Thursday, April 14, 2011

Desiring Him, Part 2

Here is the last portion of the final chapter of Aileen Challies's booklet, False Messages.  I hope you've enjoyed my sharing this series with you.  When I found it, I thought it was too good not to share.  As always, you can download the booklet in its entirety here.

To write this little book I made a bunch of awkward phone calls to my girlfriends to ask them how they deal with this. I asked them what things they do to find delight in their husbands and between the bunch of us we made up a list of practical ideas that may help you. Here they are:  
Pray. First, and most importantly, pray. Don’t pray just before or during sex (though you may have to do so then, too) but pray as part of your day-to-day walk with the Lord that he would help you desire your husband and that he would help you serve and enjoy him in this way. Do you pray regularly for joy and freedom and fulfillment in sex? Do you pray the same for your husband? If not, you should!  
Study. Look to the Bible to learn God’s will for sex.  Know that he wants you to desire your husband, that he wants your husband to desire you, and that he wants both of you to enjoy sex. Don’t believe the lies that good girls can’t find great joy and satisfaction in sex. By regularly enjoying sex with your husband, you are doing exactly what God commands and you are bringing glory to him (Read Song of Solomon and see how the woman is not passive, but a woman who feels strong emotional and physical desire for her lover.). Form a theology of sex; believe it and live by it.  
Remember. In the midst of all your responsibilities as a mother, it is sometimes difficult to remember that you married your husband, not your children.  Biblically, he is your priority over your children. Obviously you cannot abandon your children—you still have to be a mother to them. But do not lose sight of your marriage amidst the busyness of motherhood. 
Stop. Learn how to carve out time for your husband, not just to have sex with him but to find and enjoy common interests (television probably doesn’t count). So often with married couples the concerns of life begin to outpace the importance placed on the relationship. Everyday schedules and worries begin to take over until you forget to take time to enjoy your husband. No wonder, then, that you have trouble desiring him! If you are anxious, thinking about the needs of the kids, worrying about what to serve for dinner the next night, thinking about the laundry that needs to be done, or any of the other 10,000 things you need to do every day, all of this will negatively impact your willingness and ability to enjoy physical intimacy. So take time to be with him, to hang out, to cuddle, to just be together.  
Tell. Spend time deliberately focusing on what is desirable about your husband. Write and leave notes about what you find desirable about him where he will find them (and where only he will find them).  Email him during the day and let him know you are thinking about him in that way. Be coy, be fun, be alluring. Stewing about the fact that he didn’t put his towel in the hamper or take out the garbage hardly instills feelings of desire.  Focus on the positive.  Anticipation is wonderful for you and for him.  
Initiate. Most men love it when their wives initiate.  Instead of always waiting for him to make the first move, let him know you are interested even hours before bedtime—and remind him a few times. And even if you aren’t truly interested, act like you are. Let your mind take the lead and your body will catch up eventually.  
Beautify. It’s hard to desire intimacy when you feel that you are frumpy or unattractive (or when you are deliberately making yourself frumpy or unattractive). Feeling beautiful helps you feel desirable and helps your husband desire you. Get rid of the sweats and stop hoarding his old t-shirts for your own use. Keep the floor-length flannel nightgowns for only the coldest nights.  
Decorate. Make the master bedroom an attractive room in the house. You spend around one third of your life in your bedroom, so why not make it a pleasant place to be? Nice sheets, candles and lack of clutter can go a long way to encouraging a romantic atmosphere. 
Delight. Be thankful that your husband desires you.  This is good and right before God. Think about it: your husband wants you. Your husband wants you! Would you really be happier if he showed no interest at all?  Of course not! So be grateful that God has given him a desire for you and be sure to thank God for it.  
Schedule. This can be controversial, but it has its place. If you truly struggle to have sex regularly, it may be beneficial, at least for a season, to schedule sex. This may happen when you have young children or maybe when you are struggling in marriage. All I mean is that you may want to set aside certain nights of the week and make sure that you have sex on those nights. And on those days, do your part! Coming to him with willingness and joy is far better than making him beg and then rejecting him. Remember what we learned in the last chapter about setting up your husband (or yourself ) to be tempted by sexual sin.  
Here’s the rub. God calls you to love and serve and desire your husband. He created sex as a means of cementing (or supergluing!) the marriage relationship.  God gives your husband sexual desire as a trigger to remind him to pursue you. God has provided you, the wife, as the one who can and should and must provide the fulfillment of that desire. And he provided the act of making love so that it becomes about far more than just the physical act. To reject any of this is to reject God’s perfect plan for marriage.  
In all things remember that God is for you, that he is for godly marriages, that he is for the godly woman who is committed to loving her husband! When you seek Him you can have confidence in his help.  Strive in all things, even in this, to bring glory to God (Challies, False Messages, pg. 17-19).

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