"Week 3 Challenge: Pursue intimacy and place the intimate needs of your spouse above your own. Give him a foot or back massage, shower together, be creative!"
"Now for the matters you wrote about: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 NIV
The devil would like nothing more around Valentine's day, or any day for that matter, than to get between you and your husband. The bible warns us to watch out for sexual immorality because it has a way of sneaking in when we neglect, refuse, or don't develop intimacy with our husbands.
The reality is that marriages are broken, just as our Christ's relationship to the church is broken by sin. But, just we can choose salvation through grace in Christ, God can improve intimacy in a marriage that has also been broken by sin.
The bible tells us sex is good, it tells us to give freely our bodies to each other because they belong to the other. We shouldn't withhold relations from our spouse. How many of us have cited fasting as our only reason to not want to engage? I think more often the excuse is that we are tired, we are hurt, we want the other person to do something before they are worthy. Most are selfish reasons, and most are sinful.
But what about hurt, what about dysfunction. Many couples want to pursue intimacy but can't seem to because of sin, because of abuse, because of physical barriers, and emotional barriers. If that's you today, if you or your husband have trouble with intimacy, I urge you to seek help. Often times couples do not want to admit there is a problem. There are books and trained counselors to help.
Going through an issue like this takes patience from both partners and a lot of prayer and petition. God wants you to have a great intimate relationship with your spouse, and it is possible!
Some great books on God's purpose for sex in marriage and books on intimacy difficulties include:
Intended For Pleasure by Ed Wheat
Sacred Sex by Tim Gardner
Undefiled by Harry Schaumburg
Fireproof by Eric Wilson (or the movie, this is a story about redemption from sexual sin in a marriage) The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is the workbook used in the movie.
Link up if you're joining the challenge! And make sure you visit Courtney's site for more lovely ladies.