Physical intimacy hasn’t been happening in my marriage as often as we’d like. It’s been harder to connect lately, with my husband and me each having full work schedules (which don’t coincide), certain family obligations, and recent ailments and sleep disturbances. I’d love to say that we’re always rocking the marriage bed over here in my house, but in recent weeks there’s been more lulling than rocking happening under our sheets.
So when yet another attempt failed last week, I was really discouraged. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. We’d planned to make love. But life happened, and it didn’t. Still, I was left missing that intimacy with my husband and feeling like our days were stacked against us.
Honestly, I complained to a friend. Not complaining about my husband, of course, but simply sharing my frustration with our lack of sexual intimacy. As a wonderful support to my marriage, she had an encouraging word for me. Once again, I remembered that, as much as we place a priority on sex in our marriage, it’s just more difficult to make happen with great frequency in some seasons.
But if at first you don’t succeed . . . Yep, try, try again!
That’s such a simple phrase that gets batted around all the time (at least in my culture). But there is great truth to it. The Bible says it this way: “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
And I believe this is one of the main reasons why I can confidently state that my marriage has good, healthy, satisfying, godly sexual intimacy. Not because we’re always “gettin’ it done” in the bedroom, but because we understand the importance of sex in our marriage and we don’t give up on each other or ourselves.
So the next night, we tried again. I think it took three tries to be able to clear the calendars, the room, the minds, and the Sandman to make some sweet love!
Which is somewhat annoying, but in our bone-dry years, we likely would have given up. And this is what I see in many marriages that are either struggling or simply not experiencing quality sexual intimacy. We get frustrated because things aren’t happening like they should, for whatever reason, and we give up. It’s just too hard, or you’re too exhausted, or you’re too busy, or you’re too likely you’ll be rejected yet again.
Look, I don’t know what will happen if you try, try again. It may not turn out. But I guarantee what will happen if you don’t try: No sex.
So today I’m suggesting that you make sexual intimacy a priority, that you persevere in pursuing the best for your marriage bed, that you take the setbacks in stride but keep moving in the right direction. We’re not sprinting in our marriages. This is a marathon! As much as that analogy pains those of us who can’t stand to run, it’s true.
If you don’t make love tonight, the world will not end. But if you don’t make love tonight and the next night and the next and the next and on and on and on, what will happen to your marriage? To your intimacy? To your heart?
So if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Dust off the disappointing moment and, when opportunity presents itself, ask for sex again. Or as 1 Corinthians 13 better says: