Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing

This past week has been a big fat WOW. I live just south of Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States that turned into a sea with the massive rainfall supplied by Hurricane Harvey. My suburban town received over 50 inches of rain in just a few days.

Believe me, when your street looks like a river and you know friends are already flooded in their homes, rain is the last thing you want to see. And yet, it kept coming.

J standing shin-deep in water on her street

After the worst of the rain, on my street

Having been deluged by water for days and knowing people who had to be rescued by a boat, it would easy to assume that I never want to see rain again. All that water, quite frankly, sucked.

But…

I know that’s not true. God created water and rain, and they are more often beautiful blessings in our lives. For example, sitting on a beach watching the ocean is inspirational to me — just soaking up the majesty of the sea, billowing waves that trickle down to a tide that tickles your toes as they sink into the sand.

Or have you ever danced in the rain? Just waltzed with your beloved or boogied on your own? It’s a liberating experience, like Gene Kelly dancing in Singin’ in the Rain.

Related image

How about this best example? Two weeks ago, one of my sons was baptized. Believe me, that day water was a real blessing.

Are you wondering when I’m going to get around to the subject of sex? Well, here we go: The amount of a good thing matters.

If you spent your whole marriage obsessed with sex, constantly living for the next romp in the sheets, then you’d be flooded. You would have made sex an idol in your life, and too much of a good thing ain’t always good.

Now God is incredibly generous about how much sexual pleasure you can and should have in your marriage. Song of Songs 5:1 says, “Eat, friends! Drink, be intoxicated with love!” Intoxicated is a lot of love. But no gift from God should ever be treasured more than God himself. Some spouses sadly put so much emphasis on sex that they ignore other important experiences.

More spouses, however, are dealing with the opposite — not enough sex.

Believe me, people who have been dealing with a drought in their region would have liked the Houston area to send them a few inches of our rain. (If only we could have…) When you are nowhere near having enough, you are all too aware of how needy you are.

Let me simply assure you that hardships usually last longer than we think is fair. There was definitely some yelling at God down here while we were desperate for sunshine and all we kept getting was rain. But the skies eventually stopped dropping water. And although damage has been done, everyone I’ve talked to is hopeful that we will recover. (I really want to add #HoustonStrong here. 😉 )

You might be in the drought longer than you want, but I certainly know couples who came out of a long dry spell, found true sexual intimacy on the other side, and absolutely recovered. And I think many of you can too.

Keep pursuing a better sex life, whether it’s working on your obsession with sex or the drought your marriage is going through.

And remember: Baby steps count. Indeed, there was rejoicing here with every inch that receded after the flood was over. Just get going in the right direction.

***

I hope to be back on Thursday. But for now, the Harvey deluge has been replaced with neighbors helping neighbors salvage what they can and discard the rest. A large portion of people’s homes fit in that “rest” category, with furniture, appliances, flooring, sheet rock, and insulation forming truck-sized piles on curbs for trash pick-up. 

My family is doing what we can. Here I am yanking nails out from stripped studs in a church member’s house:

J crouched and removing nails from a house frame stud with a crowbar

When I told my podcast partners I wanted to exercise more, this is not what I meant.

If you want to donate to the relief efforts, fellow blogger Jason Graves of My Beloved Is Mine recommends Christ In Action, a charity he knows well. I’m also partial to our local Lighthouse Charity Team, which has been feeding first responders.

19 thoughts on “Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing

  1. Nick Peters

    I don’t think there’s too much sex. I think there’s too much sex for the sake of sex. Some people treat sex like a hobby, like a game you would play together, instead of treating it as an act of love between two people meant to build up their love. If the latter is your reason, then you could have sex every day (Wonderful thought!) and build up that love every day.

    If you’re just having sex for sex though, you’re using the other person and instead tearing down the love.

    Reply
  2. Tiffany

    Love that you shared some charities to donate to. I’m from Nashville and those who were flooded in 2010 received little help from the national organizations who are supposed to help. It was the local churches and charities that really made an impact. And I’ll add the hashtag from back then #wearenashville.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Our houses fared well, but two streets over there was a lot of damage. That’s how it is down here, for the most part, where a few houses within a neighborhood got hit hard. Thanks, Ngina!

      Reply
  3. Mike

    My wife and I had a 25 year sex drought. For a couple of years now the flood gates have opened. Last week I thought that I have finally been satisfied. I am not saying that I don’t need anymore sex, but I am saying that I am not sex starved anymore.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Thank you for this testimony! I’m sure that drought was hard, but I’m glad you (both) found the other side.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    It is possible to be in a sex-starved marriage and still have sex as your idol. I know this from my personal experience. Only recently I have been learning to be content with my sex life and lean on God for meeting my personal needs.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Yes, I think it is. I believe it’s how much emphasis you place on sex, which can happen whether you’re a glutton or starved. That said, I think the sex-starved spouses have more of my compassion, in the sense that they have a particularly difficult challenge. My heart goes out to you. And I do think leaning on God is the answer. Many blessings!

      Reply
  5. Geras

    Sex-starving for last 25 years of my 29 years lasting marriage! But we are still the couple. Music , and creation generally, is a good supplement for missing.

    Reply
  6. Jason@SongSix3

    Thanks so much for mentioning “Christ In Action.” A couple of my very good friends, Bobby and Cheryl Hawkins are a big part of this ministry, and if I know ANYTHING about this husband and wife – it’s that they CARE ABOUT PEOPLE! They are some of the most self-less folks I know.

    If any of the locals happen to see them in Texas, tell ’em Jason sends love from the homefront!

    Reply
  7. Wayne

    Quite a pic, thanks for sharing. Many years ago, my mother and I were visiting my aunt in Illinois and driving through a small town not far from where she lived. Just days before, it had been hit by a tornado. Some houses on one side of the street were leveled; others on the opposite side, it was as if nothing had ever happened. I’ve never seen a real flood, and am sure it’s different, but is there a similar randomness to the water levels from street to street? Anyway, glad you’re okay and able to help others who were hit harder.

    As to the “drought-flood” analogy with sex, I’ve experienced both sides of it, and I would agree: much has to do with the intensity of desire and the priority you put on it. And for myself, and my wife too, tastes change with time. Our bodies change, too, as in “how much of a good thing” you can handle. There’s a certain, hard to define knack to getting it right, and none of us do that all the time. It keeps things interesting.

    Reply

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