Monday, July 14, 2014
An Ounce of Prevention: 'Driving to the Moon and Back – Protecting Your Husband’s Heart'
This past weekend...
While in an impromptu counseling session, I found myself listening to a married couple that I have been working with, off and on, for a while now and getting caught up on what the past several months have been like for them. Long story short, it has been sexless. And not because the wife wasn't ready and willing. It was actually because the husband was talking about how her tone of voice, her approach to issues and her lack of affection (outside of the bedroom) had affected his drive. (Things that she didn't deny being guilty of, by the way.)
All in all, his heart had become wounded and it was affecting their level of intimacy...
After about a six-hour conversation, I just got an email from the wife telling me that they had sex after that chat (God is great! God is good!-I Corinthians 7:5) and I actually encouraged them to do it every day (minus menstrual cycle) for a month.
OK, but let me stay focused...
That chat reminded me of something that is so important; something that isn't discussed nearly enough in marriage or to singles who are preparing for marriage: the importance of guarding your (future) spouse's heart and protecting their feelings. Not just *the woman's* but *the man's* too.
Along those lines, there is a blog that I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) today entitled Becoming His Eve that has some good posts on it. One of them being an article entitled "Driving to the Moon and Back – Protecting Your Husband’s Heart" (S-C-A-P):
On April 11, 1970, NASA launched the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo Space Program, the third intended to land on the moon. Two days later the oxygen tank malfunctioned and exploded. The craft began losing power, heat, potable water, and the carbon dioxide removal system malfunctioned. The mission was aborted, and miraculously, the astronauts made it back to Earth safely.
Did you know that “every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles? In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.”
The space craft depended upon the oxygen tank for survival. Just like the shuttle, our bodies depend on the vital organ of the heart. Without it, the body wouldn’t survive. You would cease to exist. You would be nothing. Similarly, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 that without love, you are nothing. Zip! Zilch! Nada! Nothing! Love is the lifeblood of a marriage. Without love, you are just lifelessly coexisting.
So how do you keep your marriage from malfunctioning and being unable to make it to the moon, (the travel to the moon and back being equivalent to the span of your lifetime)? Love. I’d like to say at the end of my life that the love in our marriage created enough energy to drive to the moon and back… wouldn’t you?
Love Always Protects
“As a wife, you have been placed in a unique position to share in your husband’s deepest emotions, desires, needs, and struggles. While the husband’s job is to be the head of the household and to protect his wife physically, financially, sexually, spiritually, and emotionally, the woman has the unique job of protecting the heart of the household – the heart of her husband.”-From Flare Your Quills
Like the Apollo shuttle, our marriages need a built in carbon-dioxide removal system (like the Full Armor of God that we talked about yesterday). But just as they also need to be pumping oxygen back into the shuttle to survive, you need to be pumping love back into your marriage to survive. These two systems function to protect your marriage.
What are some things that disrupt “oxygen-flow” (love flow) in your marriage? What are some practical ways to protect your marriage?
…Share details about her sex life or her husband’s intimate dreams and failures with other people
“Whoever guards [her] mouth preserves [her] life; [s]he who opens wide [her] lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 (ESV)
…Draw unwanted attention to herself by dressing immodestly
“…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” 1 Timothy 2:9 (ESV)
…Compare her husband to other men
“And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
…Keep company with men (and women) who would tempt her to stray from her marriage or invite her to sin
“…you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sisterbut is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler…” 1 Corinthians 5:11
…Talk down to her husband, demeaning his decisions/desires/dreams/needs
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21
…Withhold her body unnecessarily from her husband
“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:4
…Watch what she says to others
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3
“Set a guard over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
…Remain content with what she has
“Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16
…Spend quality time with her spouse
“…Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions…” 1 John 3:18
...Watch what her eyes see and what her ears hear
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10
…Surround herself with people who support and affirm marriage
“He who walks with the wise grows wise.” Proverbs 13:4
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
…Affirm her husband’s decisions/desires/dreams/needs
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
“Encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
…Affirm her husband’s masculinity by inviting him into sexual pleasure
“…each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2-3
“…Come, my beloved, let us go…” Song of Solomon 7:11
Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing for Marriage
What kind of company am I keeping? Am I hanging around people who tear down marriage and make fun of God’s purpose for marriage or am I spending time in fellowship with those who support and affirm marriage?
Am I watching what I say? Do I indulge in gossip or do I curb the urge to spill private details about my fiancé’s life, his family’s, and other people’s ?
Am I drawing unwanted attention to myself even now? Am I tempting other men with my attire, including my fiancé? Do I dress immodestly or modestly?
Do I play the comparison game? Do I covet what other women have in their relationships with their boyfriends/fiancés/husbands? Do I wish my fiancé would be more like someone else? Or do I lovingly accept my fiancé for who he is, flaws and all?
How will my relationships with the opposite sex change once I’m married (this is a good question to discuss with your fiancé)? What boundaries will I need to set?
Do I affirm my fiancé’s dreams, desires, goals, work, and decisions even now? Do I uplift him with my speech, attitude, and actions? Do I encourage him in his work, to pursue his dreams, and to reach his goals? Do I criticize decisions he makes, or do I respect them?
Dialogue for Those Who Are Married
In what ways, do we feel protected by one another? In what ways, do we feel unprotected by one another? What areas can we work on to build a hedge of protection around our marriage? How can we better arm ourselves against the attacks of the Evil One?
How can we affirm each other’s decisions, dreams, desires, and needs?
Evaluate the company you keep. Is it affirming or destructive?
In what ways, are we watching what we say, hear, and see? In what ways, do we need to be more careful about what we say, hear, and see?
1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love always protects…”
Protect your marriage’s journey to the moon and back by not gossiping with others about intimate details, by not drawing unwanted attention to yourself by dressing immodestly, by not comparing your husband to other men, by not keeping bad company, by not demeaning your husband’s decisions/desires/dreams/needs, and by not neglecting his sexual needs.
Power your love to the moon and back by staying in communication with one another, watching what you say, spending quality time with your spouse, watching what you see/hear, surrounding yourself with people who affirm marriage, by lovingly affirming your husband’s decisions/desires/dreams/needs, and by inviting him to enjoy your body and working to pleasure him regularly.
Yep. If we're exposing the guys we're close to/dating/courting now, what would give God the impression that we will cover our future husband and all of his vulnerabilities later? Definitely a lot to think about.