I write because I care about Intimacy
These past few weeks have been interesting to me looking back. Sometimes, I love to be a helicopter in life. I float myself up above the noise and crowds. The daily grind, endless scheduling demands, hormonal fluctuations, kids fighting…yeah, I’m sure you’re just as tired as I am reading all of my assignments and thinking of your own as well.
Life gets to be like that. So mired down with what has to be done NOW, that it is easy to forget the why of what we are doing. Or, even, what are we supposed to be doing. As a writer, I get stuck some days. What should I say? What words of hope do I want to communicate?
When I stop looking at the here and now and look at my life from the helicopter view, suddenly things start to come into focus. The goal is viewable again. My heading is clear. And now I know what to write.
The writer’s block is gone.
In November of 2017, I started this blog with one overarching goal in mind. I wanted to help couples with intimacy. The proverbial elephant in the room. Everyone knows its there. No one wants to talk about it. Shrouded in mystery and silence, the elephant walks freely around. Bumping into everything it comes into contact with. Painful bumps.
Arguments that last long into the night. Feelings hurt so deeply one wonders if they can recover from it. Forgiveness and healing seem as reachable as the moon.
Arguments can often be traced back to a few things in marriage.
Miscommunication, Money, and Marital Intimacy. The first two are easy to talk about in retrospect. Financial courses, a good accountant, budgeting classes, and even Dave Ramsey have great advice. Lessons of learning how to talk and communicate to each other can be easily acquired.
But then, the elephant starts to swing his weight around…reminding every person there of the last detail. Intimacy. “Shhh. Don’t speak of it. And if you do,” the elephant so firmly reminds everyone “make sure you only speak of it in the negative way.” The quick way to remember this is the three Don’ts. Don’t think that. Don’t wear that. Don’t say that.
It would be easy to think that I am writing from a deserted island point of view. But these past months of writing has taught that this is so far from the truth. I learn so much from other Christian writers that I want to share the many things that have meant so much to me. Please click on their links, read the full post for yourself, and learn even more.
Lessons of Modesty
While lessons of modesty, proper and pure thoughts, using our words to glorify a Holy God are extremely important (please note, I am not discounting or slighting these in the least, they are very important) the scale must be balanced.
Balancing the scale of intimacy is very difficult. The balancing of pure thoughts in marriage is not an impure thought. Neither is the balance of modesty going to be to visit a nude beach. Holiness is not balanced by sin.
Sheila Gregoire nailed it when she wrote “Reader Question: Why do you Focus so Much on Steamy Sex?”
Flirting with your husband, or drawing attention to a certain part of your body in front of your husband, is not being “dirty” nor is it emphasizing the physical over the other aspects of sex. It’s emphasizing the emotional connection, too, because my husband is the only one who is allowed to see this side of me. So when I do that, it cements our friendship because it’s like a little secret.
The balance is found in Christ and the Bible. It is learning when and where these things are acceptable. When can you have sensual thoughts about your spouse? When can you wear those lacy items, silk boxers…or nothing at all AND IT BE OK?!?!?
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:25
Adam and Eve saw each other totally. Completely. Nothing hiding. And God said it was very good. Clothing was not ‘invented’ until after the fall of man and Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to hide from God. In marriage, it is appropriate for the clothing to be removed (in an appropriate setting) because God wants the husband and wife to see each other for who they really are and be deeply ok with that.
How about touch?
It’s a touchy (pun intended) subject no matter how much we want to change it. Everyone is different. Some people are huggy-feeling. Others are touch-me-not. Learning where can you touch, and how should you do it transformed my marriage. So many hurt feelings and shame and fear kept the intimacy between my husband and me at a stale level. Touch is my love language (the spark in my steps, the secret key to my deepest emotions), and admitting that to myself and finally being able to share that intimate secret with my husband has transformed our marriage for the better.
Stuart Tutt summed it up perfectly when he wrote From a Porn Scene Mentality to Intimacy With Your Wife.
Take the time to actually get to know every inch of your spouse’s body. Touch every part and kiss every part…all the while with your eyes open to see her reactions. If she twitches or moans remember that spot and come back to it. Take your time.
Seeing a Christian man write about things such as this was completely refreshing. It’s not just me who is trying to tell people this is so important. Reading a man’s viewpoint of intimacy that honors the woman without pushing his “manly weight” around is a rare find.
The Mirrored Reflection
The view that women have of themselves is hard. Hard is not the right word. But it sums up what I cannot. We’re presented day after day size 0 models, paper thin, who are the models of beauty and sexiness. Plus models start at a size 8 or 10. Promises of a new diet, pill, workout program or Spanx clothing to hide it all help to a point, but at the end of the day, women are struggling.
