Marriage Archives

June 5, 2003

A Deep Drink

Proverbs 5:15,18-19
15 Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19...And always be enraptured with her love.

Tuesday night Jayme went out with some of her playgroup girlfriends. She came home saying that I wasn't going to believe that night's coversation at the restaurant. As soon as the six of them sat down, one of them started the night asking how often everyone else was intimate with thier husbands. It just took off from there as they had a very frank discussion about the intimacies of married life. Jayme said it was like a suburban version of "Sex In The City" - all of these Christian, married women with at least 2 kids each talking about sex; everything from thier appetite to cultural influences to thier own inscurities. Jayme said that one of the women said that she was so thankful for this opportunity to speak so openly because she had been wanting to talk about this stuff with someone for a long time.

Duing this fast I've been on, I've felt that one of the things the Lord wanted to "cut off and cut out" was this underlying lust that keeps hanging around in my life. It's power has been nutralized, but it has never been fully killed. So I pulled Pure Desire and Every Man's Battle down off the bookshelf to brush up on some of the strategies for winning this war.

(Note: As I'm writing this right now on my laptop in my living room, I haven't installed my internet filtering software yet. As I typed in the link to Dr. Ted Roberts website "Pure Desire," I put .com instead of .org which led to the front page and multiple pop-ups for porn sites. wow - that's a lot to handle at 6:15 am. Even a simple slip can have big consequences. My family uses Cyber Patrol. I'm also getting our staff guys to use Covenant Eyes, an internet tracking software that reports your surfing to an accountability partner. There are also filtered internet service providers. A list of them can be found at Focus on the Family's Pure Intimacy site.)

Now back to the topic. One of the tools that Every Man's Battle suggests to fighting lust is to "starve your eyes." It simply not to let youself find any sexual gratification from anthing else other than your wife. (Gratification can come from just a sneaked glance or prolonged look at another woman, real or broadcast. It doesn't have to lead to "a release.") I have found that to be difficult because Jayme and I have seen that these images are everywhere! But it is crucial if I am going to stay healthy to rid myself of the "junk food" of lust to feast on the love of my wife.

My wife truly is the love of my life. My thrist can only be satisifed by her. Proverbs 18:22 says He who finds a wife find a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD. Lord, thank youf or the favor you have given to me in my wife. Together we will drink deeply from the fountain of intimacy you have blessed us with.

November 5, 2003

Leaky Plumbing

Proverbs 5:17-19
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.

I was checking my email at 5:30 this morning and I find a spam for a porn site. My preview pane was open and I caught a glimpse of the html email containing some topless females. Not a good way to begin the day. It's not often that my filter misses these. Then I read today's passage in Proverbs. It got me thinking about the impact of porn.

I was struck by the "fountain" idea in this passage. It's like the distraction of sexual fantasy causes leaks in the plumbing of a marriage. Sexual fantasy also causes leaks in our anointing. Both of these leaks cause run-off and waste that which God intended to provide good "pressure" in our lives. I remember when California was in extreme drought and water was being rationed. You couldn't water your grass or wash your car because the "water police" would issue you a fine if they saw run-off from your house. There is a "fine," a cost to wasting what God has supplied in your own well.

I want the fountain of my life to be blessed; to be at full pressure. I cannot afford to distracted by cheap thrills which don't satisfy. I cannot waste what God has supplied on air-brushed strangers. I am enraptured with my wife. And we will rejoice in the life and love God as given to us.

Lord, let me walk in even greater purity. Help me find the areas of leakage in my life so they can be repaired. I want Your pressure in my life to be strong. I am satisfied with what You have blessed me with.

January 2, 2004

You Complete Me

Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21-22
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

As I begin this new year I've been thinking about my relationship with my wife. Most of my "resolutions" for the year have to do with being a more attentive and disciplined husband - keeping my stuff picked up and put away, not procrastinating on my "honey do's," generally being more helpful around the house. These are the little things that should relieve pressure off of her. So today as I read the creation story the creation of man caught my attention.

Genesis 1:1-2:7 is the chronological description of the the seven days. From 2:8 on is another kind of description of the story. It is the relational description between God and mankind. In the chronological story, God placed in man both the female and male. To be made in His image required both the characteristics of each gender. Just as God is fully expressed in the trinity, His image as reflected in the creation of mankind is realized in both male and female.

