Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pure Passion :: From Duty to Beauty {Sex in Marriage}

Welcome to the Pure Passion Series!

This series is my story. Pieces of it anyway, especially related to how I have viewed sex throughout my life. I always knew I was a 'late bloomer' and this is so true, for me, as it relates to sexuality. I've been a shy Christian girl, trying to do things right, and early and strongly I got the message that that meant I did not talk about sex. That girl is hiding behind these writing fingers, blushing and asking me to please stop.

If you are like me, and even if your journey has been very different, you know that innocence in a world hell-bent on sex-done-wrong is an exquisitely precious thing. This innocence that I have carried through life is a pearl-of-great-price and yet it is not THE pearl-of-great-price, namely thekingdom of God through saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

And that is where we are ALL in this together. No matter our past, we are all one in Christ. We are pure brides being adorned for our Heavenly Husband. We are His. And He is doing a new thing-- continually bringing beauty for ashes,gladness for despair, whole for broken, courage for fear, His Life for our own. And ALL of this means amazing things regarding pure passion. 

So, I think it's time to move to the bedroom.{There really wasn't a good Segway for that, you all!!}

Last fall, a little over a year and a baby into our international move, I was tired. Tired. Tired. Tired. It may have been the hardest time in my life to date. I felt so far from everything that made me, me. I didn't know how to make it better, but I did cry out to God for hope.

Enter sex. Yes, enter sex. One night I somehow {it was God, now I know} found this book. {also available for kindle, which is where I found it;} My hubby came to bed and I said "Do you want to go through this book together?" Well, you can imagine the answer was an enthusiastic "YES!"

You see, the whole sex, making love, intimacy had become a heavy-weighing duty, for me. We were married almost 11 years ago and we came to each other virgins. It's amazing, I know. And so, we had an incredible beginning to our marriage! We could not get enough, I tell you! {blush, blush:}

So how did sex become a duty--dull, lifeless, and something that made my already tired self even more so? It's hard to say, but I think it's just that life happened. For us, this has been transitions. Big transitions. Kids. More Big transitions. More kids. Then, sex wasn't new anymore and I was too tired to work through what was holding me back.

Here's where guilt for not giving my husband what he needs and wants becomes that thief who kills and destroys. A sense of duty and a heap of guilt are a BAD combination in the bedroom.

Then came that pivotal night after I had been crying out to God for a freshness of promise. I stumble upon a book, hubby and I begin to re-connect. {Yes, we had sex that night, but it was so much more than that!}

And the next morning I woke up with a profound sense of hope.

It was a strange thought to me. Really, God? Sex and hope go together?? The silence and misplaced shame of my past would NEVER have thought that!

But, it's true.

And, now, a few months later, I can say from my heart I have seen that hope renew my marriage. This duty-bound girl has found beauty in sex.* I have found God in sex. My desires are being satisfied by His goodness through this glorious gift and that renews my youthlike the eagle's.

I’ve come full circle--back to that college girl who was awakened by Grace. Who first experienced pure passion for God and nothing would stop her. But, it’s full circle and more as the 20+ years since then have brought much in pain, joy, loss and love.

Exchanging sex as duty for sex as beauty is a shift in thinking that, for me, has been revolutionary. And I know I can't, won't, go back to the way I was. Because this hope is about so much more than sex or even, strengthening my marriage. It's about God. It's about eternity. It's about an incredible way that I join my best friend, co-journeyer, and we touch and taste Heaven.

And I believe it can fill us and our marriages with a stunning brilliance that spills out and changes the world.

*The 'duty to beauty' phrase was something I first heard Tim Keller use in a sermon...I can't remember which one, but it was definitely him!

Joining #TellHisStory, Wifey Wednesday & #ImperfectProse

Read the entire Pure Passion Series Here!

Next week I'll continue with Pure Passion :: From Holding Back to Letting Go


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