Monday, September 13, 2010

Marriage Mondays ~ Press 2 for "Man"

There is all kind of help for translating language: Google translator, hiring an interpreter, hand held devices, iphone apps, subtitles, and my favorite: "press 2." You make a phone call, and the message says, "For English press 1. To hear this voice in ___ press 2." Sometimes in marriage we need to know what "the man" is thinking. There's no place where this rings truer than in the bedroom.

I've had many women tell me they find their husband's bedroom messages confusing. This isn't a surprise, since we speak different "languages." Before sin (you can read a good description of what sin is here) physical intimacy between a husband and wife was WAY different = better. Genesis 2:24-25 (Before Eve ate the deadly snack) We're told the couple was "naked and were not ashamed," that they had been created to be "one flesh." This isn't just talking about sexual intimacy, but it certainly IS part of the picture. Their oneness brought God pleasure, as they procreated, represented the oneness of God, and enjoyed the companion He gave them.

Sharing great physical oneness went from James Brown's I Feel Good to Pat Benatar's Love is a Battlefield. In Gen. ch. 3 the consequences of sin (see a good description here) made it clear that life, including sexual intimacy, would be work. Imagine being able to enjoy your spouse without challenges like selfishness, misunderstanding, long work days, or stress headaches. Before sin, man and woman enjoyed a oneness in the garden, while experiencing the freedom that comes with being clean, living in God's presence. Now, physical intimacy needs some translation.

Most wives consider sexual intimacy to be the expression of/by product/end result of a relationship that is close and loving.

Most husbands consider sexual intimacy to be the doorway to/beginning of/invitation to greater closeness in marriage.

When a couple needs to strengthen their bond, the wife may want to see the relationship improve before there's a physical expression of their love. The husband may try to express his love and desire to get closer by initiating some romance. As a wife, the temptation may be to think, "What?? You've got to be kidding?? You must not care about how I feel." This is when a wife needs to think: "Press 2 for MAN language." Ask God to help you understand what MESSAGE your husband is communicating. In truth this is often the way many men reach out to begin or reinforce closeness.

Instead of disrespecting you as a person or not caring about your feelings, if you "Press 2 for MAN language" in prayer, you might realize your man may be saying:

Being physically close to you is comforting, relaxing, and affirming. Our physical oneness is one way I can show you I love you and want to be close. Having you receive my expressions of love shows me you accept me, believe in me, and find me desirable. When we're close, it gives me confidence in our relationship, and that helps me face the world.

The world encourages self preservation, warning us to be on guard, wait until he meets our needs, and respond if we feel like it. It's easy to be pressured by the world's suggestions we shouldn't focus on understanding our husband in intimacy. But we need to ask God to help us understand our man's messages. We need to fight the lies of the Enemy and not fall into the trap of believing dangerous messages we hear from the world. Beware of taking in mental "junk" from places like your reading and entertainment; Satan will whispers lies in your ear when your man is trying to stir the flames of passion and you are in that critical moment of decision and response. It helps to remember what's true about the gift of sexual intimacy, regardless of the work it takes to make it great:

  • God created sex for our pleasure and His glory, and His creation is beautiful apart from man's sinfulness
  • God wants it to be born out of a godly relationship; He doesn't want us to settle for weak substitute
  • God gives us perspective, power, and peace in all things ... even intimacy.
  • God wants us to ask Him for understanding through PRAYER about everything ... even intimacy. Eph. 6:17-19

Are you trying to understand your man when it comes to physical intimacy? Fight the lies, and believe the BEST of your man. After all, the two of you are ONE. If he starts humming Frank Sinatra's I'm in the Mood for Love, do you sometimes want to know what in the world he's thinking? PRESS 2 in prayer, asking the Lord to give you understanding of what your man is "saying."

So what's your song right now? James Brown? Pat Benatar? Frank Sinatra? ;) Press 2 to hear his message right, and you'll both be hearing Barry Manilow's Love is a Many Splendored Thing. ;)

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