I drove a friend to the doctor last week. The office was located on a busy Hwy in an unfamiliar part of town. As we neared the building, she told me to merge into the center lane.
I didn’t want to merge into the center lane!
At the exact point where she wanted me to merge, began a row of reflectors on either side of the lane. The reflectors were about 3 feet tall and permanently fastened into the road. Looking 100 yards ahead of us, I could see the reflectors barricading the lane. We wouldn’t be able to drive north any farther!
It looked like I was driving into a cage of sorts. I could not see an exit through these reflectors. I thought we were going to be trapped within the reflector cage.
With speeding cars all around us, I had a brief moment of panic.
My friend said, “Trust me. There is an opening up there so you can turn left. You just can’t see it yet.”
I had no choice but to trust her. Having merged into this ‘cage,’ I was committed.
For those few seconds, my panicky heart pounded. I was forced to trust her.
And sure enough, as we proceeded, there was a gap in the reflectors big enough for a car. We were able to turn into the office parking lot and avoid being trapped.
Relieved, I joked that if Mr. Muscle had been giving me directions instead of her, I would have been adamantly arguing with him that there was no exit.
And I stopped dead in my tracks. It’s the same argument I’ve had with God when he’s tried to show me the way.
I often tell him, “No, God, I can’t turn here! There’s no way out!”
God says, “Yes, my daughter, trust my guidance. Trust my design. I promise a beautiful path.”
How long did I question his design of sexual intimacy in marriage? Years.
Every good and perfect gift is designed by God. Trust his design.
For a season, I did not consider sexual intimacy a gift. It was a trap that would force me to give up control of the last thing I had control over, my own body. I don’t think I’m the only wife who has felt this way.
Why don’t we trust God’s design as perfect?
1. We don’t understand or have lost sight of the design of marriage.
Marriages are designed to reflect Christ and bring glory to God, the master designer. I knew I wanted to reflect Christ as an individual believer, but hadn’t transferred this thought to my marriage.
Marriage gives us the chance to lose judgementalism and extend grace. Marriage gives us the chance to tend our orchard. You know, helping the fruit ripen? For me it was mostly the faith, patience, self-control, and gentleness type of fruit.
If we are not offering our spouse the same grace, mercy, forgiveness, love and acceptance that Christ offers us, our marriage is not glorifying God.
Scripture tells us that sexual intimacy is an important element in the design of marriage.
2. We don’t understand God’s complementary design of man and woman.
Men are not and never will be clones of women. Husbands do not view life the same way as wives. Husbands do not value exactly the same thing as you. Or, he may value it, but express it in a different way.
Men are different. They can be logical and unemotional; crass and tactless. However, to another man, he’s just a man. What we see as tactless, they see as strength. Generally, men’s workings are counterintuitive to most women.
And that’s OK. Men’s strengths fill in women’s weaknesses. Women’s strengths fill in men’s weaknesses. God designed us that way to be a perfect whole.
God designed one spouse to be the higher drive spouse. (Those marriages with evenly matched libidos are rare and blessed.) I now understand that this is for the benefit of both spouses. Sexual intimacy is sacred and needs to be experienced in marriage often for spiritual and physical benefits. It glorifies God to have faith in his sexual design as perfect.
3. We don’t understand or have lost our connection to the designer.
At the time, I didn’t think I was disconnected from Christ. I was going to church and doing the right motions; making meals for the sick, carpooling kids to youth group, staying faithful to my husband.
However, I allowed the pain of disconnect with my husband to spill over into disconnect from Christ.
Since my pain had been my focus, I forgot about the promises of his perfect design.
His perfect design is the gospel of Christ. I am completely forgiven, totally accepted, absolutely complete in Christ. I also have the gift of the Holy Spirit which is a power for absolute good at work within me.
My husband cannot be my gospel. Even though my husband was designed to complement my human nature and fill in my weaknesses, my husband is not my savior. He is human with failings. Failings he tried to hide from me when we were first married. When he couldn’t any longer, I felt betrayed. I was mad he hadn’t been honest. I was mad that he wasn’t perfect.
As I moved closer to Christ, Christ held up a mirror and forced me to look into it. I had been a betrayer, as well.
As I moved closer to Christ, he helped me lay aside preconceived notions. I had been wallowing in some false beliefs. I had been holding onto things that really weren’t what the Bible said.
Christ’s spirit grew my faith. As my faith grew, I began to hope. Maybe we could find joy in our marriage again? I became willing to do anything, whatever it took to put our marriage back on the designer’s perfect path.
Through faith and trust , I saw that if I let go of the pain, I would no longer see sexual intimacy as a trap. Maybe sexual intimacy truly was a gift of love; a gift of honesty, vulnerability, connection and pleasure.
Is sexual intimacy a source of contention in your marriage? Rely on God when sexual intimacy just does not make sense and even repulses you. Every marriage’s landscape is different. Pray for God to reveal the right resources for you through books, outside classes, seminars, friends, or the right Christian counselor.
Have faith that God’s design of marriage is perfect. Every good and perfect gift is designed by Him.
Do you trust him?
Want to Talk?
Even though we are not counselors, you can always email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris at the forgiven wife (ForgivenWife@gmail.com), if you are working through things and want to talk.
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