I have had a number of conversations with married Christian women that begin, ” My husband is depressed.” Then as the chat progresses I may find out that the baby either sleeps in the parents’ bed or doesn’t sleep at all and they are exhausted. Somewhere towards the end they will say something like, “We haven’t had sex for a year or more. My husband used to be keen but I was not ready because… (insert baby related reason here). Now I’m keen but he’s too distant. We’re no longer connected. So I’m just going to wait till we feel connected again!”
I had one of these conversations the other day and I could have screamed my frustration, This is too common!
I could see it; two broken halves of a whole wooden drumstick lying on the workbench. I could see the wide gaping space between the two pieces. I could see that it wasn’t a clean break, more like one with jagged, pointy splinters everywhere. One side of the stick was saying to the other, “I’m not going to be glued back together with you until I feel like we are whole again and playing the same tune. Until then I march to my own beat.” But it wasn’t beating at all, just jerking around a bit, while the other half got dusty.
The glue was right there beside them, and neither one was asking the master crafter if they should perhaps use it!
I thought about glue and the ways we glue things.
We have another broken bone in our house this week, a little elbow that is busy knitting back together, but it needed help. It needed to be put back into position by the doctor. I thought about the mini skateboards my son made earlier this year to occupy his hands, while his own broken leg was mending in two places. Each one with five colourful, wooden layers. They had to be placed just so, with the different layers, with their different grain directions, all placed in the right order. Constructing those boards took not only a lot of sanding, but also careful planning before any gluing took place.
When things need gluing in our marriages, especially our sex lives, we need to be put into the right position. Are you positioned, ready to be glued? A lot of people with broken marriages forget, or never even dream that they can pray about sex. We need to pray in order to position ourselves, to get God’s view on things. Only God knows how to place both husband and wife just right.
So start by praying! Ask Him. Pray that God would position you both, ready to be glued. Ask Him what’s going on for the other person. He know’s their most intimate thoughts, He understands their heart.
Then with soft hearts talk to each other. God give Moses divorce as an option for hard hearted people. It gave those facing a lifetime of hard hearted marriage a way out. If we want to stay together it is vital that we soften our hearts to one another. The two halves must approach each other with compassion because when a whole is broken, both halves will have wounds.
When we begin with a desire to reconcile, to understand one another, it is a small beginning. But we know that a desire can conceive big things (both wonderful and terrible) and we are told in the bible not to despise small beginnings. It is enough to want to stay together, and eventually get it right. It is a beginning. Don’t forget that before the very first time you ever had sex, all you had was desire. It is a beginning.
Then comes the gluing itself. Some things can be glued easily. One minute and they hold forever. But others, like my son’s leg, take months or my daughter’s elbow will take weeks. Plus they must be held carefully, prayerfully in place for all of that time. The mini-skateboards needed to be glued together, held overnight, in a vice.
Some people say to me, “Oh we tried sex once after we’d had the baby and it was a disaster!”
Of course it was a disaster!
But you didn’t know how broken you were, and you forgot which kind of glue you were dealing with. You thought you were using pre-baby glue! Post-baby glue doesn’t always work that fast! After a baby or any other separation, you need a marriage cast or even a vice to make the glue stick! Having sex once and not changing anything else isn’t sticking at it (it might even break you further!), having sex twice and still not changing anything isn’t sticking at it. Having sex without praying that God will position you both first, isn’t going to stick you right either. You need prayer positioning, you need heart softening. You need to let the glue cure while you play some easy familiar beats together and then you need months and months of sticking at it, practicing until you can attempt more challenging repertoire.
Years = cement.
Still, so many people, even after marriage, even after babies, look at sex like it’s the Holy Grail. Like the girl who said she’d wait, for all the prayer for connectedness to work, before she had sex again, like sex was the goal. Sex is not the goal. It’s the glue. God can position you as much as he likes but unless you apply and reapply the glue, you will remain disconnected.
Some, quest towards connectedness prayerfully, get positioned well and make personal changes, but then are disappointed when the sex is not immediately earth shattering.
They forget two things;
1) They forget that sex has other purposes besides Euphoric orgasms (Which are so worthwhile! Don’t get me wrong. But they are not the only kind of sex we need.). Sex is a catalyst; a forgiveness catalyst, a conversation catalyst, an intimacy catalyst. Sex is unifying; It says, we’re on the same side, we are one, we’re in this together and I think you’re worth it. Sex not just an end point, it’s also a beginning and a middle.
2) They forget about the scars. Where we have been broken and re-glued scars will form. If we take time to look after our scars we will minimise them, perhaps they will even vanish altogether. If we ignore our scars, neglect them, they can remain as vivid as the day they first appeared, they may even become more painful than the original wound.
How is your married sex life?
How long has it been?
Today, if you’re married and broken and you are waiting to feel connected again before you have sex, I want to ask you some questions; What are you waiting for? Is not having sex what you both want? Really? Do you need help positioning yourself? Do you need more support to help the glue set? Do you pray specifically about sex? Do you talk specifically about sex? How are your scars? Have cared for them? Have you softened your heart to your spouse?
I want to encourage you that this is important to God. He wants in, on this part of your life. Share it with him. No two people will have the same response to these questions. No two marriages will have exactly the same issues and dynamics. God will not have the same solutions for all of us, and that’s what’s so great about having Him in the middle of it all. He knows you both better than you know yourselves.
Be encouraged in your marriage, be blessed in your sex life,
Lots of love,
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @ http://godhelpmei.com