By: Erin Kisley
I won’t lie; I am a sucker for sentiment. I’m not quite ready for my debut on “Hoarders,” but I have saved and pressed a flower from every bouquet Joe has ever given to me along with every card — even the generic Christmas card from my car mechanic — for several years. So, last night as I packed the contents of my room in preparation for my move into our new apartment, I made an impulsive — albeit painful — decision to dispose of the majority of my cards, but not before rereading every last one.
Gazing through the cards and keepsakes, I was reminded of the inside jokes, nicknames and friendships I amassed over the years. The messages that filled these cards ranged from humor to encouragement to comfort. But all had one characteristic in common: They were from one person to another. They weren’t written on my Facebook wall or tagged in a post; they were delicate and intimate and meant only for my eyes.
That said, as I peruse my Facebook newsfeed, I can’t help put cringe and recoil at posts — especially those of married couples. Marriage is sacramental self-gift; a guarded relationship, not a competition or tell-all bestseller.
So, how can we reclaim marital intimacy? Where do we start?
#1 Re-posting your wedding photos every anniversary
I’m sure it’s a good feeling to have 42 likes and 12 comments wishing you a happy two year anniversary and telling you how beautiful you looked. I’m not married (yet!), but shouldn’t this be a celebration between two people… not 783?
#2 Posting too many photos of your spouse
Weekend trips and Saturday morning breakfasts should be quiet, relaxing moments. Why would you interrupt them to snap a selfie and post it? We might joke that, “If it isn’t on Facebook, it didn’t happen.” But, it’s a slippery slide, my friends!
#3 Deciding on date night and weekend plans via wall post
Not only is this a security concern (i.e. you’re just asking to get robbed), but if you’re going to use Facebook to communicate (not advised), please — for your own sake — take advantage of the message function.
#4 Gushing about your spouse in a post
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you’re proud of your spouse, and that they are a great cook and do so many sweet things for you, but maybe this is something you should tell them in person — rather than make a group announcement. We know you love each other. You should. You’re married.
I’m not claiming expert status, but I am (praise God) well-formed enough to recognize these subtle (but toxic) attacks on the intimacy of marriage and family.
As Catholics we are called to use social media to catechize and evangelize. Our thoughts, words and actions (posts included) should point others to Christ and invite them into an intimate life with Him… not our spouses, anniversaries and breakfast casseroles.
This is the fourteenth installment of Erin’s weekly Wednesday series on marriage preparation and its inherent struggles. An engaged woman at the humble age of 26, Erin hopes her experience will encourage and teach. Her final posts will culminate in the event that marks the purpose of it all—taking her wedding vows and tying the knot on June 27, 2014.