“How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!” Song of Solomon 4:10
Weeding and Watering Your Garden
“Marriages either move toward connection, communication, and intimacy or they move away from those things—they don’t ‘stand still’ for very long.” – Unknown
When my husband and I were first married, we delighted in one another and the closeness we shared in the bedroom. Intimacy was exciting and mystifying. I had never felt as alive as when I was in my husband’s arms and he was in mine. Though, in just a few short years’ time, the excitement had waned. Sex, for me, became an inconvenience. No longer feeling like the beautiful sensual woman that my husband had married, I hid in the dark beneath the covers each night with my suggestive lingerie hidden in the depths of my closet.
What had happened? In short, three ugly weeds had grown in our garden of intimacy and were strangling the flowers of love, faith, and selflessness. Over time, with many hours devoted to Biblical books on intimacy and wise Christian counsel from godly men and women, God revealed each of these “weeds” in our marriage and began to renew my thinking and my heart.
The first weed was insecurity. The thought of standing uncovered before the man I married with my post-pregnancy stretch marks, deflated breasts, and added ‘muffin top’ made me unsure of myself. This insecurity weed propagated the second weed—fear. Afraid that my husband would no longer find me desirable, I remained hidden and refused to have sex with the lights on or during the day when he might see my self-proclaimed flaws. Needless to say, this took much of the excitement and spontaneity out of our marriage. Self-pity was the final weed. I not only pitied the absence of my pre-baby body but also pitied how tired I was from chasing children, cleaning house, doing laundry, cooking meals, etc. How could I be expected to have sex after hours of self-sacrifice?
When weeds sprout in your marriage garden, they must be removed by the Master Gardener. To remove insecurity, I had to receive and believe what the Bible proclaimed about me, and what my husband had been saying all along: I am truly beautiful; flawless (Song of Solomon 4:7). And, I had to repeat that truth to myself whenever I was tempted to think the opposite. When addressing fear, I prayed for boldness and surprised my husband by excavating the satin and lace out of the back of my closet and initiating sex with the lights on (Song of Solomon 3:4). Girls, men connect with who or what they are looking at during intercourse. Let him look at you—all of you! Finally, I had to ban self-pity, with its I’m too tired excuse, from my vocabulary. Unexpectedly, I found that if I welcomed my husband’s attention in our bedroom, it took very little time for me to enjoy myself and forget how tired I had felt.
Mama, perhaps your weeds are different than mine. Shame. Betrayal. Depression. Weeds can take many forms, but they all choke the life out of the beautiful flowers God intended to grow in each of our marriage beds. Regardless of whether your garden has become a barren desert or a flourishing rainforest, I want to encourage you to pray for God to bless the intimacy in your marriage. Ask God for ideas on how to pursue your husband both in and out of the bedroom. Water your garden of intimacy— removing any weeds you find—and see what grows! You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Blessings and Love,
- Read the Song of Solomon written by King Solomon the Wise.
- Make intimacy in your marriage a priority.
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 7:5)
Add one of these books to your summer reading list.
- Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat, MD and Gaye Wheat
- Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus
- Intimacy: A 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationships by Douglas Weiss
- Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs