“Why Community Is Important” Series Post #2
A few years ago, when I first began delving into the world of Christian marriage blogs, many of which dealt with sex, I was always moved by the degree to which various websites had a following. I actually started at ChristianNymphos.org (which still exists but hasn’t allowed comments for several years), which had quite a following, and then drifted to places like One Flesh Marriage, Intimacy in Marriage, Frankly Speaking, among others. Eventually, my journey took me to MarriageHeat.com, and the sense of authentic Christian community was obvious there.
I have always been more of a reader then a commenter. But it was easy to see the camaraderie develop between the more regular participants, which is quite understandable when you’re dealing with the sensitive topics of marriage, relationships, and certainly sex. It was certainly heartwarming to see people encourage each other, offer advice, and celebrate successes. You could see the opportunity for real friendship to develop – around a topic where most of us could use some friends. These topics are not those that you normally just voice with anyone, even a close friend, yet they’re so fundamental to our lives and our emotions and who we are as Christ-followers, that it would be healthy to be able to discuss them with someone who understood and was willing to listen. That’s what these sites offer, in theory.
This was certainly the case at MarriageHeat too, where people frequently praise the stories and offer long, detailed, in-depth and well-meaning advice about various subject matter and situations that people find themselves with. Over time, you begin to understand what everyone is going through and as human beings, you want to reach out to them, hug them (even if it’s a cyber hug), and talk to them. There is a real community feel.
Unfortunately, the format of “blogs and comment fields” just won’t do when it comes to actually building that community. Comment fields are great for commenting on the article itself, but not for discussion. Without discussion you really can’t have community. And there simply isn’t the functionality through a comment field for two or more people to have a long discussion – maybe on the topic in the article, but maybe not if it starts delving into personal anecdotes. It’s also important people to build friendships and trust, and without friendships you really can’t have community, either.
First of all, though some people are quite open, most are not, and you wonder how many people would say something if they knew it was private or at least semi-private. Second, real friendships (even if of the anonymous variety) can’t really develop through a public comment section, either . You’re just limited in how much you can say and should say – it’s a comment box, after all, not a chat format, and everyone can see it ,and perhaps not everyone should see it. Third, even if no one had an issue with someone seeing their story, it’s really not practical to really explore personal matters in-depth with someone you trust in that format, where a small group or one-on-one format would allow that. Finally, a real community requires connections being built between members, and that requires small groups or individual conversations, all which don’t work in comment fields.
The benefits of a sex-positive Christian community are enormous and have already been realized in just the last month. Consider these very real scenarios: Perhaps two women have a similar situation they’re facing in their own marriages, in terms of a low drive spouse, and they’re encouragement and tips keep their heads in the game, so to speak, and they come up with ideas to get things moving. Or perhaps a man and a woman befriend each other and develop a good friendship that’s not possible in a same-sex friendship, and they offer advice and encouragement that inspires new activity in their respective marriages. Perhaps a man is facing divorce and simply wants people he can talk to about the problems. Perhaps a single woman just wants a little hope for her future, and to look forward to what marriage can bring. Or perhaps a small group develops for people to encourage each other, pray for each other, comfort each other ,and cheer each other.
That’s community. That’s important. And it only comes via an interactive, safe, warm, and welcoming community of believers who share a common mission and common belief in the importance of hot monogamy!
That is why the MH-creation LifePositive as so important and that’s why we’ve created M&S+: The Community as a replacement. M&S+: The Community is on the MightyBell platform, which allows for semi-public comment in the main forum, but it also allows for people to create private or even secret “groups”, and also allows for private conversation. It really is a great format for these kinds of discussion, and we have a team of hosts and moderators ready to assist if anyone crosses the line..
Does this kind of community – full of men and women from all walks of life and all circumstances, ready to warmly greet you and welcome you – appeal to you? Then consider joining.
Does authentic, candid, but relevant discussion on issues of hot monogamy appeal to yoU? Then consider joining.
Does the ability to encourage others, offer them praise, and listen to their struggles, appeal to you? Then consider joining.
Yes, the topics are bold, but the discussion is real, respectful, and relevant. This stuff matters. It matters to marriage, it matters to our culture ,and it matters to our faith.
For a run down of expectations at M&S: The Community, click here.
When you’re ready to join, click here!
We can’t wait to greet you!