Thursday, February 13, 2014

on marriage and foxes (and sex, it's about that too)

Warning, this one is about sex. And marriage. It is Valentine's Day after all. If this makes you squeamish, or you have ever parented me, or you just don't want to read about it-then I suggest you navigate elsewhere. I hear that Super Bowl commercials and Olympic recaps are all the rage on YouTube these days.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

It happened just as I was walking out the door. One comment. One little observation. Why do these things happen just when we can’t do anything about it?

It is ironic to me that Valentine’s day is upon us and we’re fighting about, guess what? Sex. Yes. That. I hate it. Not the sex, the fighting. 

I just can’t get over the fact that the enemy really wants to get at us in this area. If he can’t ruin our marriage, he’ll certainly defeat us in our sex lives. Because that’s the one area that is really sacred to a marriage, it’s the one thing that God created to unite husband and wife. Of course, that is just what the enemy would use to divide us. 

Surprisingly the Bible talks about sex quite a bit. There’s Song of Solomon, which some argue is a metaphor for Christ and his church. I beg to differ. It’s a beautiful metaphor on the joy of the sexual relationship in marriage. But it also mentions little foxes that can ruin a vineyard. It’s a picture of the little things that creep in and destroy intimacy in a marriage. Little foxes are things like poorly placed comments. Or bad attitudes and selfish choices that bring on poorly placed comments.

Today I recognize all over again that this marriage thing takes fighting for. It also requires me to lay down my pride and desire to be the right one. I could latch onto that comment, and launch an arial assault of my own right back. I can opt for the silent treatment, us women are really good at that. Or I can choose the other way. Though hard, that other way is the right way. Even if I’d rather force my way into being right. 

The better way is to simply share how the comment hurt me. And then put on love, like I put my sweater on this morning. The better way is to apologize for my errors and the misunderstanding they caused. I must make a choice to let the peace of Christ rule in me and put on kindness and compassion. I choose to wear love today, and patience and gentleness. I’ve got to allow the peace of Christ to rule in my marriage, and that means that we must both open the door to allow that peace in. We both make a decision to bear with each other, and forgive each other for allowing the little foxes to settle in. 

One thing about foxes, they feed on opportunity, just like those little barbs that sneak into a marriage. Foxes don’t always travel in packs, they move in small family groups and kill their prey quickly. Isn’t that a vivid picture of how the little things can sneak in and destroy the mood, ruin a good day, and set us on a course of strife?

I want to make the better choice. I want to be on guard for the foxes. Especially because tomorrow is a day typically set aside for romance. So right now, I make the effort to get rid of the foxes and focus on the love. And that's what opens the door for greater intimacy in marriage, and of course, for more sex. Which is a good thing.

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