Marriage Lessons-(12-week-series) Week 10

This is week ten of the Marriage Lessons. The lessons are wrapping up quickly. I hope you are being encouraged!

Lesson 10 – Sexual intimacy is a special part of your marriage-ORDAINED BY GOD-…keep it alive

Before marriage, most of us are excited about the intimacy. We look forward to date nights, romantics trysts and everything in between. In my opinion, it seems intimacy would be the easiest aspect of marriage; however, for many reasons, it is not. For most, the beginning is wonderful and full of excitement. But, over time that excitement can fizzle. This can happen because of children, careers, or anything. But to be honest, nothing should get in the way of the intimate aspect of your marriage.

Before I married my husband, we discussed this part of our marriage and what we expected of each other.  We were very excited about what was to come. However, I never considered how difficult making time for intimacy could be. One of our biggest obstacles was blending our families. Before marriage, my husband had two sons ages six and ten and I had one son age eight. His youngest son did not live with us, however, he visited bi-weekly and was autistic. This entire dynamic (that I signed up for) added another layer of stress I did not expect.

There were times I was so exhausted by the time nightfall came, intimacy was out of the question. Not to mention working full-time as well as outside activities. We were eager to be with each other regularly, but there was so much stress dealing with our circumstances that we were both drained. We took time to get away, but for us, it was not enough. After our second year, I realized this part of our marriage was declining and I was not pleased with it and neither was God.

Looking back, I realize no one shared how difficult this part of your marriage could be no matter what the reason. Maybe I could have been prepared (probably not).

Perhaps your issue is not blending your family but making time for your spouse. Maybe you place your job/career ahead of your marriage. Maybe your ministry is first and not your spouse. Perhaps you and your spouse currently do not see eye to eye. Whatever the reason, if you do not take care of this part of your relationship…YOUR MARRIAGE WILL SUFFER because you will give room for the enemy to come in.

So…what do you do if this happens in your marriage? First, pray…ask God to help you and to forgive you. The Bible says in I Corinthians 7:3-5, “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.”
I encourage you to read the entire scripture here.

Second, have an open and honest discussion with your spouse. Communicate your emotions and pray together. Ask God to help you get back on track. Finally, go back to the beginning. Remember when you could not stay away from each other? You talked on the phone all night, took walks, went on as many dates as you could, spent all your time together, and enjoyed each other’s company. Go back to that! It may not be easy depending on how long you allowed issues and circumstances to overshadow the intimacy, but work at it! Don’t give up! It took time to dig the hole and it will take time to dig out of it. Stay with God and stay with each other and you will reap the benefits.

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson
1. Work at keeping the intimacy alive (if you are not careful, it can die)
2. Keep it fun…keep it spicy
3. Pray when the intimacy is good and when it is not so good (either way, you’re keeping God involved)
4. Counseling is your friend…embrace it; especially if the intimacy in your marriage has gone too far off track

Scriptures
I Corinthians 7:3-5
Proverbs 5:19
Hebrews 13:4

Marriage Lessons-(12 week series)-Week 9

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!! Today is week nine of the Marriage Lessons. Last weeks lesson focused on “A nagging wife.” I hope you will read it.

Lesson 9. Communication is a skill and you must learn to master it daily

Communication definition: the imparting or exchanging of information or news

Fifteen years ago, when my husband and I were in marriage counseling, our counselors asked me a question. They asked, “How will I work things out when there is a conflict?” I remember saying “By communicating.” Their response was “Communication works both ways.” “And what will you do if you communicate differently?” I recall thinking, “That won’t be a problem for us, we always talk to each other.” After year one of marriage, I realized talking and communicating was two different things. Talking to each other was very easy, however, communicating our emotions meant going beyond the surface; something which was difficult for us.

Effective communication avoids confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict. In school, we learn subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic; however, we are not taught how to effectively communicate. In most cases communication is a skill that enhances over time with practice and patience.

My husband and I communicated poorly. In some ways, communicating was more of a challenge for me as I was still overcoming the effects of abuse from my childhood.

One of the first times we experienced a miscommunication was within the first few weeks of our marriage.  Usually, when I came home from work, I changed out of my work clothes and sat down for a few minutes to gather myself before cooking. One day, I was sitting on the couch when my husband walked in. He came in, gave me a kiss and went into the kitchen. I did not think much of it until I heard pots and pans. I walked into the kitchen and asked, “Are you making dinner?” He said “Yes.” I immediately got upset and walked out of the kitchen. Later that night, he noticed I was quiet and asked if I was okay. I did not want to talk about it, but I did anyway (internalizing). I said, “You made me feel like a bad wife when you went into the kitchen to cook.”  “You made it seem as if I was taking too long.” He looked at me and said, “That is not what I was thinking.” He said, “My process when I come home is to go directly into the kitchen to begin cooking.” He told me he had been doing things this way since becoming a single father.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to deal with my emotions as well as communicate what I felt instead of shutting down. I am grateful we were able to resolve the issue quickly. We learned we needed to discuss our expectations of each other to avoid other issues.

On a daily basis, we continuously work on communicating our emotions. I learned it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Sometimes as wives, we expect our husband to read our minds, which is a mistake because they can’t. As I learned, communication goes two ways. I encourage you to communicate with your spouse. Express your emotions, be clear, be direct. Matthew 5:37 says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson

  1. Discuss your expectations to each other at the beginning
  2. Be clear and direct in your communication
  3. If you or your spouse has trouble communicating, ask God to help you (He will)

Scriptures
Matthew 5:37
Proverbs 25:11