Sunday, April 17, 2011

Safeguard your Spouse Sunday: Enjoying Intimacy Part 2

This guest post from Natalie is a follow-up to Part 1 published here and orignally posted on Passionate Homemaking.

You ladies surprised me! I was overwhelmed by the number of comments on my previous post from women who feel they have stronger sexual drives than their husbands. I am sincerely sorry many of you seem to feel alone! Here’s my follow-up, for all you “high-drive” ladies!

I totally agree with many of you, that it’s pretty uncommon to hear about wives who have a stronger drive than their husbands, or who feel sexually unfulfilled. It’s a shame you feel good teachers and books are silent on this topic. It’s a reality, and there’s nothing wrong with speaking frankly about it.

I’d also like to say, without a lot of detail, that I have walked in those shoes, some. I can relate to that situation, although there are many nuances that make each marital relationship so very different from another. I hope that qualifies me enough to write on this!

Desire Factories: Manufactured for God!
Ladies, we’re all desire factories of some sort. Some of us have high emotional needs. Some of us are intellectual, aka brainy. Some prefer hugs. Some love sex! Most of us are a blend of all of them.

No matter what kind of “desire factory” each of us is, we all have the same basic desire: connection. Intimacy. Hear me now: intimacy can be manifested in many different ways, but whether emotional, sexual, physical, or mental, it’s all about connection.

The problem is we’ve all been fooled about who we’re manufacturing for. So many of us look to our husbands, or boyfriends, or whoever. Those desires belong first to God. The ultimate, highest, purest desire produced in you is meant for God. You were made to be fulfilled in him. First. Exclusively.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalm 73)

Is it wrong to want closeness with your husband, emotional or physical? It depends. Do you need it from him? Do you demand it from him? Do you sometimes feel ashamed because you can hardly do without it?

I hope not. Because frankly ladies, he’s not built to give you perfect connection and intimacy. GOD IS.

God wants your thoughts consumed with him through the day, and as you lay your head down at night. (“There’s nothing on earth I desire besides you God…”)

He wants you looking through (not past or over) your physical and emotional desires, to see your deep soul need to be reconnected to Him. (”My flesh and heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever.")

He wants you obsessed with the perpetual gift he gives you in Jesus, the perfect stand-in to close the intimacy gap between you and Him. You created that gap, and he closes it. (“I have made the Lord God my refuge…”)

He wants you to keep making desires, and send them straight up to him. He won’t miss one. Neither will you.

Don’t Be A Drip
If your husband is being forced to field desire after desire from you (which were meant first for God) he has three options:

1. Check out. He knows he can’t do it. So he won’t even try.
2. Try, and resent you. He will grow angry with you for the excessive burdens you place on him.
3. Love you by correcting you and making sure his desires are first met in God.

No matter what he does, you won’t be happy with any of those choices will you? If you direct all your desires toward your husband, you basically want him to be perfect…like God!

He won’t be happy…and you won’t be happy. Your only course of action toward an “underperforming” husband is to tell him so….over and over, till it changes. A wife could nag about anything…even sex!

Poor guy! Don’t be like the lady in this verse: “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.” (Prov. 27:15) What a drip!

God’s Not a Vending Machine
So maybe you’re thinking, as I sometimes do, “Maybe if I grow that close to God, my marriage will be more satisfying.”

Here’s what I tell myself: “No, No, NO!” That’s all wrong.

Perhaps as you become a freer, happier, more peaceful and contented person, it will bring good things to bear on your marriage.

Maybe not. The question is, will God still and always be “the strength of your heart and your portion forever?” Will you trust that whatever your marriage situation, you can rest and be satisfied with whatever comes from his hand? Is Jesus Christ a symbol and signpost to you of God’s good plan for you in every area of your life?

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Can you even trust him with your sexual satisfaction, at least the part beyond your control? It’s in his hands, and he “graciously gives us all things!” Whatever you have, it’s good, because it’s from God.

Let’s Get Practical
I’m going to refrain from any practical tips here, because there could be so many different circumstances. I thought it most important here to address the posture of our hearts, and trust that God will help each lady personally “flesh” it out. (NO pun intended!)

That said, ladies...once we’ve explored and submitted our hearts to God, there’s always more we can learn and do to improve, as long as we’re not striving after an idol of sorts. So don’t obsess about having a perfect sex life, but by all means, let’s discuss/comment and help each other out.

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