Today we offer our final post in our Sexual Intimacy In Marriage series, and this one is very special to us. It’s by our pastor and friend, Danny Jones, who has had more influence in our 33 years of marriage than anyone else, and that’s not an exaggeration. We know you’ll be encouraged and blessed by his post today.
Ephesians 5 is a fascinating chapter. Notice the pattern:
- “walk in love” = “as Christ loved us”
- “wives, submit to your husbands” = “as to the Lord”
- “husbands, love your wives” = “as Christ loved the church”
The most simple and foundational issues of daily life are all rooted and grounded in the model we have in how Christ loves us, the Church. So when we are faced with, “What am I supposed to do?” The answer can be found in this profound principle, “Do for others what Christ is doing for you.” – right now, every minute of every day! Love those around you in the way He loves you.
Over the course of our 38 years of marriage, Melodye and I have discovered over and over again that the Scriptures are the most comprehensive marriage manual available. Everything the Bible tells us about serving God and one another in the church applies most directly to our marriage and family relationships. When we’re struggling, the question that puts us on the right track is this, “How does the Gospel apply to what we are facing right now?”
That is as true of sexual intimacy as it is in any other area of life. Melodye and I are not bloggers, but our lives have been significantly enriched by those who open up their lives to us in this way. What distinguishes rational, sound advice on the issues of marriage from life-transforming freedom from sin and failure in marriage again and again, is the power of the Gospel!
One of the biggest mistakes we both tend to make regarding intimacy is focusing on what’s going on in my life that moment and forgetting to consider the eternal perspective of our life in Christ. It’s just so easy to tell myself, “This is just a busy season, as soon as this (fill in the blank) is over, things will get back to normal.”
Life is just one busy season after another and the chaos never seems to end, it just looks a little different than the last one. This is how Melodye described it: First, it was being a new wife and learning how to juggle working outside the home while meal planning and keeping a home clean at the same time. Then, after several years, and just about the time we thought we had figured things out, the babies began to come! The exhaustion of little sleep and feeling unattractive were the perfect storm to decreased intimacy. We’d work hard to figure it out with one child, then number 2, 3 and 4 came along. A couple of miscarriages during that time as well challenged our values and the depth of our love. All the sudden, we were in a new world that we knew nothing about – teenagers!
For us, those years were disorienting moments of how to relate, train and discipline a teen as well as dealing with all the extra curricular activities that kept me in the car more than out! Then followed the young adult years: college choices, mate selection and for us, the most recent, is caring for aging parents. These “older people” wanted to talk late at night – the only time we had to be alone! All of these seasons bring their specific difficulties and stresses that can chip away at intimacy with our spouse if we allow them to.
And that has been a key for us. Are we willing to let these situations and circumstances rob us of the precious treasure that God has given us as a couple? Sex is a gift from God! It’s is a priceless gift that is unique to you and your spouse alone. Our advice to you: NEVER give up!
Intimacy grows with each of these seasons of life! Sure its hard work, it demands selflessness and requires vulnerability. Opening up to your mate about such sensitive issues is intimidating and heart wrenching. But it’s worth it! Don’t let ANYTHING rob you of this precious gift!
Love your mate as Christ loves you – with a love that grows all the sweeter and more beautiful year after year, decade after decade.