Without the right view of how we appear and look, it is easy to carry this into the bedroom and into intimacy. Suddenly the fears of I’m not pretty enough, or I’m not sexy are screaming in our ears.
Pure Couples so elegantly wrote about this when she wrote Help! I Don’t Enjoy Sex Anymore
“Changing hormone levels and dryness also just makes us feel less sexier. When I had our kids, and my husband wanted to have sex, all I could think about was how unsexy I looked with milk leaking from my boobs, C-section scar, and stomach pouch.”
As I read those words, I knew the exact moment of my life that she was talking about. The view I held of myself was one of ‘who would want to be romantic with me when I look like this?‘ No one would be my answer, but God says differently. He says to me in Jeremiah 33:3 “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” God does not look at my external beauty and decide whether or not he wants to love me today. He chooses His love based upon the finished work of Calvary. I am His forever!!
The Elephant named “STRUGGLE.”
I love reading other bloggers. They can say things so much more eloquently than me. Their words echo the sentiments of my heart, and I just wish my fingers could somehow equal up to that. Such was the case when I read Julie Sibert’s post titled Sex Isn’t Everything in Marriage…BUT
Sex isn’t everything in marriage. Where this becomes a dangerous slippery slope, though, is when “sex isn’t everything in marriage” drifts into “sex is nothing in our marriage.” Nothing to pursue. Nothing to make time for. Nothing sacred. Nothing to mutually value and enjoy.
What God designed as a non-negotiable becomes heavily negotiated. The occasional “not tonight” becomes the regular “Not tomorrow night either. Or the night after that.”
As I wrote in the earlier paragraphs, life is about balance. Swinging one way to the right or left does no one any real good. However, the balance between sex and intimacy, again as I wrote, requires real honesty. As Julie wrote, it’s easy to sneakily try and push the pendulum away. Sex becomes an act or a chore. A duty. An obligation. Relegating the magnificent act of intimacy to the level of a chore is demeaning of what God created. We are pushing His creation to a level that is wrong.
Julie continues her post with a “kind nudge” not an “all-out assault on [the] status quo” to really think about what kind of intimacy a couple is having. Is the intimacy your home experiences one that brings you closer to each other and God?
This question is not at all intended to be blasphemous or flippant. It is a valid question and one that must be answered. In answer to the statement, Sex isn’t EVERYTHING in a marriage, Julie continues by saying.
BUT I do know that whenever I have heard “sex isn’t everything in marriage,” it has come from the lips of someone eager to justify not only their lack of interest in sex, but also their unwillingness to admit there may be sexual struggles.
Regardless of our ability to admit to the struggles, if they are there…you know it. You know exactly where it is right now. It is easy to not have that desire for intimacy and hide the pains that you are facing. The bitter arguments and the bile all start arriving in the back of your throat. The deep hurt flares your anger and your tears all at once. And it can be too much for any reader reading this.
So what can be done? Why bring all of this up. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone to just let “sleeping dogs lie”?
The short answer is no. The struggles of marriage will keep coming up, bumping, hurting and eventually destroy your marriage.
So, why do I keep writing about intimacy?
- God ordained this act, and He calls it honorable. Marital Intimacy is a gift from God.
- The husband and wife relationship mirrors what God wants to do in my heart through prayer and Bible reading.
- Sin distorted (changed for the worse) the view of the body. The body was designed by God and mirrors His image.
- God is the Great Physician. He is the only one who can provide healing in a marriage.
- I keep writing about intimacy because I care.
I care for your marriage. I saw how deep the hurts can go when I don’t have the proper view of myself hurts the intimacy that a husband and wife can have. I know the freezing coldness of touch when I’m trying to pretend everything is “just ok.” The confusion about modesty and letting your spouse see you is difficult to make the transition and you feel right about it.I keep writing about marriage and intimacy because I want your marriage to be that shining beacon of light and hope to a world who only sees darkness. #intimacy #marriage Click To Tweet
I keep writing about marriage and intimacy because I want your marriage to be that shining beacon of light and hope to a world who only sees darkness.
Matthew 5:14, 16 states, You are the LIGHT of the world…[so] Let your let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
But for you to shine, you have to be complete. You can’t be smudged with the weight of the world and guilt of failure in your marriage.
You have to shine. You have to clean the glass, remove the hurt. Be honest in your love for your spouse and with God.
When you do this. Your light will shine so brightly, others will see it and know that you are Glowing Still.