Whenever I’m at the gas pump, I think of my wife. She’s not part of a “big oil” family from Texas. We don’t have a particularly funny or memorable story that happened at a gas station. We didn’t have a fight about running out of gas that is burned into my mind. In fact, there’s nothing that really connects us as a couple to the gas pump.
So why do I think about her? I think of my wife because I normally pay for my gas with a Wal-Mart gift card, and the gift card has a picture of two wedding rings on it. The wedding ring gift cards are normally given as a wedding present. There are plenty of other images available on the gift cards (even gift cards with a little gas pump on them). But I chose the card with the wedding rings. It was an intentional choice to give me a “touch point” for thinking about my wife.
Do you have touch points through your day—daily reminders that keep you connected to your spouse? Touch points are physical objects or little rituals you do that elicit a positive mental or emotional response within you to remind you of your mate when you are apart. They are not meant to be elaborate, or to be huge, time-consuming practices. In fact, most people around you won’t even recognize that anything has just happened. Touch points are simple “quick hit” moments throughout the day to keep your mate securely in your heart and mind. They can be things you do daily, weekly, or even on an irregular schedule. Touch points become a way to build intimacy, connection, and desire for your mate. They are a way of helping you to focus on the blessings and the good things in your relationship. Touch points help you to love and feel loved.
Because every individual has his/her own habits, and every couple has their own history, touch points will be different for every couple. Things a person might do could include anything, like
- spinning your wedding band on your finger a couple of times during the day while thinking about your love
- blowing a kiss to a picture of your mate that you keep on your desk at work
- turning up a particular song on the radio that means something to you as a couple
- pausing at a specific time each day to send a quick text to let your spouse know you’re thinking of him/her
- letting a taste or smell connect you to some good shared memory
- keeping some small item in your pocket or purse that you’ll notice throughout the day to remind you of your spouse
- making a point to say something positive about your spouse to someone else at least once a day
The possibilities for what you can do to create unique touch points are endless.
As you think about touch points in your day, the key is intentionality. Even if your touch points are things you’d normally do anyway (like fill up a car with gas), you can infuse greater meaning into those things with just a little effort. But remember, because we are creatures of habit, it can become easy to lose your touch points to routine. Your wedding ring can become just another piece of jewelry. The same picture can sit on your desk in the same place until you no longer notice it. Buying gas can become just buying gas, and nothing more. It takes conscientious effort to stay connected when you are apart, and having regular touch points throughout your day is a great way to do just that.
And, if a co-worker or a friend sees you grin for no apparent reason as you experience a touch point, you can thank God for blessing you with a lover who makes you smile. (As you think about your own touch points, please respond in the comments and share the special things you do to stay connected to your mate while you're apart.)
As the "wedding season" gets into full swing, now is a good time to assess what your church is doing to facilitate healthy, Christ-centered marriages. The Marriage-Friendly Church is available now and gives you the questions every church needs to be asking. Available at 21st Century Christian or on Amazon.com