I know I have your attention just by the title. That’s great. Let me unpack it for you before you get all bent out of shape.
Family, ministry, kids, jobs, school, friendships, conflicts, housework, errands, television, social media and the list goes on. So many ways in which we are lured into the world – to think like the world and to act like the world. We eventually believe what the world tells us how we should feel.
In such subtle ways we believe the lies that satan so strategically puts into our path that we lose sight of what God wants us to do, be, or say in those areas of our lives.
Years ago, when our children were little, I was lured away into a dream world that was truly utopia. Or so I thought. The pressures of parenting a difficult child while pregnant with our second son and simultaneously recovering from a much needed foot surgery were taking a toll on my heart.
It didn’t help that my husband was very busy with meetings and responsibilities at his job. We had very little time together, quality time anyway. I like to say we were surviving on snacks of time together and weren’t really taking time to enjoy a full meal in our relationship. While he was pulled in his direction, I was pulled in mine, all the while having expectations that he would come around and pay attention to me.
During this time, someone did pay attention to me. A man at our church. He was in a similar ministry area with me. He listenend to me, encouraged me, and would even pray for me. I didn’t see the danger signs until one day during an argument with my husband I found myself saying (to myself), “if you were so-and-so, he wouldn’t talk to me like this, he would encourage me and affirm me”. YIKES!!!! It wasn’t too long before I realized that I was having a one-sided emotional affair. Not cool. I had convinced myself that I would never have a physical affair, so for me this way of thinking was alarming enough.
As I continued to serve in the ministry and grow in my walk with the LORD, the Holy Spirit began to convict my wandering. He showed me how I was being lured away from the covenant and commitment I made with my husband. I was being lured away from my vows to my husband.
After I gathered my thoughts about this situation, which was completely horrible and unacceptable in my mind, I confessed it to my husband. We discovered that he in fact was frustrated by some of my behaviours and responses to life’s challenges and that pushed him away instead of drawing closer to me. He owned his part, I owned mine. He forgave me and I him, and we immediately made necessary changes that were going to grow and strengthen our marriage.
The years have taught us much. God’s presence and faithfulness has continued to protect and guide us through many rough years and situations after that confession. Often it was a journey of two steps forward, one step back, unnecessary comments of frustration, lots of confessing, lots of communicating, great direction from qualified Christian counsellors and then eventually growth we both could live with. That day, many years ago, we renewed our commitment to our marriage. We renewed our commitment to God and to His work in our lives.
Now, almost 17 years later, we are visiting the conversation about emotional intimacy again for various reasons. We are realizing that we have a lot of people in our lives that don’t like emotional intimacy. A lot of people who need to address that piece of their journey because it is affecting the many conflicts they have in their lives. We are no different.
One of the things we do to enhance our intimacy in our marriage is weekly dates. Overtime, instead of just going out in the evenings, we added lunch dates where we could. Well, the other day we opted for a picnic in the park. I brought leftovers from home and met him at the park. Being the cool Fall day it was, we decided to sit in my van to eat. At which point he said to me, “ooh, feels like I’m having an affair and secretly meeting you here”. Crazy as it sounds, I really liked that. It felt risque. It felt naughty. By-the-way…naughty is good in a marriage, you should try it sometime.
Our family is growing and so are the challenges. We don’t want just a good marriage. We want a great marriage, so we need to spice it up once in awhile in order for it to thrive. So that day, my husband and I decided to have an “affair”… with each other. We agreed that since “we are all prone to wander,” why not wander TOWARDS each other instead of away from each other?
The time and energy it takes to invest in another relationship could be time and energy spent mending what is broken in your marriage. Trust me, it’s worth it.
What do you do to enhance your marriage?
Are you wandering? Are you having an affair? It’s not okay. If you want to talk more, I will listen. Confess to a trusted friend and get help. You won’t regret it.
Let’s do our part to intentionally wander back to the relationship God intended for us.
Thank you for joining me on my journey.