Have you ever heard the phrase, “Someone’s gotta go first,” in regards to making a change to improve an unhappy marriage?
Well, I didn’t go first.
No matter who went ‘first,’ I can pinpoint the moment my heart began turning from feeling neglected to cherished. From that moment, it was a slow and steady u-turn.
The moment our marriage bed changed is the day we started praying together.
However, prayer helped our sex life improve because many hurts in other areas started being addressed. Although improving sexual frequency is good in a marriage with mismatched sex drives, the lack of sex is usually not the foundational issue. The foundational issue is basically that you aren’t being nice to each other or taking each other seriously.
Praying together is not magic. It’s a process of humbling yourself to God and then to each other. Prayer helps open your compassion. Even if you don’t specifically pray over the pain, you both become aware of the other’s hurts. Although compassion isn’t listed as a fruit of the spirit, I believe it is a spiritual gift and it grows in strength when you pray with your spouse.
Prayer channels compassion.
As our prayer life progressed, I began to understand my husband was hurting in areas I never dreamed he could be hurting. He also became aware of my hurts and acknowledged them as real.
When my hurt was raw, I couldn’t see clearly. Prayer helped heal my heart so that I could see beyond my pain and consider my husband’s needs.
Nomatter how much you may not understand your spouse’s perspective, you need to acknowledge it is real and valid to them. Joe Beam explains it like this, “If someone tells you that your child has been killed in a car accident, you are going to experience horrendous pain. Then, if that person calls back and tells you that there was a mistake and your child is still alive, it doesn’t make the first pain-filled reaction any less real even though the facts were wrong.”
Even if we don’t understand our spouse’s emotions and his reaction to things, we need to accept them as real.
If you think your spouse is stupid for feeling that way, you will make no progress towards a happier marriage. Only when we accept our spouse’s emotions as true for them and make no judgements, will the real work of healing begin.
Prayer channels love.
Loving your spouse enough to put your pain and anger aside to look at their wounds is not easy. A real champion goes on to consider that who caused of those wounds. If you can point the finger back at yourself, healing will begin. Prayer softens the edges and makes it possible.
Prayer helps you juggle all of this. Prayer helped motivate me to understand my husband’s deep need for me to be sexual with him. Prayer helped him understand I needed him to show me love by moderating his mood, using a sweeter tone of voice, and consulting me when he made his schedule for the week.
Prayer helped me develop a plan to meet his needs in spite of my low libido. God helped me turn sex into a mind and heart connection, not just a physical one.
No matter which of you is the high drive spouse, praying together will be the beginning of a change.
If sexual conflict is a reality in your marriage, pray for God to reveal what might be the true underlying cause. Pray that you will be able to accept whatever the revelation may be. Pray that God will guide you through the healing process and bring people and resources to your aid.
1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
If you wonder what God thinks about sexual intimacy, see 25 Reasons God Made Sex Really Good.