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The Cliff’s Notes version is this: God designed marriage. Satan hates anything that God designs. So, in a sense, when you said “I Do,” all Hell did break loose…with a vengeance toward destroying your marriage. There is so much truth to that whole “roaring around looking for someone to devour” thing that it is just plain maddening. (1 Peter 5:8).
Does that sound extreme? Maybe. But I talk to enough women and men (as well as read the comments on my site and other sites) to know that the journey of marriage is wrought with challenges. Some of those we bring on ourselves, so don’t think that I am trying to throw all responsibility on the back of the enemy. Many people sabotage their marriages by being selfish, careless, deceitful or in the most painful examples, outright abusive and/or adulterous. Even in those challenges though — when it looks like it is all through the actions of one or both spouses — the enemy is at work. It’s just we have given him a leg up in getting there.
Satan’s go-to path to victory is division. If he can cause division blatantly or if he can get you or your spouse to partner with him in creating division within your marriage, he does a sick sort of happy dance I’m sure.
Here’s the kicker…the part that really sucks… sometimes his tactics are not blatant. They don’t show up with a sign that says “spiritual warfare is about to occur.” Sometimes he is so subtle that he flys right under our radar. He is attacking our marriage — trying to gain a foothold — and we are indifferent or blind to it. We don’t see it for what it is. So, not only do we not go on the defensive to stop him in his tracks, we don’t even consider what going on the offensive looks like in proactively protecting our marriage.
So what does this have to do with sex? (You knew I was going to tie it all back to that, right? Come on.) Sex is a tremendous way to protect your marriage. No, it is not the only way; just a way…one of many I hope you pursue to strengthen your marriage. When healthy sexual intimacy prevails, it endears a husband and wife to each other powerfully…amazingly really. (And, I might add, in a way that really can’t be duplicated by any other means).
If sex has been an issue in your marriage, I recognize that moving toward health isn’t going to be easy. And especially if there has been betrayal of some sort (infidelity, pornography addiction, sexual abuse), then I wouldn’t even think you could experience healthy sexual intimacy without the very valued guidance of a professional Christian counselor or other ministry devoted to overcoming sexual indiscretions.
Whatever sexual intimacy looks like in your marriage, hear my passionate plea on this: barring the rare situations of illness or injury, sexual intimacy should not be an optional or neglected part of marriage.
If you are reading this and you have done all you can to nurture authentic godly sexual intimacy and it is your spouse who is being indifferent, then take a deep breath and know that God sees your pain. Pray for His comfort and strength, as well as His continued guidance in how you should express your devastation to your spouse.
If you are reading this and you are the one who has been indifferent, take hope in knowing that the Lord is all about making things new. Repent of your carelessness and begin to walk in a new direction. Get vulnerable with your Lord. Get vulnerable with your spouse about your genuine desire that sexual intimacy be better between the two of you, even if you don’t have all the answers in how to move in that direction.
Even though you probably weren’t conscientious of it as you stood at the altar, when you said “I Do,” all Hell broke loose. God is bigger than the enemy though. And sex was His idea… I imagine for the very reason that He knew something was needed to help protect marriages from the schemes of the enemy. God is brilliant isn’t He?