The idol of unmet needs (and finding joy in daily living)

If you are a living human (as opposed to, say, a robot reading this post), you have unmet needs. The fallen nature of the world around us means that none of us are living in our perfect scenario. And if, by chance, you are floating high on life right now, I can promise you that troubles and trials will come.
This isn’t a message of despair or depression. This is simply the truth.

My question today is, how do you respond to unmet needs? As higher-drive wives, many of us are often in the scenario where our unmet needs include sex. We would like it more often, more consistently, and possibly in better quality. But those needs are not currently being met. Of course, where you are now is not the end of the story, and that in itself can be the greatest comfort. Our God is the God of the impossible – so lets put the impossible in His hands and see what He does with it.
But for your now, for your today…what to do with those unmet desires and dreams of your heart?

Perhaps, and I say this with the greatest caution, you should gently put them aside.
But Annabel, you say, how can I put aside that thing that I so greatly desire? How can I abandon something so important? How can I rest when I am seeing the thing my heart desires, even needs, going without notice or care?

Please hear me out on this one.
I am not suggesting that you try to muscle your way through life with gritted teeth and a “I don’t need anything” sort of attitude. That is dangerous and false. What I am suggesting is that your need can become your idol. It can become all you think about, all you concentrate on. All of your emotional energy can be focused there. Every spare thought turns to it.

I know, dear sister, that when your sex life is limited, or perhaps even ignored, it hurts. Deeply and desperately. When the planets of our life are out of alignment, things go crashing into each other. You are being sinned against.
But please hear me say this as gently as possible : there is a time for everything. Including joy. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

So what, then, do I mean by all of this? Simply this : whatever your need is, there are still places, somewhere, that are producing life. And instead of standing and staring at those dead patches, maybe every once in a while it would do your heart good to go enjoy some beauty? Beautiful places are different for every person. Perhaps you love to paint or write. Pick it up again, even if just for yourself and your Father. Perhaps spring is calling you outside to play with your children. Go, laugh – allow yourself the grace of a smile on your face. Or maybe it’s the Godly refreshment you find engaging with certain friends – call them up, find a time to meet, to talk and listen.

A few weeks ago I was driving home from a weekly Bible study that I so enjoy. The women are refreshing, the topic always challenging and encouraging. As I turned a corner, I was pondering how much I enjoy that time, when I suddenly remembered some of my own mis-aligned and crashing planets. Almost in the same minute, I realized that I needed to just place those things before God and continue to simply enjoy the sweet gift He had given me. I thought about how often I have not allowed whatever joys He was giving to be a focusing point – but to instead turn my eyes and heart energy towards all that was going wrong. I missed out on the places I could be happy by stubbornly sitting in those that were not.

When needs are screaming who has time to enjoy the beauty of flowers, the warmth of a cup of coffee, the laughter of a child, the warmth of a spring day?
You do, dear friend.

I am praying for you this morning. Praying that you would have eyes to see where He is, indeed, bringing joy. Praying you can see His gifts that are so great towards you. Praying that if you have set up idols of your needs, that they would be taken down. Praying for you to have the strength and hope that is a hallmark of our faith – that is a testimony to the One who rose triumphant.

Pray for me, as well. I am in a season of needing to put some things back in order in my own life (hello, early mornings) in order to find the heart space to see the daily joys.

Your friend,

11 thoughts on “The idol of unmet needs (and finding joy in daily living)

  1. wonderful post! I never thought of looking at a season of unmet needs as a season of healing. I think of it as a season of being refined yes, but I love the idea of focusing on nurturing a positive area of your life that could bring healing.

  2. Focusing so much on my unmet needs, wants and desires, including love making, lead me down a path ofhopelessness, despair and feelings of utter worthlessness. I felt like God didn’t even care. Productiveness helps me greatly. I gave it to the Lord, too. Bible says that He supplies all our needs. I told Him, I don’t know how You alone can supply my sexual needs….only hubby can….but I give that need to you anyway.

  3. Another great post as usual, Annabel! And very timely. 😉

    I was thinking about this very thing last week. I was thinking how grateful I’ve been to have found your blog since I’m a HD wife and have been struggling a great deal with how to get my needs met sexually, without seeming selfish and turning our lovemaking into just something my husband feels obligated to do to fulfill my desires, kwim?

    On the other hand, as much as your blog has spoken to me as a HD wife and helped me see I’m not so unusual after all, I started finding myself almost obsessing over not having “enough” sex, instead of focusing on other aspects of life that are joyful and very fulfilling.
    Now, I’m not saying that to lay blame on you, it is my own fault. I started spending too much time reading not only your blog, but searching for other blogs as well and then I set up expectations for what I thought should be happening in my sex life with my husband to the point of being miserable instead of happy.
    I was allowing myself to spend too much time pursuing this topic of being a HD wife and what I could do about it, and started losing sight of what a wonderful, loving man I have married. And in focusing so much on what I am NOT getting I stopped finding joy in the little everyday things that I share with my husband and those around me. My thoughts became so entrenched on what is NOT happening (too little lovemaking for me) that it’s all I thought about day in and day out.

    I’ve been trying to find the balance. In reading your blog and others I find comfort that I’m not alone in desiring my husband and wanting him sexually, yet I have to learn how to compromise so that we both feel fulfilled not only sexually, but in all other aspects of our marriage.

    So, thank you for being a voice for those of us that struggle with this issue and for also recognizing that we can often make idols out of unmet needs and stop finding joy in other areas of our lives.


  4. Your post always come at the right time. Even your previous post (which I also just read today), came at the perfect timing. My world feels like it’s caving in sometimes, but I really thank God for this blog. This is my “happy place;” my “church” where I have none to go to. Thank you again.

  5. Thanks Annabel,
    God is using you to send a great message to all of us HD wives. Since reading your posts, I have put this part of my life in the hands of God. I do struggle, but you know, it hurts a little less. I love my husband, and for me, that is what matters. Besides working and studying, I have begun reading, little by little, books that are helping me in my spirituality. This post regarding enjoying little things in life, bring me another perspective on coping during this process. God bless you.

  6. This is SOOO good, Annabel! I appreciate this post very much and speaks to the heart of everyone as you have said-we ALL have unmet needs. When they begin to consume us, we need to take that to God and place them in his hands! Easy, um no! But the only way of hope and healing. I share all the time that I have the personality (I think many do), that I will give something to God and then seconds later, I am taking it back again. So then I have to give it back to God again, sometimes this happens many, many times a day-more then I care to count. But eventually I am leaving it in His hands more and more! Thank you for sharing your heart! 🙂

  7. I think of this as just another passage of time in our marriage. Early in our marriage my husband was the one with the high drive and now that we are older I am. Thankful that my husband was so understanding all those years ago and now it’s me that has to be understanding. Thanks for posting.

  8. It depends upon how encourage others to fulfill your desires. Many times, rather I would say most of times, we neglect the feelings and expectations of others as a result we get ignoring behavior from others that hurts.

  9. I just reread this post. It is one I need to print and read often. Thanks so much for turning our direction upward instead of inward. My own myopia had just about ruined my life, but God is faithful to bring us up short. One day in a time of perceived deprivation that I thought would kill me, I went to the grocery story and suddenly made a conscious decision to laugh. What was so funny about the organic leaf lettuce and apples? Nothing, but I was alone in a public place and had an audience: the produce. They heard me laugh. The other shoppers may have been wondering about my sanity, but there was more reason to wonder than they imagined. Somehow I got through the next few days. Life became okay again. But I look back on the produce aisle and smile. That was crazy, but it helped me get over a hump and begin to praise the Lord for what is good.

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