I hear from many women about how they came to decide to work on sexual intimacy in their marriages. Not a single one has ever said that she woke up one morning and just decided to do it out of the blue. Nor has anyone told me that it was easy.
If you are a wife who has made the decision to change, you may be asking yourself, Now what? This post is for you. Actually, so are the next two posts. I had so much to say that I decided it would be easier for you to read one bit at a time.
Today I would like to encourage you to think about what brought you to your decision to change.
In some ways, it doesn’t make any difference at all how you ended up resisting, controlling, or refusing sex. Sexual intimacy affects the overall intimacy in your marriage—and so does the lack of sexual intimacy.
No matter why you’re on this journey, here you are.
However, we do better when we understand why we are on the journey—not just why we struggle with sexual intimacy in the first place, but why we were finally convinced to make changes.
Knowing our own stories can be helpful and empowering. Many of the difficulties I faced in making the changes were directly related to the story of how I got to this journey in the first place. As I made changes in sex, I encountered issues in my heart that needed healing, confession, and repentance. Understanding myself helped me deal with these issues.
If you have made the decision to change, I encourage you to embrace your own story of what brought you here. It is all part of who you are and what you bring to this voyage.
Why do wives decide to work on the sexual intimacy in their marriages? What pushes them to realize that they need to change the climate in their marriages?
Here is what I hear the most from women:
- They recognize the emotional pain they have caused their husbands. Perhaps they finally hear and understand what their husbands have been telling them all along. Or, as happened with me, they finally understand when they hear the same words coming from others.
- They have healed from the emotional wounds that first placed barriers in the marriage bed. Through prayer, therapy, pastoral counseling, or the passage of time, they have finally set themselves free of the chains cast on them by past sexual trauma or sexual baggage.
- They are convicted that depriving their husbands of sexual intimacy is sin. (Read these posts about sexual refusal as sin at Intimacy in Marriage and Hot, Holy & Humorous.)
- They fear loss, exposure, or failure as their husbands have stated their intention to divorce, moved to separate bedrooms, or dropped the pretense to others that all is well in the marriage.
- Their husbands have been working on their own growth as husbands, slowly removing the barriers that these wives clung to in avoiding intimacy. Now nothing is left to blame except what she sees in the mirror.
- They have replaced negative beliefs about sex with the truth of God’s design for sex in marriage and realize they’ve been doing it all wrong.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you and what you’ve experienced? I’d love to hear from you in the comments about what convinced you of the need to change.
The knowledge about why I decided to change has been a window into my heart and a source of motivation as I continue this journey.
When I have struggled in the journey, I have always been able to recall that turning point to restore my motivation. Every time I asked myself, Why am I going through this? I could go back to my decision and renew my desire to persevere.
What does your decision show you? Do you feel broken and crave wholeness? Do you want to reclaim something that was stolen from you or that you discarded? Do you seek holiness in your marriage? Do you have a fear to conquer?
So many of my prayers in this journey have been related to what I learned from my decision: I felt broken and craved wholeness. Even as I worked to rise above that brokenness in my marriage, I have turned to God to seek the wholeness for which I yearned.
[bctt tweet=”Flawed and scarred as we may be, we are beloved daughters of our most merciful God.” username=”forgivenwife”]
Knowing our stories can help us accept our flaws, our shame, and our pain as part of who we are. This knowledge can remind us who we truly are. Flawed and scarred as we may be, we are also beloved daughters of our most merciful God.
Knowing your story may be the first step in changing it.
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