Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Public Display of Non-Affection

When I was dating, my mother cautioned me about expressing too much affection. My high school was just small enough that when couples were too clingy, teachers would move them apart. The conservative college I attended did not permit any PDA (public display of affection) whatsoever. For married couples, they don't need the P venue because they have a home in which to DA.

Why then do I see so much of the opposite now? So little affection between married couples (the only ones who should be expressing it). I've recently noticed some women not only refrain from PDA with their spouses, they engage in Public Display of Nagging or verbal teasing designed to cajole or embarrass their spouses into doing what the wife wants. At best, it's uncomfortable for the hearer. At worst, it's whining, grumbling, complaining, criticism.

Get a clue, sisters. It doesn't work. Call a rose (or a stink bomb) by any other name, these actions are thinly disguised manipulation to get your own way, in your own time. If you do manage to get him to do whatever "it" is, you've paid a high price, usually in an emotional or relational rift.

How often do I do that with God? Instead of coming into his presence with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise, I come cajoling, begging, whining and complaining about my life, my relationships, His lack of provision.

I blush to think.

When real needs go unmet, we must present this to God, yes, and seek His comfort and consolation. But sometimes, when we are focusing so hard on what we don't have, we lose complete perspective on all the multitude of needs that are met daily and all the additional blessings that we didn't need or deserve that have been piled upon us.

Lord, help me remember my blessings today. Let me count them one-by-one. Let me guard that closest and most intimate relationship with my spouse as the treasure You have designed it to be. And let me be thankful for all the ways he loves me:
  • the clean laundry he washes, folds and puts away in our closet
  • by getting up early and taking the bus to work so I have the car to use
  • walks my dog 2 out of 3 times every day and 3 out of 3 some days
  • being willing to eat takeout on too many days when my energy isn't what it should be
  • reminding me of what is on the calendar when I forgot to check
  • patience while I finish what I'm doing before I help him
  • his sense of humour, crazy as it is, that lightens every day
  • looks me in the eyes
  • holds me in the night
  • steady, quiet love - even if he never engages in PDA 
  • his steadfast commitment to a permanent union till one of us lays the other in the arms of Jesus.

Amen and amen.

Cartoon from The Bunny System

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