A few days ago I talked about how I am ripe for an adulterous affair. And I talked about things I actively DON’T DO to help me stay strong. Today I want to talk about things I proactively DO to protect my marriage. One of my favorite books about marriage is by Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy. It is a beautiful story. In it Sheldon talks about how he & his wife built a “shining barrier” to anything that would destroy their love. While the story goes on to talk about how their love was ultimately tested by faith in God, the analogy of a shining barrier sticks with me.
How do I build a shining barrier around my marriage? Here are a few ways I am learning:
1. Move. Literally.
As a high desire wife, I often find myself with extra energy. If I sit around and do nothing, that energy turns into anger and bitterness. Intentional movement helps me to spend some of my sexual energy. This could mean anything from a walk to cleaning the house to going grocery shopping. Sometimes I just need to get off my butt & MOVE. So if you are struggling with a high drive – TIRE YOURSELF OUT. It won’t fix everything, but it will help.
Okay ladies, this one is HUGE. If there is any way you can get in to see a trusted counselor – DO IT. I have a (minimum) once a month appointment with a wonderful female Christian counselor. She is a safe place for me to say all of the really hard & sometimes horrible things that I think. She guides me towards Truth. She listens to me cry. She is SAFE. And while she doesn’t fix all my problems, she is literally the only person in the world who knows everything about my marriage & life. One of the hardest parts about being a high desire spouse is that it is so, so, so incredibly lonely. I don’t know a single peer friend who has the same struggle I do. (Of course, they may and just not talk about it.) It’s so taboo. One of the greatest ways I can keep my sanity is simply by knowing I have a safe place to vent. It is one of the healthiest ways to “let off steam” because I am not just griping. I am seeking counsel. So find a wise woman whose marriage you respect who can help you walk through life and go pour out your heart to her.
3. Worship Music
I fill my home with God-honoring music. Music is so emotional. If I listen to sexy music, it’s not going to help my sex drive at all. I don’t need sexy music to have a sex drive. What is sexy music? Well, anything that might be played in a night club is a good place to start. Anything that pulls you back to the “good old days” before you were married or walking through this challenging time. For me, I sometimes have to avoid melancholy music too (Coldplay is one of the hardest for me, for some reason). But if I put on some awesome worship? It lifts my whole day. It puts my eyes where they need to be – ON CHRIST. And off of my lack of sexual encounters.
4. Early to rise
I really struggle with this one, but when I am able to do it I notice a HUGE difference in my day and attitude. Up early, in the word, journaling, making a game plan for the day. In some ways this goes back to the idea of moving. It is being intentional to live a life irregardless of my sex-poor marriage. I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” on that final day. And if this is a cross I bear, then let me do so with all the help I can get. Early mornings help me focus my eyes on the One Called Alongside To Help, the Spirit of Truth and Life. The old hymn comes to mind, “I need Thee, Lord, I need Thee. Every hour, I need Thee”. I encourage you to set your alarm for a little earlier to help you get ready for your day.
One of thingsI have seen discussed around the internet world regarding a sex-poor marriage is masturbation. I haven’t touched on it here because I am working on a whole post devoted to my thoughts on this topic. In the meantime, I hope this helps you think of some things you can do to help guard your marriage and heart. Do any others come to mind? Please share!
Pray for me today, sisters. I need strength to do the things that I know I ought to do. I need help to continue to extend mercy and kindness. And I will pray for you. I will pray for creative ways to guard your hearts and home. I will pray for divine protection against schemes created to destroy you and your marriage.
Until next time, dear women of God-