Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Love Dare - Day Thirty-Two

Love Meets Sexual Needs

In Christian marriage, romance is meant to thrive and flourish. After all, it was created by God.  It’s all part of celebrating what God has given, becoming one with our mate while simultaneously pursuing purity and holiness.  He delights in us when this happens.

It’s true that sex is only one aspect of marriage.  But as time goes by, one of you will likely value its importance more highly than the other.  As a result of this, the nature of your oneness as man and wife will feel threatened and endangered.

This same oneness is a hallmark of every marriage.  In the act of romance, we join our hearts to each other an expression of love that no other form of communication can match.  We are not to share this same experience with anyone else.  But we are weak.  And when this legitimate need goes unmet – when it’s treated as being selfish and demanding by the other – our hearts are subject to being drawn away from marriage, tempted to fulfill this longing somewhere else, some other way.

Sex is not to be used as a bargaining chip.  It is not something God allows us to withhold without consequence.  Though there can be abuses to this divinely designed framework, the heart of marriage is one of giving ourselves to each other to meet the other’s needs.

Sex is one God-given opportunity to do that.

You are the one person called and designated by God to meet your spouse’s sexual needs.  If you allow distance to grow between you in this area, if you allow staleness to set in, you are taking something that rightly (and exclusively) belongs to your spouse.  If you let your mate know – by words, actions, or inactions – that sex needn’t be any more than you want it to be, you rob from them a sense of honor and endearment that has been set in place by biblical mandate. You violate the “one flesh” unity of marriage.

So whether you perceive yourself as being on the deprived end, or you would admit that you are the one depriving the other, know that God’s plan for you is to meet in the middle and come to a place of agreement.  But also know that the path to getting there will not be accomplished by sulking, arguing or demanding.  Love is the only way to reestablish loving union between each other.  All the things the Love Dare entails – patience, kindness, selflessness, thoughtfulness, protection, honor, forgiveness – will play a role in renewing your sexual intimacy.  When the love of Christ is the foundation of your marriage, the strength of your friendship and sexual relationship can be enjoyed at a level this world can never know.

Today’s Dare

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your husband or wife today.  Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually.  Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

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