Today, I want to introduce you to Abra Carnahan of Mere Breath. She’s a sincere and spunky wife and mama of 4. What inspires me about Abra’s marriage is their committment to each other and to the Lord through some tough seasons. Abra sets the stage today with honesty.
Join us next Tuesday when Abra offers ways to juggle motherhood and the marriage bed.
Ben and I were married on July 17, 2004. He was 22 and I was 20. We had been dating for 2 years and were eager to tie the knot. In the months that followed, we lived to lie naked in each other’s arms. We were both working and he was still in college, but whenever we were alone our pants hit the floor! We’d set our alarm to wake us up an hour early, we’d meet at home for lunch, go to bed late and still found energy to wake one another up for a little somethin’ somethin’ in the middle of the night.
Then along came our children…
Despite having difficult pregnancies, Ben and I absolutely love being parents! Ophelia was born before our second wedding anniversary and was an incredibly relaxed baby. She slept through the night, in her room, at three days old. We had recently moved across the country for Ben’s teaching career. The work satisfied his soul and kept him on his toes. I found the privilege of staying home with Ophelia delightful. I remember wondering why people said motherhood was difficult…
Then along came Miss Mira. She was diagnosed with colic and rarely slept. That year Ben also became especially busy at work. We’d roll in to bed at night overwhelmed and completely exhausted. Somewhere in the midst of the chaos, we forgot to prioritize each other and, consequently, lost our unity. Gradually we transitioned into living as roommates instead of friends and lovers.
In Genesis 2, Eve is presented to Adam. He saw her nakedness and said, “At last, here is one of my own kind – Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. ‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.” (vs 23) and then Scriptures states, “That is why a man leaves his father and his mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.” (vs 24).
This year Ben and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, but we came close to never making it past the six year mark.
In May of 2010, we decided together to drop everything (his career, our home, our lives in Maryland) and move back to Idaho, where we could be near family and attend our former, well established, church. I was pregnant again and my condition was steadily becoming more severe. We moved into a tiny apartment and Ben accepted a job that kept normal hours. Friends and family graciously babysat often so we could be alone together.
We began getting regular counseling from our pastor. Together, we waded through the rubble of our marriage and began to lay a stronger foundation. It is amazing what solid teaching, sleep, and accountability can do for a relationship. Our marriage has strengthened dramatically over the last couple years. When our son, Jude, was just 7 months old, we got pregnant again with our last baby, Liam. I was the most sick I’d ever been but, unlike before, Ben and I both worked hard to keep our relationship strong. Today we are closer and more in love then we were when we said “I do” a decade ago.
In Mark 10:8-9, Jesus reminds us again that we are “to become one” in marriage, “No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.” Jesus is talking about marital infidelity. We need to understand that when our work, our children or ourselves become more important then our marriage, we are being unfaithful to our spouse and violating the covenant we made before God.
There is a poem called Song for a Fifth Child. It is about a mom who allows all her housework to slide so she can focus on her baby. The closing verse is, “Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.” Our youngest will turn 3 this spring, so it is easy for us understand the truth and importance in the poem.
However, something we’ve learned is that marriages, like babies, don’t keep either.
Relationships cannot pause. When you stop drawing closer to someone, you begin to drift apart. Strong marriages aren’t accidents. Any marriage left unattended for long will have divorce looming on the horizon. We need to be intentional about cultivating a healthy relationship with our spouse.
A fundamental approach to protecting your marriage from infidelity is by engaging together in sex, freely and frequently. Sometimes it is particularly easy for mothers to forget the importance of this. I did. Motherhood quickly became all consuming. But God designed women, mothers, to be sexual. The importance of the sexual relationship we have with our husband trumps everything we do in our role as mommy. The marriage bed is a magnificent gift and we must be mindful not to neglect it.
(All scripture references are from The Good News translation.)
You won’t want to miss Abra’s practical applications when juggling motherhood and marriage bed. Be here next Tuesday!
Abra and her husband, Ben, live in North Idaho where she stays home with their four young children. She is passionate about pursuing God and her hobbies: reading, archery and eating cheese. You can find her at Mere Breath, on Facebook and Twitter.
Enter your email address: