Monday, March 15, 2010

Marriage Mondays ~ ATMs & Romance

I wish that when we got married we were given one of those United Nations earpieces, so someone would translate the language of our spouse. Just sayin ;) ... especially in the area of intimacy. If you visit weekly on Marriage Mondays, you may've been wondering when I'd post about this topic ... today is the day. There is more to be said, but let's start here.

It's harder than ever for married couples to enjoy "Song of Solomon quality" of intimacy (read an excerpt here, but I'm NOT posting on my blog :) ), because our world is filled with land mines when it comes to romance. Just for starters, in a world full of ATM machines, PayPal, and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, we have lost the art of patience. Good romance takes much patience.

But more than anything sabotaging the sweetness of intimacy in marriage, our world is a greenhouse for PARANOIA, and many women don't even realize they've bought into it. Instead of a clear path to enjoy what God has created for His glory and our pleasure, we find ourselves navigating a field of obstacles and hazards, leaving us worried and weary instead of free and fulfilled.

- How many bottles of hand sanitizer do you own? We have become paranoid over cleanliness. I'm not saying there's no room for good sense here, but our preoccupation with germs has overflowed into the bedroom, leaving many gals worried and tense. I fear we are passing this on to our daughters who may take these expectations into their bedrooms.

- And how about spell check? Love it when I'm typing, but along with many other efficiency tools, this feature has trained us to expect and insist on accuracy in all things. We don't settle for mistakes, but romance is not an exact science. In fact, the road to great intimacy is one of discovery and learning and exseptants (That's "acceptance," but see ... you got the point ;)).

- Not only are we paranoid about cleanliness and accuracy, but we demand satisfaction, and if we don't get it, our ebay or Amazon review is going to hear about it with a lower rating or a feedback email. We've bought into the philosophy that each experience should end with our ultimate satisfaction.

- When a young driver whipped around me in traffic in a James Bond-like move a few weeks ago, I said out loud, "Where did that kid learn to drive?" (In a sanctified voice, of course...) Video games! Many people spend a lot of time playing video games (Atop nodding your head so hard if this describes your husband) , and it has given us a paranoia about speed. We have experienced what it is to drive like a maniac, and we like it. (Personally it makes me dizzy, but I think I'm the exeption here) We like it so much that we have gotten impatient with things that time time ... like romance and intimacy between a man and his wife. That's more like homemade cinnamon rolls; it just takes time. ;)

- And lest we forget, I have to include this one: reality tv. I don't know about you, but I'm probably never going to be asked to try out for "the Cougar," American Idol, or the Bachelorette. As people watch a version of life played out on tv, it may look like we've really missed out on something exciting or like we or our spouse are woefully inadequate in every way, compared to the sculpted, prompted, carefully lit screen version of a hot romance. I'd like to see "25 Years and Still Faithful" - I plan to qualify for that one. Magazines and talk shows have added to the smokescreen of ideas many couples expect comes with the title of "man and wife." On the whole reality tv has made us paranoid about the surge of adrenaline that is expected ed to come every time affection is expressed. True love, however, is not always like that. Confession: I don't kick up one of my feet EVERY time Jeff kisses me, but he hasn't even noticed.

Song of Solomon quality romance takes trust, so each partner feels safe.

God's quality of intimacy takes time, so partners know each other as a result of attentiveness. (Read that Song of Solomon passage link above - they really knew details!)

Divine quality of loving each other takes total freedom, so partners give each other the gift of approval in a way the rest of the world never can and never will.

Our Heavenly Father's kind of romance takes thanks, as marriage partners offer each other acceptance in their privacy and unity that is most beautiful and lasting.

Now I'm not saying we should do away with hand washing, keep our cash in mattresses, embrace misspelled words, keep dented packages, only play Wii cooking, and turn off The Amazing Race, but I want to encourage you that the romance God crafted is creative and totally fulfilling, designed with His perfect knowledge of a man and woman. Enjoy!

If you write a post you'd like to link today with Marriage Mondays, I would love for you to 1) click the MckLinky on the end, 2) link back, 3) please mention MM with a link in your post, and 4) then leave a comment. Feel free to copy the button.

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