You’ve probably heard the expression “unsavoury relationship.” I read a while back a testimony of a young woman who admitted to being involved in some unsavoury relationships before committing her life to Jesus, inviting Him to define healthy dating.
So we have unsavoury relationship as an expression… Why don’t we say savoury relationship just as often?
As an adjective, savoury is defined as “morally wholesome or acceptable,” as in a person receiving a savoury recommendation. Admittedly, I don’t hear or use the word that way very often. Savoury is more commonly defined as something that is pleasing to the senses, as in being enticed by a savoury meal. As a husband, I’d like to ask not only “What am I doing to prevent Monica from thinking she’s in an unsavoury relationship?” but also “What am I doing to convince Monica that she is in fact in a savoury relationship?”
We are delighted to come into the home of someone preparing a delicious meal. We breathe in the aroma, our mouths water, we hang around the kitchen begging to help set the table or something. How are Monica’s senses triggered when I come home after a day at the office? Does a smile come to her face while her shoulders relax? Does she put down for a moment what she’s doing to say ‘hi?’ Or, does she frown and tense up? Does she remain focused on what she’s doing in the hopes that interaction with me will be kept to a minimum? If you’re married, how does your spouse respond when you come through the door? (Are you sure of your answer?)
I pray that with God’s help, I do things that enable Monica to say that she’s in a savoury relationship – a relationship she can savour, that she in general enjoys and delights in. So I can ask myself questions like, “What am I doing that affirms Monica and shows that I know her and appreciate her? How can I do (and be) those sorts of things more?”
Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and speaker at an upcoming retreat in the Bulkley Valley, asks a more pointed, even startling question:
Does [my wife] feel like she’s married to Jesus?
…I am told over and over in Scripture that my duty as a Christian is to become more and more like Jesus Christ. Over time, my wife should start to feel like there’s at least a family resemblance. (p. 64)
Resembling Jesus in one’s marriage… That sounds savoury to me.