Has anyone else noticed that I’ve been off on my schedule here? It certainly showed up at my house. Like when I realized that, for the second day in a row, I had absolutely nothing to fix my family for dinner.
Last week, I was in the middle of a large project that took waaaay more time than I originally expected. To make my deadline, I lost track of other tasks and spent too many hours at Starbucks with my laptop and a Venti-sized iced tea. I neglected errands, groceries, possibly some grooming.
And this happened: One evening, my teenage son walked up to me to ask something, and I peered over my laptop and said, “I have this huge deadline. Whatever you need, ask Dad. I’ll agree with whatever he says.” I didn’t discover until the next morning that my child wasn’t even home, because apparently I’d agreed to him sleeping over at a friend’s house. Meaning my child was out of my house for the whole night, and I had no idea!
To be fair, the parent-in-charge was well aware and on top of things. (Thanks, Spock!)
I could draw all kinds of lessons from this story, but I want to focus on three.
1. Sometimes you just have tough seasons. Sometimes we’re too busy to take care of our home or family because we’ve overextended ourselves, and we need to get our priorities right overall. For instance, workaholics need to scale back their work hours, and volunteer-aholics (yes, I’m looking at you, PTA mom and VBS coordinator and pot luck aficionado) need to say no now and again.
But sometimes, you’re simply under a time crunch, and the focus must shift to getting that one big project finished. Maybe it’s a home project of painting a room, or a work project requiring lots of overtime, or a family project of dealing with a child’s challenges. Whatever it is, sometimes you just have a tough season.
And that’s okay. It’s okay to let the other parent take over for a bit, to order pizza or run through the drive-through for dinner, to dig deeper into your closet for something clean to wear. Accept the tough season and anticipate spending more time with your husband and family in the very near future.
2. I still prioritized sexual intimacy. You might think, given my description of last week, that I had no time whatsoever to have sex with my husband. And you’re right: I didn’t have time. I made time. In fact, in the time it took for us to make love, I might have been able to get another load of laundry done or go to the grocery store or actually fix my hair. But what mattered most for my marriage was time spent in one another’s arms — talking, reconnecting, making love.
When time is precious, however, you can’t beat around the bush. We showed up, committed to having sex, and got going. No time for subtle hints or mixed signals. We didn’t rush through making love, but we didn’t have a long build-up either.
I can’t tell you how refreshing that was for me. In the midst of the madness, I didn’t realize how tense I’d become or how disconnected I’d felt. Pausing to reconnect with my husband, physically and emotionally, was the stress-relief, refreshment, and intimacy I needed. Maybe you’re the higher drive spouse and know what I’m talking about, but if you’re the lower drive spouse, you may not understand how important this is to your beloved. Please trust me that having sex may be exactly what your spouse needs to revive their spirit. It’s worth prioritizing.Having sex may be exactly what your spouse needs to revive their spirit. Click To Tweet
3. I need to change my expectations. We often think we can get done more than we really can. Perhaps we arrange our schedule with the idea that if everything goes smoothly, I can get it done in two days. When is the last time in your life things went smoothly for a full 48 hours?
What happened in my life was a hard drive failure and reboot that sucked away a full week of my productivity. I’d built a little cushion into my plan, but not enough. Sure, you can’t anticipate something like that, but it was a reminder to me that I need to be realistic about what I can accomplish — knowing that not everything will go my way. Indeed, it’s in those moments when things go awry that God can teach me how to become more like Him.
This lesson has a few implications for me and Hot, Holy & Humorous. Because I’m not currently keeping up with what I want to do with this ministry!
- I added a third day to my blogging schedule, making my posts appear on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Saturday posts are really hard for me to get done. I still want to post with memory verses for our marriages, but those appearances will be streamlined to a hodge-podge of information, the memory verse, and any news I have to share.
- I’ve been answering reader questions on Mondays, and I need to shift that to Thursdays. My Mondays are too often spent getting a handle on the week, and reader questions take a long time to answer. I need more time to thoughtfully respond and still get necessary tasks done in the rest of my life.
- My newsletter is late this month! I have sufficient content and a strong desire to stay in contact with my followers through the newsletter, but time gets away from me. I will be actively looking for a virtual assistant to handle the newsletter and perhaps a bit of social media for me. I don’t know how this will go, since I’m not really making enough money to pay much, but it’s on my radar to get it done.
- I will be proactive in scheduling speaking engagements. This might appear to add to my already crazy schedule, but it will actually help with some of the financial issues and free me up to focus where I want to focus. Plus, it’s deep in my heart to speak up boldly for sex and marriage by God’s design whenever I can, and I want to reach more people through face-to-face presentations. If you have any interest in bringing me in, check out my speaking page.
I hope my story gets you thinking about your own schedule and priorities. I’ve definitely learned that you can let life happen to you, or you can declare your mission and do what you can to accomplish it. God willing, of course. I pray that you will set the right focus, keep your eyes on Jesus, and tend to your marriage bed — even amid the busyness of life.
Oh, and by the way, I did finally get to the grocery store. No matter what, you have to go when you run out of toilet paper.
18 thoughts on “Picking Your Priorities (Sex Should Be One of Them)”
Unfortunately for me, sex seems like a far away thing. We’ve been married almost a year now and sex just isn’t happening. I’ve tried talking to my spouse about it, but we haven’t followed through on most of what we discussed, so naturally i feel like talking isn’t doing anything for us. I’ve also taken to wearing sexy stuff at night with only snuggling as the result. I guess the next thing is to get naked or ask him if he wants to while we’re cuddling, but i just don’t know because it’s really discouraging to have nothing happening and feeling like i’ve overly talked about it.
