Holy Love

My thoughts had been in turmoil.  Because of all the failed or miserable marriages I see in the world, including the disconnection between my own parents, I felt discouraged about the whole thing.  I’m already quite leery of men. So to observe even Christian men falling into sin or being weak has made me further protect myself and keep my distance.  I fear getting trapped in a marriage where I am forced to pick up the slack because my husband doesn’t know how to lead, whether in actions, in emotions, or in spiritual matters.

(Granted, radical feminism is to blame for a lot of this.  But not all of us women want to be independent, career-minded, don’t-need-a-man feminists! We long for strong, masculine men who have made the commitment to understand women and their complex emotional needs.)

All this to say that my mindset about marriage and romance was down in the dumps.

Last evening, a guest speaker preached at our church.  His topic was God’s view of marriage and how two become one.  His Biblical insights and personal anecdotes really uplifted me.  So did the fact that he rebuked men for weakness and for not living in understanding with their wives. He also rebuked both for living as if they are still two separate people with their different agendas.  And, refreshingly, he openly talked about intimacy, using examples of growth in that area in his own marriage.  I don’t know that I’d ever heard a pastor talk about pulling off the side of the road at night to neck and “play” in the back seat with his wife.

He was probably in his sixties, but he was joyful and bold in voicing his desire for his wife and mentioning hers for him.  That, in addition to his knowledge about how to emotionally connect with his wife, raised my hope again.  At one point, I almost got teary. I was so comforted to know that yes, there are a few men like that out there.  It may take a long time to meet one. But God knows exactly what I need and when I need it. So I need to stop giving way to despondency and fear.

As I replayed the message in my mind today, I imagined being married to such a man. We were seated together in church listening to this hot and holy teaching.  In my mind’s eye, I looked at my husband. I was flooded with gratitude that I had found a man of Godliness and kindness, of strength, honor, and selflessness.  And as my heart warmed to him, so did my body.  I wanted to be alone with him.  I tried to hurry him out the door so we could get home.

He held my hand as we walked to the car.  I pressed close to him, just loving the contact with his body.  He glanced down at me.

“Did that sermon make you feel the same way I’m feeling?” he asked softly. A smile sparkled in his eyes.

“Yes,” was all I said. But I met his gaze with such fullness of heart that I was sure he could read all the words I hadn’t said.

Once home, my husband made himself comfortable on the couch. I nestled in close beside him, twining my arms around his neck.  He lazily wrapped me in his strong arms.  Then I proceeded to kiss him.  Soft, languid kisses that conveyed how much I loved him, how safe and honored he made me feel.  His lips were warm.  I loved nipping at them, just reveling in the taste of his power and gentleness.

“I love you,” he whispered, allowing his mouth to drift along my jawline.

“And I love you.  I can’t thank God enough for you.”  I stroked my fingers through his wonderful thick dark hair.  “You’re the kind of man the pastor was talking about.  How could I be so blest?”

“Maybe I’m the blest one,” he rejoined, smoothing his hands over my back.  “I found a woman of virtue, more valuable than rubies…and sweeter than honey,” he added. Then he suddenly took my mouth in a more passionate kiss.

My need for him, to be one flesh with him, burgeoned like a rapidly-opening flower.  But the strange thing was that this desire seemed to transcend every desire I’d ever felt for him before.  It was so pure, so glorious and sacred.  We wrestled out of our clothes and tried to touch and taste every inch of skin. I felt so peaceful within.  When I received my husband into my body and we made love, I marveled that I ever thought sex was animalistic or dirty.  Our love was holy.  When it is done God’s way, with the person He has set aside for you, the whole picture changes.

Now, I’m back in the reality of my 28-year-old single self. Both content with this present situation, and yet yearning for a man with whom I can experience this holy love.  I would worship the Lord by showing my hunger for the man created for me.  We would praise Him together by fulfilling that delightful statement, “A man shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh”.  No more will I relinquish territory to the devil as he tries to ruin every good thing God has made.  I refuse to let my imagination paint marriage as doomed.

If I am granted the gift of marriage, I will fight for it with all my being. Because it is one of the holiest, if not the holiest, human relationship we can have on this earth.  And why, may I ask, would we waste time in allowing married sex to be mundane, or even nonexistent? Husbands and wives only have this life to get it right.  There is no marriage in heaven.  When we are at home with Christ, will some regret that we failed to live out the picture of Him and His bride? I grieve at the thought.

So, I set my heart to think on this as the Lord would have me think. To prepare as fully and as wisely as I can. And to save myself for a man who has devoted himself to the same goal.

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