While reading on a marriage forum recently I found this thought-provoking comment that caused me to ponder. The poster stated:
"..... there seem to be many spouses who are also not giving anything sexual (even the non PIV things) even at the end of the day. This is a time that is traditionally thought of as "bed time is sex time." So when a spouse sees bedtime approaching I think it is reasonable to expect him/her to start preparing his/her mind and emotions for intimacy, or at least to respond to intimate requests."
The more I thought about this, the more I began to think that there are waaaaay too many young folks getting married and older folks who have been married a while, who are clueless about the fact that sexual intimacy is a major portion of what sets the marriage relationship apart from mere friendships. [And please, I'm not even getting into the idea that so many singles are engaging in sex these days.]
Some friends are very physically affectionate depending on their cultural upbringing. You may see them walking along holding hands, or arms wrapped around each other, or touching/kissing in non-sexual ways, etc. Friends do these things if they are of the affectionate variety. However, when we cross over from a friendship to a marriage, what is it that sets marriage apart from mere friendship? Why, it's the sex, of course.
Now what goes through the mind of an individual when he/she is preparing for marriage? Are they doing anything to prepare themselves for the level of spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy that a healthy Christian marriage requires? I don't think so! It seems to me that for many who are in the premarital/engagement stage and older married folks, their perception of married life is extremely skewed. It's like they want their fiance to be affectionate and loving in the marriage... kissing, hugging, cuddling... you can do those things with a stuffed, teddy bear... and they look forward to "playing house" after the wedding but... where is the ambition, the goal to work towards developing a sexually passionate relationship once they marry?
Think about this-- How many of you talked to your fiance about marital sex during your engagement as you waited in anticipation to begin enjoying sex after the wedding? Can you now look back and see that perhaps your spouse was nodding his/her head "yes" in agreement when in their heart of hearts, they may have been only agreeing to live together as friends? How many of you now, today, see your spouse enjoying the benefits of being "roomies" only with the addition of getting pregnant and raising kids together? Yet they are overwhelmingly ignoring their God-given, sexual calling to fulfill their spouse's sexual needs and desires.
How many can say their spouse enthusiastically enjoyed sex while attempting pregnancy but most other times, preferred giving excuses? [I've heard that story a million times over.] OK, let's assume that they are of low or no-SD; many people are. What about their spiritual calling to unselfishly give in sexual abundance... not leftovers, ABUNDANCE??? Does Christ give us His leftovers? Of course not and neither should we.
Do we only love God when we feel like it, only when we are in the mood? Is spirituality based on feelings? I think not. Where do we, as Christians, find it acceptable to base our sex life on feelings? I'm speaking to the choir here, folks. This mixed up view of married life is part of what entrapped me into living the life of a refuser for so many years. So you say, "But my spouse isn't a refuser. He/she is just not enthused and sometimes makes excuses." OK, but are they USUALLY giving of themselves in sexual abundance? If not then they are basing their sex life on feelings.
What are "feelings"? Merriam-Webster defines it as such:
1. an emotional state or reaction
2. the undifferentiated background of one's awareness considered apart from any identifiable sensation, perception, or thought
3. often unreasoned opinion or belief
Compare that with Merriam-Webster's definition of a "calling":
1. a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence
2. the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages
3. the characteristic cry of a female cat in heat ; also : the period of heat
So when we marry and also throughout our marriage do we view sex as something we only do when we feel like it or do we give in joyful abundance because we are called to do so? We are called to love God. We are also called to keep our spouse sexually satisfied? Can you see what is wrong with viewing sexuality from a "feelings-based" POV rather than from a higher "calling-based" view? Are we ministering "sloppy agape" in our marriage? Comments?
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.