“I Want to Hold your Hand”

Will and Cindy

Will and Cindy Goff

Our Song

The year was 1963, “Beatlemania” was all the rage in pop culture. (Not unlike what we are observing today with Taylor Swift’s following of Swifties!) Will and I were in high school as the Beatles stormed America. It was predictable that many of the Beatles songs would be played at the “sock hops” that followed many of the football or basketball games at our high schools.

Our Story

Fast forward a few years, Will was 17 and I was 16 when we first met at a mutual friend’s home. There were four of us playing pool and ping pong that day. My girlfriend and I were enjoying our time with our friends and I just couldn’t shake the interest I felt about the new guy, Willy. I wondered how I would meet Willy again since we attended rival high schools! In those days, girls would never initiate interactions with boys; “Ladies just didn’t do that”! Luckily, a Sadie Hawkins dance was approaching. These “turn-about” dances gave girls the approval to call boys and ask them out. This was my opportunity! My hands trembled when I called Willy, but he accepted my invitation. Oh, happy day!!

Remembering

Can you remember the first time you held your spouse’s hand: sweaty palms, heart racing, lightheadedness overtook your body? The Beatles lyrics to the song are as follows: “Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something, I think you’ll understand. I wanna hold your hand. Oh please say to me, you’ll let me be your man, and please say to me, I wanna hold your hand”. The song Continues…… “and when I touch you I feel happy inside, it’s such a feeling that my love I can’t hide, can’t hide, can’t hide”…… Well, it’s been over 50 years since that first encounter, but we still recall that strange and wonderful feeling of love.

Scientific Proof

The reality of that encounter was that we were experiencing a physiological phenomenon! In fact, it wasn’t our hearts that were being stirred as all the Hallmark cards would lead you to believe; it was our brains! Imagine all those beautiful red cards having a photo of the brain instead of a heart on them…….not quite as appealing! But it is true. God designed us, and our “love” relationships have 3 biological stages: lust, attraction and attachment. Each of these phases involve biological pathways. Lust (testosterone and estrogen) leads to attraction. Attraction (dopamine and norepinephrine) lead to attachment. And attachment is when oxytocin and vasopressin are released. The attachment stage typically leads to bonding/marriage. This bonding is meant to increase over time with increasing intimacy.

God’s Design

You may be wondering why a little biology lesson was included. God made us spiritual beings in a physical body! Often when we think of “falling in love” we are walking hand in hand by the Seine River in France or hiking through the woods or dining at a wonderful sushi restaurant. Those are wonderful images, but they will not sustain a marriage. We must have more to our marriage than the emotional and physical! As we pass through the years of marriage, we realize that the bonds of matrimony are not meant to be broken. They are meant to be strengthened. When things got tough in our marriage, we unfortunately let go of each other’s hand. We divorced.

For three years we struggled to discern why we let go of the other’s hand. Then God reached out His hand and eventually placed our hands together again but with His hand covering ours. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand:” Isaiah 41:10. We realized that our marriage had been based on performance, rather than trusting that God would provide all that was required to enrich the relationship, regardless of circumstances: He taught us to strengthen the grip of each other’s hand during challenging times and during times of celebration.

God was holding us in the palm of his hands! We continue the journey holding each other’s hands, praising God, knowing “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things”! Psalm 18:15 and that “He who began a good work is faithful to complete it”. Philippians 1:6.

Questions To Ponder

When did you first hold hands? Share the time you first met and what emotions you experienced. Are you still holding hands?

  1. How was God impacting your relationship from early romance to early marriage years?
  2. Share with each other what your awareness was about moving through the 3 stages of romance.
  3. Share with each other what your dreams are for your marriage in 10-20-30 years. How will you be intentional about holding onto God’s hand?

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