Monday, January 2, 2012

Marriage Mondays: Real Life CHALLENGE

I'm feeling a little slow blogging into a new year. I feel like I need to do some warm up exercises to get started. For a while, my mind has been chewing on the portion of "Life Online" blended with "Life Offline" and all of the changes and challenges that have come with it. Unlike most questions in life, we can't go to older people to ask how they navigated this in their lives, because it wasn't part of their lives. People just started actively using email in the 1990s, and online communication has gone viral from there. In the process, it's been easy to let real life slip through our fingers.

I want to spend January talking about everyday wisdom from God's Word about Life OFF Line - Rediscovering What's Real. For each topic, I'll give ideas for how to rediscover real life, and I  hope you'll take the challenge to rediscover real life with me.

When it comes to marriage, electronic communication has changed the game for all of us. We may find ourselves encouraged, helped, and even mentored by online resources and articles (Marriage Monday? I hope so.), gaining accountability and finding support. Those separated by work or deployment are grateful to chat or Skype. We've discovered the temptation to compare our reality to online portrayals of other couples, and easy access to images has made the pornography trap more private and accessible than ever. Visual stimulation has changed the expectations of newly married couples when they get "skin to skin." Social media like Facebook has made us consider who we "friend" and what we say. Some couples have found themselves spending their "talk time" or "in bed together time" on blog reading (or writing) or ... playing Angry Birds.

Electronic pieces of life can bring a husband and wife closer or push them apart. Life ON Line has changed marriage.

While there's good potential and hidden problems, and there's both, digital touch is no substitute for the real. If our touch and connection wane or become mostly technical, it's incomplete. Real touch reduces our stress, affirms and comforts, and expresses love. Psalm 37 gives us a picture of how secure we are in God's love, since He "is the One who holds hand."  Secure love touches. We still need to: 
  • hold hands
  • embrace
  • caress a face
  • run fingers through hair
  • lay a hand on a leg
  • be in bed together (awake AND asleep ;) )
Instead of becoming a barrier to oneness, the virtual can lay tracks to real romance.
  • email "I love you" or another message
  • make your profile pic an affirmation of your oneness
  • honor your spouse in the "friends" you accept
  • make your online life open to each other
  • text "thinking of you"
  • leave a voice mail, just so your spouse hears your voice
Ultimately, romance comes together in real life.
In the Song of Solomon, verbs are used to describe history's hottest romance:  brought, joined, embrace ... Real touch. Real romance, because the question is asked, "Why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?" (SS 1:7Modern translation:  Why should we veil ourselves by letting romance be driven by technology? Let it lay the tracks to real romance.

Today's Life Off Line Challenge: 
  • Ask God to show you how ON line influences are adding to or taking away from your real marital relationship.
  • Reread the list of touching, making a mental note of your habits. Touch your man today, and he'll get the message that you love him.

*Marriage Mondays will continue this year, but I won't be using a Linky list. Watch for occasional guest posts and links to other resources.

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Mary@The Calm of His Presence said...

Happy New Year Julie! Thank you for this timely reminder to slow down, get off the computer and spend face t0 face time with my husband :).

Pamela Seay said...

Good ideas Julie!

Delia said...

Great, because Marriage Mondays is still one of my favorites :)

Sharon Brobst said...

Love this! Thank you!