The mayo jar blinked like a stop light after midnight. I was 10 years old and reveled in harvesting fireflies. The bioluminescent flash of these insects mesmorized me. Without remorse, I would smear their dayglow nubbins on random objects, even my own arms, to wonder at the continued glow-in-the-dark effect.
We have spent the past 10 days in our birthstate, Indiana. Nighttime brought out the multi-sensual symphony of my childhood; crickets chirping brightly, lightning bugs and a tang of green things growing from rich dark earth (which is free of sand).
I hadn’t realized fireflies were absent from my life until I experienced them again.
There was a tiny leap in my heart when I saw sparks randomly appear in the air like magic. They are joyous creatures.
How could I have not realized lightning bugs have disappeared from near my home?
How do we forget anything that was once important, meaningful or fun?
When the bare minimum of caring gestures are made in a marriage, eventually we forget what we are missing.
Back when we had slipped into a place of misery, I didn’t realize I was missing sexual intimacy. If you’d accused me of it, I would have denied it.
Now, if you are a friend who finds sexual intimacy distasteful, please stick with me.
I knew that I missed the easy way we related to one another when he assumed my motives were loving.
I knew that I missed acceptance of each other, even if we didn’t agree. I didn’t have to agree with him or vice versa, but we could still be a team.
I knew that I missed honesty and open sharing of whatever was on our minds.
I missed him looking at me with fondness.
I didn’t know that all of that was tied up into how we related sexually. I glady bought into the lie that sexual intimacy was fluff, not part of the foundation. That helped me bypass any responsibility.
What I didn’t know I was missing is that sex is a third of the total marital intimacy package (spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy).
I didn’t know that I was crushing the light in my husband’s heart by denying the importance of our sexual intimacy. When I became convicted that I wanted him to glow once again for me (and vice versa), I had to make a committed decision to begin engaging in sexual intimacy on a more regular basis.
Now, nearly 15 years later, I do know what I was missing. Sex isn’t just a romp in the lightning-bug-lit field for physical pleasure, it is a romp that promotes a sustained connection between man and wife. All of those things listed above and more have returned and I never want to not miss them again.
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