Psalm 139:11-12

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (PSALM 139:11-12)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Will You Know?

"Marriage is a momentary gift. I have only scratched the surface of its wonders and its wounds." (John Piper "This Momentary Marriage")

So how will you know whether or not your spouse will stay true? Only time will tell.

Betrayal tears away walls of trust that take years to build. It is a complicated world we live in when at any moment, anyone, anywhere can hurt us, physically or mentally or both.

There is something magical about time. You may have heard it said that "time heals all wounds". Think about losing someone close to you and you remember how difficult the first year was, every first that comes along without them here. But time does heal and we all get back to living. What else is there to do?

I think time is a gift from God. It's through the passing of time that we often see and understand a little bit more of what was going on "back then". Time offers fresh perspective on things in the past. Sometimes it's through time that God reveals some of His larger plan. Believing we are all part of something greater gives us hope and helps us to keep putting one foot in front of the other, especially through the struggles.

Time also gives change wings. Time is constantly pressing forward but so are our opportunities to make different choices and to change. Over time trust between my husband and I is slowly building. Like I have said before, through thought, word, and action I have been witness to my husband's heart change. He is not the man he was before and time has revealed that.

I have been asked, "what will you do if he betrays you again?". I have been mulling this over for awhile because I know what I want my answer to be and I know where I believe I stand. But truth be told I hope my heart is strong enough to resist the urge to run if something like that happened again. For me, FOR ME, I choose to embrace this covenant commitment I have made with my husband. It's easy to say when things are good that I won't give up on him. That I am not going anywhere. But I also know what it's like to be face to face with raw hurt and betrayal and how devastating it can be when your trust is in shambles. All I can say is that I am committed. I am planted deep in this marriage until God moves me. I cannot control whether or not my husband betrays me again. But I am not self-deceiving enough to think that I could not make a major mistake that requires the same grace from him some day. I hope that his commitment to me is as strong and true as mine is to him.

So time heals. It allows for second chances and change. It unveils some of God's plan and work in our lives and the lives of others. And ultimately, in a marriage, time means a commitment and a covenant to enjoy and work through hard issues with your spouse. Time is a gift of memories. And time means there is hope for all of us to know and love God more and more each day. That when we mess up today, we get another chance tomorrow.

Time is a gift.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

God-Honoring Intimacy

Intimacy is a really important part of marriage. Notice I didn't say "sex". It's taken us quite a while to understand the difference. It's even more complicated when you are married to a recovering sex addict AND you have childhood sexual abuse baggage.

I believe God created sex to be something you share with your spouse alone.

I believe that sexual intercourse is the fruit of knowing and being known by your spouse. This "knowing and being known" is not exclusive to the bedroom. This can be deep, heartfelt conversation, non-sexual touching, spending quality time together, and being loving to one another (thru actions and words) -- all of which can ultimately culminate in intimacy in the bedroom. When you feel loved, connected, cared for, and safe it creates an atmosphere for trust and vulnerability which I believe naturally leads you to God-glorifying physical intimacy.

I believe that all things, including and especially your sex life with your spouse, need to be God honoring. And I believe you know whether it is God honoring when you truly understand and are honest about what is motivating you during the act of making love. If it is for self-gratification or just to make your spouse happy then I don't believe it is God honoring.To glorify God in sexual intimacy it cannot be about using each other...using for a release or using to feel loved or so they won't leave you.

Intimacy includes being respectful of your spouse and not asking them to do things that make them feel uncomfortable, confused, objectified, or unloved. It's about mutually loving one another. It is me loving and putting his needs before mine and him loving me and putting my needs before his. If sex is a means to getting off, whether it's with your spouse or not, I don't believe that is intimacy (atleast the way God intended it to be). Intimacy is definitely a heart thing and intimacy is about LOVE.

Marriage is not a free ticket to sex anytime, anywhere, any way you want it. You are not an object. You are his wife and should be honored above all. You should be his treasure and treated as such.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (the message) "There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever - the kind of sex that can never "become one". There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? They physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."

Sex has and continues to be one of our biggest struggles in our marriage. And it's only been until recently that we have made some major strides in this area. A sexual addiction makes sex an idol. Whatever the means by which they get the sex they so desperately want (even if it's with their spouse), it is still an idol. Until they turn to God, instead of sex, to fulfill all of their needs, it will be a struggle for them (and you).

Reading the book "Undefiled" by Harry Schaumburg has helped tremendously with our understanding of biblical intimacy and biblical manhood and womanhood. Another resource that has been helpful to us is a sermon series by Pastor John Piper of Desiring God ministries called "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ". To listen or to download a copy of the sermon click the links below.

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Part 1 -- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Part 2 -- By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:
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