The Wow! Side of Marriage, Part I
- Thursday, January 20, 2005
Recently I spoke at a Saturday retreat in the Midwest. During the break, a lovely young woman approached. Her shoulder-length blonde hair set off dark brown eyes, and I found myself envying her flawless complexion. She took my offered hand, then whispered, "I really appreciate what you said just now about the importance of the sexual side of marriage, but I've gained so much weight after our three boys were born that I don't like my husband to see me."
The confession surprised me. "But you're beautiful," I gushed. She stared at me, wanting to believe my words. "I mean it," I assured her. "You are a lovely young woman. Sure, your body isn't a size eight, but it's produced three healthy little boys."
Wait. Slow down. I told myself. Maybe her husband has a problem with her weight. So I asked, "Is your husband upset?"
She shook her head. "No, he's wonderful about it. He acts as though I'm still the size I was when we married. The problem's mine. You ought to see him; he's gorgeous! And here I am." She gestured toward her hips.
"Honey, stop putting yourself down," I insisted. "You are beautiful, so don't let those few extra pounds put a barrier between you and your husband. If you reject him, he's not going to blame your insecurity about your weight; he's going to blame himself."
Her eyes widened. "He's already asked what he's done wrong."
"What did you tell him?"
"I said it wasn't him, that it was me."
I lowered my voice to match hers and gave her some woman-to-woman advice about what a husband wants -- including abandonment and fun. As she blushed, I gave her arm a little squeeze. "Tonight, you just forget about the size of your thighs and love your husband the way he wants you to -- and the way you want to. Make that man glad he baby-sat today so you could come to this retreat."
I gave her a hug then added, "You're going to have one happy man tonight."
She smiled as she turned away, and there was a definite lilt to her step.
Later, I began to wonder if I had overstepped the Titus 2:4 bounds. I know Paul told the older women of the church to teach the younger women how to love their husbands, but I'm not sure he meant that. So I called one of my trusted young friends -- a husband in his late thirties -- and told him what I'd said. "Do you think I was out of line?"
He enthusiastically supported my advice to the young wife and urged me to repeat it as often as I had the chance. Whew!
A few of my friends are more than a little horrified that I include such material in at my books and during my couple's retreats. Somehow they think that at my age or in my status as a widow I shouldn't speak of such things. Tell ya what, Honey, I remember how my two children were conceived. And as far as my age -- well, the skin around my eyes may be wrinkled, but there's nothing wrong with my hormones.
Just whose idea was sex, anyway? God's. Our enemy, Satan, has distorted what was a great idea and turned it into lust. Proverbs 15:18-19 says, "Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" Also, look at the Genesis account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, or at the Song of Solomon, if you need encouragement that God Himself has blessed the physical union of married folks.
Of course these few words aren't going to solve all the bedroom problems in the world. But if I can encourage a few partners to respond enthusiastically to each other, then my effort is worth it. I just hope your spouse is close by so you can stop reading and give him or her an inviting hug.
Adapted fromMen Read Newspapers, Not Minds--and other things I wish I'd known when I first married by Sandra P. Aldrich. (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1996. Used by permission.) Author or co-author of 17 books, Sandra is an international speaker who handles serious issues with insight and humor. For booking information, she may be contacted at BoldWords@aol.com
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