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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Intimacy...a foreign word these days

I always seem to blog about controversial topics.  I'm not sure why, other than I typically blog about what burdens my heart.
I led a class on intimacy at a conference awhile back.  It was actually quite comical.  As I looked into the crowd of women sitting in front of me, the faces were filled with an abundance of emotions.  Some shaking their heads "as if to say YES! Amen to that!" Others with a complete blank stare as if to say "i think I am in the wrong classroom?!" and the rest with a perplexed look as if to say "are you SERIOUS?"
I will never forget the week of my wedding my mom gave me a great analogy that I will never forget.  With a smile on her face, she explained,"Your marriage is like a package to be sent in the mail.  While it might be  FULL of many wonderful things, it will go nowhere without the postal stamp.  The postal stamp represents the intimacy in your marriage, while it seems so small and insignificant, it will never reach the potential that it is capable of without you keeping it a priority" other words...your marriage is going NOWHERE without that stamp!"  For 20 years, her words have rung in my ears.
How can it be that something God created IN us, can seem SO foreign?  Our world, culture, and sin nature make it seem wrong or forbidden or just downright difficult.  God created it to be wonderful and make us feel closer to our spouse than we could ever imagine, so why does it seem to be what keeps us apart at times?  
I am not a marriage specialist.  However, i have lived with the same man for 20 years and juggled 7 children in the midst of my marriage and can still say that I feel closer to him now than I ever have.  After a few children come into your life the juggle begins.  Many things begin to strain your relationship and make you physically tired.   The problem that we face is forgetting to "pursue" each other.  Your marriage becomes comfortable and the ones we love the most seem to get the least from us.  life just happens...
Kevin Leman writes the best books on marriage.  He often says: what do men need? 1) to be fulfilled 2) to be respected 3) to be needed. What do women need? 1) affection 2) communication 3) commitment to family.  His second list consists of  what we REALLY LONG for.  women long for: 1) intimacy, security, being known and loved unconditionally, feel like she can be whomever she wants to be, being freed from trying to please everyone.  men long for: 1) a 12 month football season, 2) a pocket satellite dish, 3) a wife who is assertive and aggressive in the bedroom, 4)a soul mate ( someone who really understands how he feels when he dares to share his feelings, 5)a wife who needs him ( not others, just him)
One of the most significant things that I have learned is that Mike would rather have me (with vericose veins from 4 children, cellulite from adding the extra weight, wrinkles on my face (more each day) and dark circles under my eyes) DESIRE him over a perfect looking young lady laying next to him that has no interest in him whatsoever.  Men long to feel desired. The world tells us that men are visual (which they are) and that outer looks trump all and that is not the case.   They need to know that you think they are still handsome,  that you think about them during the day, and that you are SO thankful that they help provide for your family.  I know many of you have lost touch with your husbands and just the basics no longer stand true.  if this is the case, then i want to challenge you to talk with him.  tell him that you want to start over.  you want to date again.  make "courting" a priority.  Make an effort to call several times in the day to check in.  In the beginning it might be a little awkward, after all, you have to get to know each other again.  Keep at it.  DO NOT LET satan win!  He wants your marriage.  He will whisper  lies in your ears...commit to each other to rebuke him and put each other first.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8


Jenay said...

Amen. This is so true. I don't know why we struggle to embrace all the gifts God has for us.

Janet said...

Pornography is destroying our society. It affects Christians as much as others. It causes men to prefer encounters with no intimacy to intimate relationships. I was married to a Christian guy with a degree in Bible and minor in New Testament Greek, prayed in tongues..........yet had a life-long addiction to porn and worse. The only hope for these men is to go all the way back to puberty and rewire their sexuality with much counseling and prayer. The discussion of what men need and want in relationships should distinguish between healthy men and the vast numbers of unhealthy men.

Amy Lafayett said...

Beautifully written and so well said. I forwarded your link onto several of my girlfriends. . . all about 15 years into marraige and like all of us, needing an intimacy check-up. I love how you are so real and transparent! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I check in every now and then. Your love for orphans keeps me coming back. BUT tonight I have struggled over this very problem. Even read the scripture you referred to.

This very night you posted what this very night was burdening my soul. I thank the Lord with big wet tears for burdening your heart with this post. Thank you!

Grace Hartmann said...

That is a good word, sister. Can't wait to experience one day what you and Mike have set a great example of! :)


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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