Rachel recently ordered some choker necklaces. Why, you might ask? Because I absolutely love that look. It reminds me of my punk rock days, where all the emo girls would wear chokers with their heavy eye makeup and blue or black nail polish.

<swoon>

Don’t laugh, it was a long season of my life. It encapsulated passion, emotion, energy, angst, and a bit of rage and helped me through the years when I felt like I was coming out of my skin. Anyway. Rachel (and probably every girl out there) looks so good in choker necklaces. And so when she decided to put one on for the first time in YEARS – just around the house – I was spellbound. I was like, whoa, HELLO there. I was taken. It’s like I saw her for the first time all over again. And so I complimented her on how amazing she looked. And for the rest of the day as I was doing stuff at home, I kid you not, I would see her and just automatically stop what I was doing to gaze at her, to admire her, to take in her beauty. And I kept complimenting her, going up to her, wanting to hold her, wanting to kiss her neck…as I’m writing this I’m like, geez Sameer what came over you? I don’t really know. But I was like a little puppy dog, completely twitterpated. I just wanted to be close to her.

For the rest of the day as I was doing stuff at home, I kid you not, I would see her and just automatically stop what I was doing to gaze at her, to admire her, to take in her beauty.

But you know what was even more cool?

Rachel responded.

Here’s how I can describe what happened the rest of the day in the most tasteful terms: she was all over me.

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

She adored being adored, and it ignited something inside of her. And as a result, she just wanted to be close to me.

And it was like the beginning of our relationship all over again.

While reflecting on of all of this, I was reminded of a quote by C. S. Lewis. He wrote, “The beauty of the female is the root of joy to the female as well as to the male…to desire the enjoying of her own beauty is the obedience of Eve, and to both it is in the lover that the beloved tastes of her own delightfulness.”

Wow.

There is something powerful about the beauty of a woman. When I notice and enjoy Rachel’s beauty, not only is it a source of supreme joy to me, but that noticing and enjoyment is also a source of supreme joy for her. She is meant to be beautiful, to radiate beauty to others, to be delighted in. And this is true of all women. All women have a beauty to unveil, as John Eldredge puts it. And we’re not just talking about physical beauty, although that is part of it.

When I notice and enjoy Rachel’s beauty, not only is it a source of supreme joy to me, but that noticing and enjoyment is also a source of supreme joy for her. She is meant to be beautiful, to radiate beauty to others, to be delighted in.

In a romantic relationship, our words and actions can draw out our partner’s beauty. And they should; otherwise, we’re doing it wrong. This is how we love them well. This is how we rise up and be the lover we’re supposed to be, the lover we want to be. Yes, it takes effort when you’re exhausted, and patience when you’re cranky, and kindness when you’ve had a rough day. And yes, it takes intentionality when you’re slammed with a million other things to do, and focus when your kids (or the news cycle, or social media) keep screaming at you.

But it’s there for the unveiling. It’s up to us to encourage it.

Doing so will add to the depths of your love for each other in transformative ways.

It shouldn’t take a choker necklace for me to notice Rachel. I mean, really notice her. That is to my shame. But what happened afterward has helped me to remember how much I want her to feel loved. To be adored. That’s what I promised her. That’s what she deserves. And that’s what makes her come alive.

Me loving her.

Me noticing her.

Me pursuing her.

It’s not rocket science. And it’s not a secret. It’s actually quite natural if I would just take the time to look at her. I mean, really look at her.

And see how beautiful she really is.

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