Written by monthly contributor, Natalie Didlake.
Imagine for a moment: one night, you sit down on the couch next to your husband, put your feet up to relax, and start talking. You’ve been waiting all day to tell him what’s on your mind.
He turns to you, rolls his eyes a little, and grumbles, “Well, honey, it’s my joooob to listen to you jabber about your day, the kids, and what you made for dinner, so (sigh…) go ahead. But keep it short.”
(Tension in the air.)
This imaginary story hardly begs an explanation! Let’s draw it out anyways.
Duty vs. Desire
We wives can never be satisfied with less than being enjoyed, loved, and adored. Especially when it involves romantic, mushy-gushy things like…talking. A dutifully-listening husband would just not cut it.
OK. Now, time to flip it around.
Don’t our husbands want the same kind of treatment from us? They want us to enjoy, love, cherish, desire, and delight in them! Especially when it involves romantic, mushy-gushy things like…well, you know what they love! I think we all know how important intimacy is to our husbands. The real question is, how can a wife rise above duty (merely being “available” for, or present during, intimate times), to really love and adore her husband? Let’s put ourselves in our husbands’ shoes, and think it through.
A husband wants his wife to honor him by being delightfully interested in spending intimate time together! What does that mean? A wife shows genuine interest when she pursues not only his, but also her own enjoyment.
Some wives might say that’s not selfless or truly loving. Let’s go a step further and work through it.
This is the part that really rocks my socks: that pursuing my enjoyment in intimacy with my husband is good, because my marriage should reflect the Christian’s pursuit of delight in God!
Whoa. Unpacking time.
Delight in God
John Piper says the way we glorify God is by enjoying him. It’s not complicated. If I love God…think he’s wonderful, awesome, and amazing, doesn’t that say something about him? Doesn’t that show him honor?
Here are some of my fave scriptures that tell how we should be absolutely tickled at God…and that we get to be with him:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. (Psalm 84:2)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25)
Oh, to be enraptured with God, to derive our greatest pleasure and happiness from him!
Delight in Your Husband
Likewise, in marriage, if you were absolutely delighted by being with your husband, wouldn’t that honor him for all that he is?
Don’t you, deep down, want to be caught up in delight and pleasure with your husband?
Every woman dreams of that. But when your husband is less than loving …when he hardly inspires delight and adoration…when you have no extra love to overflow…
God answers our womanly dream. He is the perfect inspiration of delight to our feminine hearts.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:4-5
Give of that overflow, to your husband…and love it!
Some Practical Tips
- Pray that you will love marital intimacy.
Do this first. You cannot have real love and delight for your husband unless God places it in you.
- Meditate on Bible passages that describe God’s love and delight in you. (See my favorites above)
Allow God to heal your soul from believing you’re not loved, pursued, or don’t deserve to enjoy your marriage. You don’t, but Christ bought it for you. Use scripture to tell your soul to receive it.
- Take responsibility for your role.
If you have a passive attitude about intimacy, and you think it’s your husband’s job to make it fun for you, sorry. You get out what you put in.
- If you’re not “there yet”, don’t give up.
Discouragement can be your worst enemy. Don’t create self-fulfilling prophecies in your head. “Well, it’s never been all that great up till now…” Hope. Learn. Keep trying. Relax. It’s not supposed to be that difficult!
- Talk honestly with a trusted older married lady friend.
- Know your body.
It’s not magic! Learn about your physical makeup and what “tends” to work.
- Read books. In this order, I like:
- Establish traditions and routines.
- Break traditions and routines! (Sometimes.)
Keep it varied & FUN.
- Pray again that you will love marital intimacy.
You might feel you’ve tried everything. Ask God to help you understand yourself. “He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.” (Isaiah 30:19)
What will you do to improve on/continue to show your delight in your husband?