Good morning, wonderful women. I am praying for you this morning. Praying that you are finding true life in Christ and praying that life is spilling over into your marriages and families. I am praying for those who are hurting and broken, praying your hearts would find healing and wholeness in God. Praying for a heart of forgiveness and compassion – praying for restoration of things lost, and the repair of things broken. That is who Christ is to us, and I pray for eyes to see Him clearly in your life.
I want to take a minute to preface this post with a really important point. I fully believe in a husband’s headship. Mr. Spice is the head of our home – and my head in Christ. He oversees the home, our family life, our finances. I am honored to walk alongside him as his helper, friend and lover. Our higher and lower drives (and the subsequent realities of what that often means) really has nothing to do with headship or submission. So, with that out of the way…
I have been thinking recently about what it means to be a higher drive wife. For years I remember trying to talk to my husband about sex. Practically begging him to initiate more. I remember the frustration and despair I would feel when night after night would pass and he wouldn’t turn towards me. When mornings would come and go without that act which so intimately connects us. I cried out to God. I raged against the unfairness of it all. I approached my husband again and again. I acted emotionally – Sometimes I would ignore him. Other times I would cry. Sometimes I would tell myself it didn’t really matter, I could do without more sex. Other times I would try to have us make deals “I will initiate once a week if you will…”
Is this a familiar story? If you are a higher drive wife married to a lower drive husband, than it might be. As I reflect on those seasons (and thank God that while it isn’t perfect, it is so much better), I realize that I was missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Like it or not, the higher drive spouse in the relationship will be the one (9 times out of 10) to initiate a sexual encounter.
If you are a higher drive spouse the onus of responsibility in initiating is going to be in your court. And can I tell you something? I don’t like it. In fact, I often despise it. I don’t want to be the initiator! I don’t want to be the one who remembers we haven’t had sex and is counting the days. I grew up with the idea that I was going to be the one who was pursued sexually. Marriage books all said that he would be the one to pursue, and that I was made to respond to his advances. But the reality of my marriage is that I am the one who is pursuing sexually. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that once the door is open he isn’t pretty awesome at taking the lead. But getting that door open? Usually me. Why? Because I want it more often. (Even if it’s just asking for him to help me “get there”, as Evie talked about, it’s still initiating).
Now, in a perfect world and perfect marriage Mr. Spice (even though he is the lower drive) would set some sort of alarm to remind him to initiate sex every 72 hours. But this isn’t a perfect world, and we don’t have a perfect marriage. And you know what? It’s okay. My imperfect marriage is making me more like Christ, and for that I am grateful. The reality is that between the shift work Mr. Spice does, the few small ones we have running around, the pressure put on him by his bosses, and the fact that he sometimes simply forgets to desire sex means that I am often needing before he is. And so instead of sitting around despairing his lack of initiation, I have to put on my big girl pants and help him to remember the importance of our marriage bed. Or I have to humble myself to ask him if he is willing to simply help me get release (without any pressure to have intercourse).
I want to ask you a hard question today, ladies. Do you sit around and mope because you aren’t being pursued the way you hoped you would? If you need to, I urge you to really grieve. I strongly suggest you find a good counselor to talk things out with. But perhaps, just maybe, it might be time to grow up. To realize that you are, indeed, the higher drive spouse (maybe not for forever, but for now – and that’s what matters) and therefore it will most often fall to you to initiate. Please hear me – I am not saying this is ideal. I am not saying this is how it would be if all was set right in the world. But I am saying that, for better or worse, this is what it means to go low, to serve your marriage – to honor Christ.
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. We have to stop keeping score. We have to stop comparing ourselves among ourselves. We have to take an honest look at our own hearts and ask God to grant us the gift of repentance. We have to stop pointing fingers and start doing the work of being followers of Christ. Which is to be sacrificial, patient, kind, and continually humble.
I am compelled to ask you again to hear my heart. I am not negating the possible need for counseling in your marriage. I am not saying that if you are in a sexless or otherwise broken marriage you should just “buck up and keep initiating”. Your challenges may lie far outside the lines of the places I am speaking to in this post. What I am saying is that if you are in a marriage where you are simply waiting for things to come around to an idea of “normal”, you may need to realize that this is your normal. Embrace it. Live in it. Yes, keep talking. Yes, keep praying. Yes, keep hoping for your husband to initiate more.
However, please let that be a yes, and rather than a yes, but…
Yes, and keep pursuing him. Yes, and keep initiating. Yes, and stop keeping score.
I love you ladies. Believe me when I say I wrote this post preaching to myself. I dislike the fact that I need to take responsibility for my marriage bed. I can wish things were different. But they are not – God has given me this man and this marriage in His infinite wisdom. And it’s causing me to grow up.
Can you remind me of that fact on another day when I may be a little unfocused?
P.S. On Monday I will be talking about how the lower drive spouse holds the power in the sexual dynamic of a marriage, and what that means for us as higher drive.
P.S.S. As always, I am praying for those of you who are in marriages where you are refused or sexless. I am praying that God would grant you a path to walk into healing and wholeness. I am praying that He would show you what is yours to bear and what is His. I pray that you would take with wisdom these words and know if they are applicable for your life now.