God understood that "completeness" alone was not sufficient. There is a relational dynamic that must be realized. That's why God understood the need for a "comparable" being to man; a partner, a helper, a mate. Still the completeness of man(kind) is realized as man and woman are joined together in oneness.

This is not to say that single people are anything less than whole. Still, I understand in my life what one-ness has produced. There's a quote from a movie where a man is explaining his need for his wife when he said to her, "you complete me." That is why I want to become the best husband I can because of what it will affirm in my wife and in my own life of being made in His image.

Lord, I desire to be a man who treasures above everything else the priviledge of being made in Your image and the pleasure of being complete-ed.

May 19, 2004

A prudent wife

Proverbs 19:14
Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Just yesterday I was thinking about how I needed to begin to get more focused on my financial future; retirement, debt reduction, etc. I was even thinking about estalishing a college savings for J & J now. All of these thing are important to do. Neither Jayme and I are expecting any kind of windfall inheiritance in the future.

But most important, I am thankful for the "prudent" wife the Lord has given to me. She is a woman of great common sense and incredible spiritual insight. She really is an asset in my life.

Lord, thank you for making me a rich man by giving me my wife.

June 1, 2007

Parenting for Intimacy

Song of Songs 8:2-4 (CEV)
2 I could take you to the home of my mother,
who taught me all I know.
I would give you delicious wine
and fruit juice as well.
3 Put your left hand under my head
and embrace me with your right arm.
4 Young women of Jerusalem, promise me...
never to awaken love before it is ready.

I don't know if I've ever made an entry from this book in the Bible. In fact, I feel a little awkward even addressing the subject today. This passage jumped out of today's reading because of something I saw on TV last night.

I'm flipping around the TV channels as usual, and stopped for a moment at "Hogan Knows Best." The Hulkster is concerned with the way his 17 year old daughter Brooke (who's a new teen pop singer), how her "image" is being developed by her managers and record company. He feels that it's too adult, too sensual, and in his words, "As a parent, and as her dad, I'm offended. It's not right." Who knew that Hulkamania would take a stand for common sense.

This got me thinking about how female sexuality is being warped by our culture. We live in a day when being a stripper is an acceptable profession and being an internet porn star can make you rich. The culture "sells" women that to be comfortable with your sexuality you must be assertive to even aggressive, use your sensuality, and be willing to cross boundaries (why else is MTV filled with images of young girls kissing each other or the success of Girls Gone Wild). What has broken down? I think it has to do with the fact that the culture has taken on the responsibility for sex education because parents have forfeited it.

In this book, the most intimate of all ancient writings, we find a woman who has a healthy sexual identity. She is unashamed in expressing her affection for her lover and completely uninhibited. How did she come to be this way? Did her friends show her? Has her identity been shaped by the images of her culture. No. V2 gives us some insight - her Mom "taught" her. Does this mean that her Mom put her through some kind of class or watch some video? Of course not! My assumption is that this woman had an open, trusting and even frank relationship with the primary female in her life. Her mother helped to shape her as a person, gave her a healthy sense of identity and self-esteem. Because of this confidence in who she was, the "beloved" carried this sense of value, trust, and openness into the most intimate area of her life.

There was also something passed down to her from her mother (and father too, I hope). It's a healthy perspective on life. That's seen in v4 - "don't awaken love before it's ready." In a world that confuses lust with love and substitutes cheap romance for commitment, this is a hard choice to make. Young people feel pressured not only by their own hormones, but by a culture that equates peer acceptance with infatuations with the opposite sex. Most adolescent dating relationships become mini-marriages (with physical intimacy included) that end as mini-divorces. Pre-teens and young adults need to be taught how to develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex instead of getting involved exclusively in "dating" relationships. This too is a parent's job.

As my wife and I have the privilege of working with students for 10 years, and now helping to heal marriages for the last 10, we have found this area of sexuality to be a huge area of pain and confusion in people's lives. I don't want that to be the case for my son or daughter. We want them to enter into their future marriages with a healthy sense of who they are and a complete freedom to be that person in every area of their lives, including their sexuality. That it would not be warped by culture or "experience," but to be vibrant, unafraid and un-scarred, able to experience the joy of authentic intimacy.

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