In the spirit of complete honesty, I have been writing this post over the past few days. As a mom of 7 kids it usually takes me a few days to come up with the finished product as I write a rough draft and then revise it a few times in short 10-15 minute slots of down time. I believe with all of my heart that God is passionate about marriage and this was made very clear to me in the last few days. In the past week I have struggled in my own marriage. Nit-picky, stupid, non-important stuff has come up time and time again as I’ve been writing these posts, and I’ve been irritated and edgy towards my husband. This, obviously, has translated into an irritated and edgy husband. I truly believe that when you get serious about your marriage, and in my case get serious with writing about marriage, the Devil gets serious about coming against your marriage. With these two posts we have felt the sting from his claws as he has forced me to question whether this is just writing or whether I truly believe what I write and in turn practice it in my daily life. I would admonish anyone, if you take your marriage seriously and then seriously start to take steps to improve your marriage, get ready for the attacks, they are coming. The Devil knows what a threat a solid, Christian marriage is to this world, and he will fire against any attempts to improve your marriage. You need to be prepared to fire back against everything he throws at you with what the word of God has to say about your marriage and with the power of prayer.
That being said, spinning off of my last post, why do we as women withhold sex from our husbands? Is it truly exhaustion? If that’s the reason we need to reevaluate our priorities. Is it the children? I can attest to the fact that when you start having children the husband often, against his wishes, moves over to second, third, fourth or whatever fiddle it may be for the mother to ravish love and attention on the new baby. I am not above reproach in any of this. My kids took priority, especially during pregnancy and especially for about the first year of their lives. It was just understood, at least on my part, that this is how it was going to occur. How dare a man argue with a tiny, helpless, babies’ needs not being above his own? Especially when a wife views his needs as wants. If he wants something he is capable of waiting for it. A baby, on the other hand, has needs such as feeding, diapering, and burping. We almost scoff at the idea that a man really thinks of it as a need but as women we just don’t understand. We need emotional support, we need to feel loved, to be told we’re loved, to be told that we’re beautiful, and we fully expect that our husbands meet all of our needs regardless of whether or not his needs are being met. He does not need these things, he instead needs to make love to the woman he has laid down his life for; he needs her to want him, to encourage him in this way, to tell him in a sexual way that, ”Yes, I love you, yes, I need you in my life, and yes this family needs you.” This is his validation language. Or could it be that as women we get to a point of not desiring our husband’s anymore? Familiarity breeds contempt? Hurts have festered, communication has stopped, and there is this blankness in our marriages that doesn’t allow for anything to grow or blossom or heal because we won’t even acknowledge its existence? We get to such a stagnant, dry place with each other that even making love with our spouse feels like a trap and reminds us of the painful void that has seeped into the relationship? I would suggest then that the spark needs to be reclaimed and something needs to change in the relationship, healing needs to occur, forgiveness needs to be extended, and some alone time is greatly needed to rediscover the passion that at one time flamed intensely for one another. It’s so easy to become complacent, especially when children are involved and especially when there are so many children involved. It would be really easy as a wife and as a mother to hide behind the needs of my children and it would be very socially acceptable for me to play this role of martyr as well. It would even be acceptable to play this role in most church settings where it is honorable to place your children and religious “busyness” above everything, including the spousal relationship. My marriage, your marriage, all marriages should take second priority only behind our personal relationship with Christ - nothing else takes precedence – it should be that serious. When husbands are fulfilled in this aspect of their lives literally everything else falls into place much easier. If you are struggling in your marriage and if the thought of reaching out to a man who seems to disregard your very existence makes you want to hurl, I would say to you, first get alone with the Lord and ask him to prepare your heart to be open and loving towards your husband. Really, really get alone for this and make it serious business. God will come through on this; He has a passion for marriages and it is the Devil who seeks to destroy the covenant that you have made with your spouse. Secondly, try to remember what drew you to your spouse in the first place and really work on focusing on these aspects of who he is and not the negative aspects day in and day out. And finally, set aside all your womanly emotions for a week and have sex with your husband, try to offer it (or better yet initiate it!) every day, and tell me that you don’t see a different man by the end of the week. Many times this is all it takes for a man to feel revalidated, reaffirmed, and loved and if this is falling into place, everything that you desire as a woman will begin to fall into place as well. He will be eager to help out when he walks in the door, he will be eager to tell you that you’re beautiful, he will be eager to meet your needs and say I love you because he will be fulfilled in the greatest way possible through his wife. He will feel respected and needed as a man. This is obviously not fool proof, and I’m sure that there are some situations that need a much bigger intervention than sex but for many of the struggling marriages out there this is a pretty easy place to start, don’t you think?
Just keep livin!!