Day one of what I foresee as a powerful week is coming to a close and my mouth is craving some bacon and eggs. I felt a little saliva being produced as I typed that. [Our church is doing a corporate week of prayer & fasting]. But this is about more than denying my self my favorite foods; I also decided to deny myself the social medias I am addicted to: Facebook, Instagram, and I threw Twitter in there because why not. We also decided to skip watching any movies this week - our late night movies to wind down will be replaced with reading and praying. I share these things because I am excited. I am hopeful. I am refreshed. I want to invite you to do this same thing: deny yourself something that you are addicted to; spend that time praying and reading your Bible and seeking the heart of Jesus. Jesus is enough...He satisfies.
Today I spent a lot of time praying over our marriage, looking back, looking ahead, and asking questions. It's our day off so we ventured into the beautiful hills of Corvallis and hiked through the Lewisburg Saddle. Holding hands, we prayed, we chatted, we walked in silence. AND I LOVED IT. We spent some time sharing a few different ways we could serve one another, better than we have been. And for this, I am thankful. We each hold this unique position that no one else in the world has the privilege of: being one another's spouse. We get to know the other more than any other human, we get to serve the other in unique and powerful ways, we get to build up and cherish one another more than any other human being that walks this earth. Today I needed that reminder, and that is what I was given.
The THING that is shouting most into my heart is the need to keep our marriage sacred. In order to do this, we must set down our screens. Our phones, our computers, our TV. When we look into the screen, we lose sight of the very real presence that exists around us. We forget real life. When we exit the screen, our brains are still so caught up in whatever was on the screen and we don't know what to talk about. We allow our brains to go into a world that isn't one another, isn't right here and right now, and our hearts grow numb. Our hearts callous. This is no new thing. This is something I've known, but am feeling urgency to address.
It is also ironic that this very thing you're reading is promoting the thing I am fighting to be addicted to: SCREEN TIME.
When driving, walking, sitting together, I want to choose conversation. I want to keep marriage sacred. Existing soul to soul. Denying the temptation to forsake one another, by picking up a screen. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek talks a lot about the current generation and how we are dopamine-driven -- that we are addicted to the dopamine hormone hits we receive from the world of Facebook. The moment dullness sets into our present reality, we go to the dopamine-driven world of social media. We forsake the present, the people, the lives before us. Even our spouses. Even my spouse. I forsake my marriage and the importance of Loren when I continuously pick up my phone instead of exist with him. With these actions, I am saying, "Sorry, you're not enough, Facebook is."
EMBARRASSING, YEAH? But raw honest truth.
When I think of keeping my marriage sacred, I think of a couple I very much cherish - Kent and Diana. They have an added room to their home; the conservatory. It has windows surrounding its entirety and a glass ceiling. Light comes in from all angles. It's my favorite place. Ever. It's no wonder they spend time in that precious space holding hands, sipping tea, praying, enjoying breakfast. They do not have screens glued to their very hands. They sit together and remain fully present. The other day I asked Diana what they spend their time talking about. She laughed and exclaimed, "Oh Golly! Well...everything!" Because they are not driven by the dopamine hits of social media or sending emails or texting this one person this piece of information that their life depends on, they are driven by conversation with one another. They knit their hearts so closely together, stitch by stitch, word by word. Sharing life.
Do I think we need to build a conservatory off of our apartment? Yes. But do I believe that is the answer to stitching two souls closer? No. I am convinced it is because they remain fully present; their hearts towards Christ. They cultivate a deeper friendship than many I've witnessed. I desire this deep friendship, this sacred marriage. I crave to keep my marriage protected, pointed towards Jesus, centered around Him.
In order to do that, I must rid myself of this addiction to the screen.
How do you keep your marriage sacred? Do you find it embarrassing to admit that you are addicted to the screen?