O - Observe
V - Validate
E - Empathize
Today we're at the end, the last letter U for Unbend.
In one of my favourite novels, Handling Sin by Michael Malone, a rather rigid and formal character is told, "Get the rod out of your a**, man!"
Many of us go through life so very conscious of our own dignity. It's not really, pride, though that does play a role...it's the sensitivity and consciousness of what others may think of us.
We're always on stage, and the world is our audience.
So we dial back our responsiveness, and pretty much take spontaneity out of the picture.
We may have learned it from our parents..."What will people think!"
Or learned a twisted message from church..."Jesus is watching you!, so behave!"
Youthfulness can carry the ball of spontaneity pretty far, but by the time most of us start families...we start to become what we think our parents are.
Not much dancing in the moonlight, there.
What it takes away, specifically, from marriage is the magic and fun of courtship. The silly, goofy things we did when we were not yet committed, or in the early years of our marriage, are left behind, flowers unwatered left to wither and die.
But the seeds are still there.
You can water them, and awaken the fun, the joy...yes, the childish joy...that is even now trying to kick down the walls of the cage in which it's trapped.
That imprisoned joy is shouting at you - Jesus said that you can only get to Heaven if you're like a kid! Be like one!
It's hard. It takes intentionality, and the putting aside of the feeling that people are watching, and judging.
Most aren't. Most people are full of their own cares. Some will look up, and smile - you might make their day.
And the busybodies who'll say, "Tsk, tsk!" ?
Who cares what they think.
So dance with your husband or wife in the park, or on a wide sidewalk.
Skip, arm in arm.
Kiss passionately in WalMart.
Sing a love song in public.
As for the last...to demonstrate that I do practice what I preach...in 2004 I was on a business trip to Washington DC, and having some free time, I visited the Air and Space Museum, which had an Apollo Lunar Module on display.
Light bulb...I called Barbara on my cell, and started singing - loudly - Fly Me To The Moon.
Did I draw attention? Yes, I did. I had an audience buy the time I finished. They clapped (though maybe because I did finish).
Did security escort me out? No...they asked if I might come back the next day.
And I did.
How do you think you and your husband or wife could unbend, and be "as children in public?
If you have a moment, please visit me at my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace".
This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!