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Monday, November 14, 2011
I noticed last week that it’s time again for Stu Gray’s 2011 version of the “Top Ten Marriage Blog” contest. It got me thinking about marketing and popularity and how it relates to my blogging life.

I’m approaching my second blogging anniversary in a few months, and I’m sometimes still trying to sort out exactly why I am doing this thing. I recall a conversation with Paul and Lori Byerly over dinner a few months back. Paul asked about what got me started blogging. I gave a somewhat long-winded answer that, in the end, came down to, “I felt like God was calling me to do it.” He nodded and said that it seems to be that way with a lot of us in this marriage blogging biz.

And I guess that’s why I continue to write. I still feel like it’s something God wants me to do. He wants me to be a voice for marriage – marriage the way he made it.

But thinking about Stu’s top-ten contest caused me to challenge the genuineness of my own statement.

Gut Check Time

Truthfully, I’ve done very little to market my blog. Yeah, I have a Twitter account, but I know I don’t use it effectively – at least according to the social media “experts.” I don’t even have a Facebook page (yet). So far at least, I only post about my blog on my personal Facebook page so the relatively few friends I have there can see what I’m writing about. I don’t get many hits from it. I comment on other blogs, but only when a topic stirs a response in me, not to drive traffic to my own blog. I enjoy meeting and exchanging ideas with fellow bloggers, but for me it comes out of the joy of engaging with those who share a similar passion, not as a networking strategy.

So, on the surface you wouldn’t think I care a whole lot about marketing and gaining readership or popularity. But reading about the top-ten contest peaked an unexpected initial response in me. It made me realize that I wanted to be “popular.” I wanted to be in the “top ten.” I wanted to be recognized as doing something of value. I wanted validation from others for what I do here.

And I didn’t like that response at all.

Now it’s not that there’s anything wrong with blog marketing, wanting to gain readership or to win a blogging contest. Really, there’s not. That’s not my point. But the thought process made me do a gut-check on my motivation, to revisit my calling, and that IS my point.

Why I Write, Really

God didn’t set me on this endeavor to stroke my ego or make me look good. He didn’t start me blogging to make me popular or to prove to the world what a great writer I am. Truthfully, I don’t think he cares a hoot about any of those things.

This really is about God’s heart for marriage. I’m passionate about it because He is. It’s not my career. It’s not my hobby. It’s my calling, or at least a big part of it.

You see, God made it clear to me some years ago that he has called me to the “bride preparation business.” Everything I do in ministry, whether it be worship leading, writing and teaching about marriage, songwriting or ministering to kids alongside my lovely wife, it all comes down to helping to build and prepare the bride of Christ, the church, for the eternal marriage to her Bridegroom, Jesus. It’s all about a wedding at the end of the age.

And that’s why I write. Really. I’m passionate about marriage because Jesus is passionate about his bride. The only validation I need is from Him.

The Contest

So here’s the deal about the top-ten marriage blog contest for 2011. At first I was going to skip the whole thing. It felt like an unnecessary distraction.

But I think it’s actually a very good thing. It promotes marriage and makes a lot of great resources more available to more couples. And I’m actually all for that! So, if you are so inclined you can nominate my blog or some other marriage blog by clicking on over to Stu’s contest page.

If not, that’s fine too.

Meanwhile, I’m going to keep doing this marriage-blogging thing until God tells me to it’s time to stop. I don’t expect that’ll be any time soon, because he cares A LOT about marriage. And so do I.

Thanks for letting me dump out my inner thought process on you. I needed that.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming: God’s heart to see marriages lived out the way he designed it.

6 comments:

Lori said...

There are no rock stars in blogging. God is our rock and we are all stars shining for him. (from Courtney at womenlivingwell.org)

I have this on a sticky note on my computer. It's my reality check.

Tom and Debi - The Romantic Vineyard said...

Our thoughts exactly, Scott. Thank you for your transparency and for providing a reality check for all of us. We long for the day when we will all see Him as He is, and wonder of wonders - we'll be invited into the marriage supper of the Lamb! What a blog post THAT would be.

Scott said...

Thanks Lori and Debi. It's sometimes helpful to remember what this is really all about. And it's not about us!

themarriagebedcom said...

Scott - Way to grow! Of course I know it's not a new thing, but a refresher for you. Personally I would like to see you have a lot more readers because I think you have a message that needs to be heard.

Blessings,

365actsoflove said...

Congrats on your nomination!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes to all that you have said. Brad and I agree completely! I love what Lori said too! There are no rock stars in blogging. All Glory and Honor and Praise to Jesus and His plan for marriage. We too will continue to write until God calls us out of it! OFM is His, not ours! Thanks for all that you do Scott! Blessings, Brad and Kate @onefleshmarriage

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