"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Insulation: It Isn't Always What You Think

Insulation keeps the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  It creates a barrier of protection around you and your family.  When correctly installed it protects you from harmful elements that would cause harm if allowed to come inside. 

What about your house?  Not your physical house, but your marital house?  Have you insulated your marriage against enemies who try to breach the walls and tempt you to sin?

Have you done what it takes to protect your marriage against attack?  Are you sure?

Most husbands overlook an important aspect of protection and most churches treat this avenue as if it were toxic waste.

What am I talking about?

Simply put, husbands have been given the responsibility since Adam of caring for the garden.  Today the garden would be our families.  Adam, as we know, failed in his protection of Eve, the woman God gave him as a helper.

Keep in mind that Adam was placed in charge and Eve was his helper. So when she was tempted by the serpent it was Adam's responsibility to say "Hey Eve!  Come over here and give me a hand with this." and get them both out of there.  He was ultimately in charge of the relationship and therefore was at fault when he allowed the wall to come down and sin to enter. 

How does this relate to modern society and marriage today?

For decades sexual sin has been the most common reason for failing marriages.  A husband who becomes sexually unfulfilled at home seeks out fulfillment by having an affair.  The affair leads to divorce and what was once a very happy marriage ends in tragedy.

Who is to blame for this kind of sinful heartbreak?

Husbands.

Let me explain.   

When the marriage begins, every little thing seems like paradise.  A brand new husband and wife are excited just to be together, learning about each other and making all kinds of adjustments.  Life is blissful.

Then comes the day when a husband might want something his wife is unwilling to do.  It might be a new position or a new variation of foreplay, etc.  It could be any number of things.

Nine out of ten times a difference like this isn't a big deal and is covered by love, grace and understanding. However, if the "something" is something that will circulate in his mind and resurface constantly, causing sinful thoughts and temptation, then it is a very. big. deal. 

By not making clear the importance of the "something" and the potential for temptation that would be caused by his wife's refusal he has opened up their marriage to possible upheaval and devastation. By not insisting on certain things in the beginning of the marriage he has turned away from his responsibilities to care for his garden.  He has opened up Eden to the serpent.

**NOTE**  I am not talking about a man who selfishly demands all the sex he wants, when he wants, how he wants, without regard for his wife.  This post specifically addresses those things that cause inner turmoil in a husband's heart, to the point where he is tempted to sin. 

Wives are the only acceptable option for husbands to experience sexual fulfillment.  When there is a potential problem in this area it's the husband's responsibility to protect the marriage by whatever means necessary.

Am I suggesting that husbands should force their wives to submit?

No one can force a wife to submit to her husband's authority.  Submission is a choice.  If a wife decides to rebel instead of submit there is little a husband can do.

Well, then, what can a husband do?

Pray
  • Pray for your wife.  Pray that she will understand the struggle you are having with sex in your marriage.
  • Pray for your own strength, that you will be strong in the face of temptation and that you will always remain faithful to God and your wife, and stay true to your marriage covenant.  
  • Pray for your marriage and for the wall of protection to remain strong in the face of sexual temptation. 

Talk
  • Talk to your wife.  In a very loving way make sure she understands the consequences of your choice to not express the importance of certain things.  Make sure she knows that you intent to take the lead in some areas of your marriage, and that you need her to submit to your authority as her husband.
  • Talk to a mentor or a trusted friend.  Seek advice and counsel. Be brutally open and honest about your frustrations and temptations you are facing.  
Read
  • Read your Bible.  Get into the Word and grow closer to God, knowing Him better, and letting Him know you better.
  • Read marriage books, blogs, and other online resources.  Learn how to love your wife as Christ loved the church, giving Himself up for her.  Learn what dying to self really means.
Adjust
  • Adjust your heart.  Where there is temptation there is often a weakness that makes a person susceptible to that sin. 
  • Adjust your life. Fill in the gaps.  Make yourself busy whenever you are tempted with sinful thoughts. 

Accept
  • Accept the reality that you might live with this gap for the rest of your earthly life.  It isn't easy to come to this decision.  In fact it's quite hard. But it also is quite necessary. 
Can you think of other suggestions for husbands who face this kind of dilemma in their marriages?  Have you personally dealt with this issue?  If so please feel free to express your thoughts (respectfully) in the comments.

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