Maybe you need to be more forward and ask outright, “Can we have sex tonight?” Sometimes we think we’re giving signals, when we simply need to say what we want. If he says not tonight, you can ask for a rain check…and a time when it will actually happen.
I am sorry for you. Usually it is the other way around, the wife being reluctant. For most men if you jump on them when in bed it gets things going. Don’t be shy!!
That’s not correct. Studies of what’s called “desire discrepancy” have shown that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women when it comes to who has the higher drive in a relationship. The stereotype that most men are “easy” and always ready to go, waiting for their wives to make a move, is just not backed up by research.
This woman’s problem is not that she isn’t being aggressive enough or that she’s unusual in having a higher drive than her husband.
So sorry to bring this up but what you describe happened to me & it took many years to come out that my husband’s reluctance was due to a porn addiction. I hope & pray this isn’t the case for you but I would give anything to have found out earlier. Maybe you might need to dig deeper…
I’m pretty much living this post right now. Thanks, J, for the encouragement/empathy.
I feel for you!!!
Our weekend mornings are IT! I thought about signing my kids up for peewee sports, but the early Saturdays would cut into our sexy time BIG time. Bad enough Sundays we go to church! Lol! 😉
Thanks for the reminder to give ourselves some grace when things get crazy.
I don’t want to blow up your blog, but I have been reading for about 6 months now as well as several other similar blogs. I confess I am probably going to stop reading them. I am so discouraged. I hoped it would help, but all it did was reinforce my suspicion that marriage is a really miserable way to live. Comments are full of miserable people.
I consider marriage the biggest mistake of my life. I thought if you loved someone, and they loved you, plus all Biblical requirements were met and you believed it was God’s Will, you should get married. But, it’s been so painful and hard that I can’t decide if I was simply mistaken or if my marriage is for my sanctification almost exclusively.
I’ve never been happy despite trying everything I can think to do. He loves me dearly but hurts me nearly every day and doesn’t understand why through just being such a direct guy. He grieves when he finds me crying, but honestly can’t understand how his manner of relating to me hurts me despite my telling him in the moment and in talks afterwards. I try to accept we just have differences and bury my pain to not have another fight over nothing.
I dislike sex, but was a virgin when I married so I didn’t know I would. It’s just pointless and boring to me. I try to stay engaged for his sake especially when he’s figured it out and tried so many times to do new things. I’m open to it. It’s fine with me to do whatever he wants, but I just don’t understand this passionate reaction he has. I can orgasm easily and often, but it really doesn’t do anything for me.
We have kids. I do my duty. I sincerely love them all. I think my life and my marriage are tedious and monotonous. I try to do new or engaging things, am grateful for what I have, but in the end, I just feel like my getting married messed up this poor guy’s life and now our kids won’t have an example of a loving, normal marriage because their mother is somehow ‘broken’.
My question is underneath all the stuff of life, does anyone find marriage truly fulfilling and happy or are we all just working hard at what seems like an impossible puzzle, hoping for a time of true happiness that isn’t ever going to happen? I am at the point of saying that my joy is to come from the Lord. I will do my best for my family, and if I die a slow death inside, that’s my problem and just how it is. I’m a First World wife who needs to learn to be more grateful and less concerned about how she feels.
Nope, you’re not “blowing up” my blog. Not at all. But you do sound like I felt at the worst point of my marriage. And I want you to know that I am in a very happy marriage now, so things can change and improve in ways you can’t see in the midst of the pain.
Since your question is so involved, I am adding it to my Q&A list. I can’t give you an answer here worthy of your situation, so I’ll try to do a post soon. Saying a prayer for you. Many blessings!
I really feel for you. It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain.
It sounds like your relationship with God is strong, and that’s fantastic.
This may be hard to hear, but the feelings you’re describing sound like clinical depression. If so, the feelings aren’t likely to go away because you make a few tweaks to your life. You should see a doctor (psychiatrist) to get diagnosed. I understand that this could be embarrassing for you, but there are *many* options for treating depression that are extremely successful!
Your husband and kids love you and need you to be healthy. You owe it to yourself and to them. Please talk to a doctor about what you’re going through.
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My husband and I attended a small group discussion of a spiritual book at my church on Monday night, and on Tuesday morning I had such an elevated experience in my daily prayer, I was filled with joy. Well, of course it couldn’t last. My car broke down, dinner turned out terrible, I was stressed out thinking how I would manage without my car, I had all kinds of paperwork and laundry to do, and … my husband was wanting a little bedroom activity. I got into bed while he finished his shower and lay there waiting and thinking, “I’m not in the mood for this at all.” But I remembered how MUCH he was in the mood and how he expressed wanting, not ‘it’, but me. Before I married, I decided that, barring illness or injury, I would be available to my husband. So I was. And I felt much, much better afterwards. In short – I agree with your post.
My husband is always respectful of me and not demanding, so I’m not laying any kind of guilt on wives who might make a different decision because their husband is different to them.
Always enjoy your post my friend. Thank you! Hope you and the family are well.
Thank you, J. Please know how much I respect your ministry and all that you do to help women, marriages and families. However, I just had another morning of feeling worse and rather discouraged instead of being helped or encouraged as I did my reading of the usual marriage blogs. I have decided that I must not be in the right place emotionally to be able to use the advice correctly. As it is not edifying or helping me spiritually or in any way, I will no longer be reading any of them.
You had kindly planned to do a Q&A for me, but please know that I will not see it. If it would be helpful for others, please go ahead, but otherwise, I would not wish you to waste your time.
Thank you again for your kindness and desire to help.
Not sure what all is going on. But I understand your decision. In fact, I wrote once about Should You Be Reading My Blog?.
Saying a prayer for you.
I just posted about how to have time and energy for great sex. Prioritization!
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