Pursuing Intimacy with Your Husband

More than Agreeing to Sex

This is a message especially for wives. Next week we’ll look at the other side – a message especially for husbands.

Feet Intimacy with your HusbandShould you always say Yes when your husband wants sex? How long do you pursue your husband if he does not pursue you? Is it OK to “just say NO” because you’re “not in the mood”? What’s the big deal about pursuing intimacy with your husband anyway?

There’s been controversy – and sometimes violence, guilt, and shame – arising from Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians:

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

First, some perspective please. This Scripture does not condone marital rape or God-talk domination and condemnation. Its purpose is not to load you with more oppression. We’re talking woman-to-woman here, and let’s be honest that the enemy has twisted this Scripture and incited some to use it to bring enormous destruction and pain.

Let’s also be honest that some of us women have twisted it too. Some have used the “devote yourselves to prayer” as an excuse to refuse sex with their husband. Ok ladies; are you praying for nine months? Or five years? If you’re working a job or cleaning your house or joining girlfriends for coffee, you’re not so “devoted to prayer” that you can’t connect with your husband.

But this Scripture IS in the Bible. What does it mean? Everything God says has a reason, and is for our good. So what is it here?

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How Communication with your Spouse is like Tossing Fruit

Message Sent, Message Received, Message Understood

Tossing FruitHave you ever thought “It’s no use trying to talk about it. We always end up fighting.” Or, “Regardless of how many times I say it my spouse never hears me.” Communication with your spouse can be a source of great frustration – or of great healing and joy.

George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

So let’s uncover the illusion and try to get at what real communication is all about.

Imagine a message – a piece of communication – as an apple. And imagine he wants to get an apple to she. He wants apple pie for dessert, and desperately wants her to get the message. (Well, maybe she would more likely want to get an apple to he. But let’s go with this.) There are many ways he could go about getting that apple to she.

First, he could think about the apple, picturing the apple in his mind, and imagining she getting the apple. He could get emotionally excited (or upset) about the apple. And he just knows that if she gets the apple, she will be excited (or upset) as well.

But he never picks up the apple to toss it to she. And he’s disappointed or even angry when she starts talking about asparagus, or doing laundry.

Principle Number 1: Pick up the apple!

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How to Love Your Wife like Christ

"When a Man Loves a Woman”

Love Your WifeWhen Percy Sledge or Michael Bolton begin to sing “When a Man Loves a Woman” the ladies swoon and scream. And if you as a husband love your wife that way, she’s likely to respond in a similar fashion.

That song, still heard 50 years after it first came out, speaks to something deep in the hearts of human beings, something God put there, something that differentiates a successful marriage from a non-successful one. Regardless of how hard the enemy tries to distort and complicate it, loving your woman well will keep her heart close to yours and make your relationship intimate and strong. That’s something of what it means to love your wife like Christ.

Let’s get the objections out of the way right now. Life is complicated, and human beings are broken. God has given your wife free will also, and she has the option to refuse your love. Women can cause men enormous pain (the song implies that too), and your needs are important. I have some very strong things to say to women who behave badly toward their husbands.

But as a man God has gifted you with the responsibility and the power to be as Christ to your wife. Nothing happens – spiritually, emotionally, or sexually – until you step up. It’s vulnerable, scary, and perhaps overwhelming, but that’s what God has called you to do.

And you can do it!

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You’re NOT Stuck in this Marriage

Embracing Alternatives and Choices

Stuck in this marriageOne of the most common sentiments I hear from married people is, “I feel stuck in this marriage.” Yes, you’re miserable. You’re needs aren’t getting met. There’s little or no intimacy or sex. Your spouse doesn’t get you.

But I’m here to tell you, you’re NOT stuck in this marriage!

Perhaps if you’re reading this from some middle-eastern country that might be true – sort of. But even there we regularly hear stories of women who refuse to be stuck. Some may be whipped, imprisoned, or killed for trying to leave – and that’s NEVER NEVER ACCEPTABLE! But the point is you always have options regardless of your gender.

That also illustrates that your choices have consequences. In most of the world you have the choice to get a divorce, to leave the marriage. That choice may involve financial difficulties, trauma to your children, emotional and spiritual baggage, and a change in the way others see and treat you socially. But that is a choice you can make.

So get it out of your head and your vocabulary that you’re stuck. Remember the maxim that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? It’s time to do something different if you want a different outcome. Now that we’ve illustrated what may be the extremes, let’s consider some of the various choices you have if your marriage is not the way you’d like it.

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When You or Your Spouse is Angry

4 Skills that transform Anger into Intimacy

Your Spouse is AngryYou do not want to be married to someone who never becomes angry. There is no more boring or superficial relationship than when anger is eliminated at all costs. Please save me from an anger-less marriage!

Do I have your attention?

Anger scares many of us, for good reason. Many have been harmed by someone in authority or by a spouse during a period of rage, and have determined never to go there again. And the enemy has used anger to bring destruction in many ways.

But you wouldn’t want a God who cannot become angry, and you don’t want a spouse who cannot become angry either.

Anger is evidence that one cares about someone or something. I would go so far as to say that nothing wrong has ever been made right in the world without someone becoming angry – angry enough to fight against evil, persevere in spite of enormous opposition, and break down barriers. If you shut down all anger you eliminate passion, intimacy, and love.

Here’s a news flash; anger is not abuse! If you or your spouse physically harms or attempts to harm people or things when angry, that’s abuse. If you or your spouse verbally attack each other with untrue or demeaning words meant only to cause pain, that’s abuse. But the emotion of anger is, in itself, normal, healthy, human, and can even be godly. Like with sexual desire, grief, or excitement, it’s what one does with that emotion that makes it good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.

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