Do Not Disturb blog challenged fellow marriage bloggers to write a post on “We do . . .” showing “what real marriages are like.” I encourage you to pop over and take a look at their post on Keeping Our Marriage Strong: We Do . . . Justin and Megan listed things they do to keep their marriage strong.
Now here’s my contribution for what we do to keep the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hot, Holy and Humorous strong.
We do committed. At this point, we know that we are “in it to win it.” We’re like Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II (1941) advising to “never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.” We’ve long since misplaced the towel that we might have thrown in at the worst of our marriage. It’s simply no longer an issue. The “D” word is never spoken, never hinted at. God has made us one flesh and “let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Mark 10:9).
We do presence. We spend time with each other, growing our friendship, sharing our concerns and joys, and just hanging out. Time matters. Show me what you give your time to, and I’ll show you what you treasure. Sometimes it requires creative scheduling or sacrificing other activities, but we prioritize our marriage.
We do do-overs. We don’t hold grudges from when our sex life sucked or from the inane thing he said ten minutes ago. (Of course, I used he because I never say anything stupid, right?) When you get married, you believe this person to whom you pledged your undying love will never let you down.
Yes, he will. The only one who will not let you down is God. Your spouse, however, will mess up. So it’s important to treat them as God does — giving forgiveness, grace, and the chance to do over. We believe that if King David and the Apostle Peter got a second chance (and a third and a fourth), then so should my spouse.
We do humor. I think God is funny. Really. The Creator of these animals is bound to have a great sense of humor:
English Angora Rabbit
And then there’s the one Jesus told about the camel and the eye of the needle. Imagine you’re the first to hear that analogy. Wouldn’t you laugh at the image?
Laughter is a blessing from God. Proverbs says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (17:22). In the best of times, our marriage has been filled with wordplay, jokes, snickering, and gut-jiggling laughter. I’ve even talked about how sex is humorous. We do humor. We look for opportunities to make each other smile.
We do sex. (Regular readers saw that coming.) Without physical affection and intimacy, this relationship is a parental partnership, a roommate arrangement, or a nice friendship. While those things are okay, they are not a marriage. Even in Song of Solomon 5:16 when the wife refers to her husband as friend, her romantic passion is listed first: “His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.”
In my marriage, we reconnect physically as frequently as we can and make those moments count by participating fully in the experience of physical unity. We value intimacy as an expression of our love, a nurturing of our love, and a message of gratitude toward God for His pleasurable gift.
What “We do . . .” phrase would you use for your marriage? How do you keep your marriage strong and real?
I’m thrilled to welcome another male marriage blogger to my site. Justin is the husband-half of the Do Not Disturb blog. I love how he and Megan address biblical aspects of sexuality and God’s blessing of intimacy for marriage. If you haven’t been over to their blog, check it out.
Without further ado, here’s Justin!
When J wrote and asked me what husbands would like wives to know about sexuality in marriage, the first thing that came to mind was . . .
My guess is, just about every woman on the planet wrestles through insecurities at some level. When not dealt with, these insecurities have the ability to cause tremendous emotional pain. They cause doubts. Frustration. Self-pity. They may even cause financial ruin by trying to ‘cover them up.’ Give an insecurity time to root itself deep enough, and it has the potential to cause a great deal of harm within a marriage relationship.
What is it your husband wants you, his bride, to know? He wants you to know you don’t need to be insecure. He wants you to believe him when he tells you you’re beautiful. Most specifically, he wants you to know that even if he doesn’t always communicate it well, he loves everything about you!
While there may be dozens of insecurities women experience throughout their lifetime, my experience in marriage has led me to believe that there are three specific areas in which women struggle the most.
1)Insecurities about personality
In my own marriage, I’ve discovered that women are . . . how do I say this nicely . . . emotional beings. By that, I mean women have different sensitivities than men. I distinctly remember an evening years ago where Megan came to me sometime after dinner and said, “I’m going to go into our room and cry for a while.”
“Have I done anything wrong?”
“No, no, I just need to cry.”
“Has anybody else hurt you in some way?”
“No. I just need some time alone. Some time to cry.”
I was confused. Maybe even a little distressed. It didn’t make any sense, whatsoever. Ten minutes later, I walked in to check on her. She asked for a few more minutes to be by herself. Suddenly, just like that, she was finished and back to ‘normal.’
This situation isn’t typical in our household. It only happened one time in twelve years. But that situation, as well as others, has shown me that women express their emotions much differently than men. When experiencing those moments, you may ask yourself questions such as:
“Does my husband really love me for who I am?”
“Can he really stand to be with me?”
“What in the world does he find attractive about me? I’m a mess!”
Well, your husband wants you to know that yes, he truly loves you despite how you feel about your personality. He may not always understand your emotions. He may not know how to respond or communicate in every situation. But he completely loves and accepts you for who you are. You can be the person God created you to be. Be yourself, and don’t second-guess your husband’s love.
Another area of insecurities women struggle with are . . .
2)Insecurities about appearance
Make up. Diet. Exercise. Hair Color. Smooth legs. Maybe even Botox. And the ultimate clothing question: “Does this outfit make me look fat?”
You care a great deal about your appearance. And as you get a little bit older, you find that no matter how hard you exercise or how well you diet, some lines, wrinkles and other areas of personal image just don’t look the way they used to. You begin to wonder if your husband truly finds you beautiful. You see other women and think to yourself:
“I wish I could be as beautiful as her, she’s gorgeous.”
“Maybe this new make-up will help me look and feel young again.”
“No chance I’m ever wearing that outfit again. It definitely makes me look fat.”
If your husband could put it to words, he would respond to each of these statements by saying:
“You’ve grown more beautiful the longer we’ve been together.”
“Some of my favorite moments with you are when you’re not wearing any make-up.”
