all healthy relationships. Any relationship that attempts to exist apart from these love rituals is in jeopardy.
There is a huge difference between rituals of love and rituals of law. Law says you have to do something or else. A ritual of love is an act of freedom. You don’t have to love - you get to love another person.
We are surrounded by ritual. The sun rises each day as a form of ritual. Seasons come and go in a God-ordained ritual. The rhythms of life follow a ritual of expression. We were created and placed in a world of ritual.
A healthy relational ritual provides a record of our willingness to love beyond self. When these rituals breakdown and cease to exist it is the evidence that something in the relationship has stumbled. That is the reason why we need some form of ritual in the expression of our love. It helps us see where and when we stopped expressing love. It also exposes the falsehood that says love can be something we experience without involvement and practiced commitment. Embrace the God-rituals in your life. Inside that embrace will be a person waiting to feel your touch of your loving commitment.