"Where There are Friends, There is Wealth"
- Plautas (3rd century)
Today's post comes from Mike Berry, my good friend, writer, and inspiration to so many families. I have personally used his practical parenting tips in my life. Check out his blog: Confessions of a Parent, and his most recent offering: The Adoptive Parent Toolbox
Last week I was meeting with a young couple who are getting married this fall. As we talked about their wedding, and the type of ceremony they would like to have, we also spent some time talking about married life and some lessons I've learned over 14 years of marriage.
At one point in the conversation I bluntly said to both of them- "Don't have a TV in your bedroom in your new house after you get married!" A bit puzzled, they hesitantly nodded. "Because," I continued, "a married couple's bedroom is sacred on so many levels!" They agreed.
It's a decision that my wife and I made long before we got married, when we were still in the "dreaming" and "gazing into one another's deep blue eyes" phase of our relationship. No TV in our bedroom. Along with that- no children barging in and taking up refuge as if our bedroom was their own.
Our reason? It's simple: we wanted our bedroom to be a sacred place for as long as we both shall live as husband and wife! That's our refuge, our place of rest, our place of intimacy. Bottom line: it's OUR place! No one else's. Our children, nor anyone else, are not entitled to be in there. It is not an extension of their room. You may think I sound a bit harsh but trust me, I've seen people who do allow this, and it's not healthy.
Back on the "No TV" point for a moment: Life is already full of plenty of things that come in between a married couple's relationship, without adding the one thing that distracts us the most in the most sacred room of our house. Keep your TV in the living room. Keep your laptop in your office. Keep your iPad out too (Ouch! That's personal for me because I love to keep up on sports or social media via my iPad!).
I'm not judging anyone if they do have electronics in their room. I'm just presenting the truth of what we've learned over the course of our marriage.
There are lots of reasons why I believe you should leave electronics and other distractions out of your bedroom, and why I believe your bedroom, as a married couple, is the most sacred room in your home. Here are 5 of them:
1. It's the place where intimate conversation happens.
Some of our deepest conversations as a married couple have happened in the confines of our bedroom. In the quiet hours of the evening, we've spent time talking about life, our children, our struggles, finances, our jobs, and our dreams. A TV or any other electronic device would have significantly prevented those moments from happening.
2. It's the one room where you find ultimate rest.
I love taking naps in our room. We do this almost every weekend. And, there's nothing like being gone for a period of time and coming home to sleep in your own bed. The physical rest you find there trumps nearly every other place in this world.
3. It's the primary place for physical intimacy.
Yes, it's true! You didn't think I would leave this one off of the list did you? :-) Notice I used the word "primary." You can use your imagination for anything beyond!
4. It's a shelter through the storms of life.
We have retreated to our bedroom when there have been tears, or anger, or torment over something we are dealing with in life or with one of our kids, or even with one another. It's an amazing shelter at times.
5. It's the place of maximum vulnerability.
It doesn't get any more vulnerable than brushing your teeth, flossing, changing your clothes, storing your underwear, or sleeping. Think about it. Most of you would say "heck no" if I asked you honestly if you would be okay if people saw where you slept, or saw you while you slept. You would also, logically, not want people to watch you brush your teeth or do anything else that you do in your bathroom or bedroom. These are private matters and they should stay that way. Outside of your room you cannot be as vulnerable and open as you can inside of your room. The beauty of your bedroom is that you can be real and vulnerable and unguarded. And, you can do this as a married couple.
My challenge to any married couple, especially those just beginning: keep your bedroom sacred! Treasure it and guard it from distractions, or kids, or even a TV. Keep it as the one special place that only you and your spouse share together!
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Joel is a husband, father, musician, and lover of life; especially life that is shared with the wealth of amazing friends and family he is blessed to have near.