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Friday, June 20, 2014

Be the We

When was the last time you went for a walk around your neighborhood with your mate?

When was the last time you saw another couple out walking?

With so many demands on our time, from childrens' activities to Facebook to Downton Abbey, going for a walk has gone by the wayside for most people.

It's a pity, because shoe leather on pavement is one of the best ways to get a real sense for where you live, and walking hand in hand is one of the best ways to reconnect with the person to whom you're married.

Together, it's a dynamite combination.

We were designed to be social, and to have a sense of community. Even if you were part of the "out-group" in high-school, you probably did have a sense of identification with a group.

When you married, you probably didn't approach it as an arrangement of convenience, with an exchange of cooking, and cleaning services for mutual security, and the obligation of procreation.

You did it to create, first and foremost, a community of two.

And when you looked for a place to live, you probably stood on the front lawn or the sidewalk (or, in New Mexico, among the tumbleweeds), and tried to get a sense of place, of what the neighborhood was like.

And I'll bet that was the most attention you've paid to the neighborhood since.

We make friends in church, at work, and through meeting the parents of our kids' friends. They live in other places, and we have cars. We can scoot down our home streets to our new community elsewhere.

We have social media, a virtual community of people we may never meet...people that we know better than our next-door neighbors.Many of us would not recognize our neighbors if we met them at Wal-Mart.

Maybe it's time to turn around, and start back, hand-in-hand, toward making our neighborhood feel like home. To walk the sidewalks or grass verges or dirt paths on a summer evening, smelling dinner cooking, hearing snatches of conversation from a patio or porch.

Hand in hand, or arm in arm, to make our community of two a symbolic part of the larger community in which we live. Share knowledge of the people you know, or of their houses, or of their cars or pets. Build that feeling of familiarity, shared between the two of you.

And say hello to the people you may see. Call to them on their porches, walk a few steps up their driveway to greet them in their garage. Say, "Hi!, "We're the..."

This is who we are.

We are part of the neighborhood. We are together, and a part of this living community.

Be the we.

Do you walk out in your neighborhood with your spouse?

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