|That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)|
In Genesis, God created the institution of Holy Marriage. Included in that is the sexual union of husband and wife. It can be one of the most beautiful things in a marriage. Along with finances, it can also be one of the most troubling. Why should such a beautiful thing cause so much stress and trouble? Let’s do some exploring.
I grew up in an era where this topic was something a husband and wife did, but certainly didn’t discuss. But a healthy, intimate relationship takes work and mutual understanding. It doesn’t “just happen.”
It’s like we just expect our sexual union to be like in the movies, all romantic, perfect… candle light, soft music and cuddling and shooting stars. SURPRISE! It seldom works out that way. Many things get in the way of a successful intimate relationship.
OK, not in the early days of the marriage. But after a few months or perhaps a year, things get, well, boring! It can become a chore. Many excuses can be found to avoid the “task” or treat it as a chore to be done as quickly as possible. So many things are required to make a marriage successful… establishing a household, careers, social relationships… just really getting to know one another. It’s easy for this so very important part of marriage, established and ordained by God, to sort of fall into the closet.
Then come the kids. Boy, talk about messing up a good thing. Kids require so much attention, especially from the mother. Not only do they become the major focus of the house, but they can be just plain exhausting. For some, it’s a wonder there is ever more than just one child born in the marriage. Too tired, too busy, too… well, just too everything.
Then there are the expectations that sex is just not something you talk about or make time for. It’s just something that is supposed to happen, beautifully. Didn’t work that way for me and I doubt it did for many of you. Bummer!
When I looked in my Bible’s Concordance for Sex or Sexual, i found that virtually every reference had to do with sexual immorality! Now, if God commanded that a “man shall cleave to his wife,” (or be joined or united), why isn’t it discussed as a good thing in the Bible? through the ages, this has led to many strange practices among Christians, including keeping a pregnant woman out of the public eye for the duration of the marriage. Storks were busy creatures, I guess. (Note: There are Biblical references to the beauty of sex, but they are harder to find)
Or sexual relations were to be performed in very restrictive ways. Recently I heard a Christian woman discussing this as she was guiding other women in their responsibilities in marriage. “Sex gets boring. After eleven years, the ceiling hasn’t changed much.” Well, do you see any problems here? Of course it got boring. Maybe she needed a change of view (both physical and attitudinal)!
Men and women are also wired differently when it come to sexual intimacy. Women need to “feel close” to engage in this beautiful activity. Men “feel close” when they are engaged in it. Big disconnect!
So, for many, it’s easier to discuss sex with friends or even strangers than it is with our spouses. Make sense? Not at all, but… well, it’s the way things often are!
Things may be changing a bit. I don’t know. I don’t look into the bedrooms of the younger set or sit in their living rooms. It would be good if it did.
If it hasn’t for you in your marriage do something about it!
Ladies, can you imagine the reaction of your husband if you came to him and said “Honey, I want to talk about our sex life. I’ve been praying and I want this part of our marriage to be better, more fulfilling.” Bet you get his attention!
Men, be sensitive to the wants and needs of your wife. Recognize that she is wired differently than you are. While a glimpse of her undressing to get ready for bed may get you going, she won’t necessarily be eager to respond. You gotta do some prep work here. Talk to her, find out what she needs and expects in an intimate relationship.
My friends, I talk about this in hindsight. Not having done things like this led to many, many problems over the years in my marriage.
In Greek, the love of your spouse is called Eros. Eros includes physical intimacy, but it is so much more. It is what God meant when he said “and they shall become one flesh.” Even this can be confusing. Within the marriage God intends two become one in all aspects.
In a way, we can compare this to the Holy Trinity. We have one God in three Persons. There is one marriage, one couple… a man and a woman, in a Holy Marriage. But there are two persons, each with his or her unique roles in the marriage. And we are wired differently, we compliment, not mirror one another. It takes a heck of a lot of work in every area, including the sexual union, to make a marriage be all that it can be. We need to be more open and bold.
And as with all things, it becomes a process of making choices. May the choices you make fulfill the will of God as He expressed when He created this wonderful union.
Alive in The Word