“I don’t care what you wear. I just like looking at and being with you.”
In short, your husband wishes to tell you that you don’t need to question your appearance. You don’t need to doubt your beauty. You don’t need to compare yourself to others. He loves you and he doesn’t ever want you to be insecure about how you look. Even more than this, your husband desires you to rid yourself of any . . .
3)Insecurities about sex
Remember your first sexual experience with your husband? My guess is you were a bit anxious. Maybe even terrified. You were completely naked, 100% vulnerable for the very first time. You were going to avail everything about your body to him.
Due to some insecurities about your body and how well you may ‘perform,’ you may have asked for some ground rules. You wanted the lights out, or at least very dim. You didn’t want to be too adventurous, because you didn’t want him to truly ‘see’ everything.
In time, he grew in his desire to know you even more intimately. He wasn’t afraid to have more light. He wasn’t afraid to shed the covers and see all of you. He may have grown in his desire to see (maybe even taste!) your body in the most intimate ways. Suddenly, you’re left having to make a decision:
“Am I really ready to avail all of myself?”
“Am I ready to trust that I am not just pleasing my husband, but that I myself am pleasing to him?”
“Am I really ready to be fully known in this way?”
For those who don’t know me, the tagline on our blog is, “Freedom may be found behind closed doors.” Think about that for just a minute. Freedom-may-be-found-behind-closed-doors.
Are there any insecurities, any at all that are preventing you from full freedom in the bedroom?
If so, it’s your husband’s desire that you let them go. He wants to be free to love and embrace and know you in the deepest possible way between two human beings. And even though he may not say it, he wants to be loved, embraced and known in the deepest possible way as well.
It’s difficult to fully let-go of all insecurities. I know it is. But when you throw off any insecurities you have about how well you may ‘perform’ and just take the opportunity to know him and let yourself be fully known, the result is something no sex blog, book, or counselor can describe in words. It’s more than pleasure. More than orgasm. It’s intimacy in its purest form. It’s the closest thing to relational perfection you’ll ever experience this side of heaven.
This week, make the decision to let-go of any insecurities you may have. Trust that your husband loves you and your personality. Trust that he finds you breathtakingly beautiful. Trust that he wants to know and experience sheer intimacy with you. As a result, take the opportunity this week to know him and to be fully known.
Justin and his wife Megan write about marriage and intimacy over at Do Not Disturb. Outside of writing, Justin co-pastors a growing church in North-Central West Virginia. His doctor tells him not to eat cheese, chocolate, sugar, or anything else that tastes good. But he’s still allowed to drink coffee. And that’s wonderful.
My heartfelt thanks to Justin for speaking to wives today!
Last Monday, I answered a question from a reader about her low sex drive, providing a checklist for possible causes so that the libido issue can be addressed. Another reader asked a similar question in my Q&A for J at HHH post. Here it is:
My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years. We were great friends for years before, have known each other since we were kids, and have lots of fun together. We did not have sex until we were married (he had before me though). I have always heard about great sex lives, and how much people love it, and how amazing it is, but honestly, I just don’t get it.
I have practically no sex drive to begin with (we have sex maybe a couple times a month, and we are in our 20s)–I know this hurts him. So when we do have sex, it often feels like it’s a chore for me. I have been told many times by other Christians that it is my wifely duty and I have to…I can’t always be turning him down just because I don’t want to. When we do, he is willing to take his time, etc., but I just want to get it over with as soon as possible so I can go to sleep. I rarely enjoy it. Honestly, I only enjoy sex if I have had a few drinks, and I don’t do that often. I don’t want my sex life to be based on alcohol making it better.
I feel like I could go forever without sex and be just fine. I just don’t want it and when we have it, it’s nothing great. I have wondered several times what the big deal is. Add to all this that I just feel AWKWARD and so uncomfortable. My husband likes to play around and grab me, etc., but I hate it. I feel like I am being groped by someone who is just a good friend, not my husband. And when we have sex, I am uncomfortable–it just feels awkward to me. It doesn’t feel intimate and loving–it just feels like sex. Nothing more. And afterwards, I usually feel so strange about it too.
I’m sorry this is so long. We have struggled with this for years. I have told my husband I just have no sex drive (it actually broke up my parent’s marriage bc of my father being that way, so maybe it’s genetic?) but I know he wants more. I always feel guilty or used when it comes to sex, and only satisfied if tipsy. Any help??
Don’t you have compassion for this couple? I do.
Since I posted my two cents about this subject last week, I wanted to come back and offer more resources this week. There are plenty of fellow marriage bloggers who have addressed the issue of a wife’s low sex drive as well. If this is a problem for you in your marriage, check out one or more of the following resources (and this is by no means a comprehensive list):
Let me clear that while I believe that 1 Corinthians 7:5 instructs spouses that they have a sexual duty to one another, God doesn’t want you to approach sex in your marriage as a chore. Rather, the Bible talks about godly sexuality in marriage as:
Becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:18, 1 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 5:31).
Satisfying (Proverbs 5:19).
Delightful (Song of Songs 1:2, 2:3, 4:10).
Pure (Hebrews 13:4).
If you do not feel these things in your marriage, try to figure out why. I often hear from couples who went from floundering to flourishing sex lives in their marriage. It may take some effort on your part to find out what’s happening or not happening and then address it; however, it is worth the effort to strengthen this area of your marriage.
Finally, I want to suggest talking to your husband about how you feel about sex now and how you want to feel about sex. Attaining quality sexual intimacy in marriage should be a joint endeavor. Most husbands would be happy to do whatever they can to help you awaken your desire.
One last thing: If you are a wife who went from flailing libido to flaming libido, please comment below on how you got there. What was the issue and how did you address it? You might be able to help someone else if they are experiencing a similar problem.