My husband and I recently attended the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, an investment company founded by Omahan Warren Buffet… something like a gazillion years ago.
Warren is a rock star in Omaha (a frumpy, somewhat unkept, rock star, but a rock star nonetheless). He is to Omaha what Jon Bon Jovi is to New Jersey. (40,000 people came to the meeting this year, several by private jet, just to listen to Warren ramble about the world of investing. 40,000 people. Seriously.)
So, what does this have to do with sex, you might wonder. Well, to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, you have to own Berkshire Hathaway stock. My dear Beloved and I are just tadpoles in this pool, as we own what is known on the street as a “Baby Berk”… one share of his small stock (for lack of a better term). If we owned even one share of his regular full-grown Berk, we’d be sipping pina coladas with Jon Bon Jovi.
Back to my point about marriage and sex. To get into the Berkshire Hathaway meeting, you have to have an annual meeting lanyard. You know, it’s that thingy you hang around your neck that makes you look all official. Can’t just find these things laying around…you only get to request one if you actually own Berkshire Hathaway stock (at least that’s the only legitimate way to get into the meeting). It’s the Willy Wonka golden ticket that grants you access to a playground of discounts (the Berkshire repertoire includes stake in Pampered Chef, Kirby, Geico, Justin Boots, Coca Cola and Dairy Queen, just to name a few).
When you got married, it’s kind of like you were given a lanyard to enter the marital landscape with your husband. Not only do you have “permission” to experience all that landscape has to offer, you are “invited” and “encouraged” to partake. God meant for marriage — and sex — to be a treasured exclusive gift, not a painful obligation. Sadly, rather than approaching it with an eager “I get to!” , many begrudgingly receive it as an “I have to.”
Is your marital lanyard choking you or delighting you? Hmmm.
If your experience on the landscape is one of heartache, I pray you hear me in that you are not alone (I hate it when people feel alone). Possibly you want your marriage to look healthier and more intimate, but your husband is not receptive to heading in that direction. Maybe he wants all of the perks of the lanyard with none of the responsibilities and selflessness. If this is your situation, I am sad with you.
If you are doing all you can to hold up your end of the commitment, have faith that God sees your heart, receives your tears and holds you in your disappointment.
If, on the other hand, your experience is one where you have become indifferent to intimacy with your spouse, not doing what you can to nurture it, I encourage you to know that the situation needs to and can look different. You would have to start walking in that direction though.
And if you are a wife who happens to love sex and marriage with your husband and look forward to it, then I affirm you in enjoying the full extent of what your marital lanyard has given you.
I recognize that there is a lot about marriage that is grueling and complex (same can be said of investing…unquestionably there are risks and efforts involved). Eventually, though, you have to determine what that marital lanyard means to you.
What does your marital lanyard mean to you personally? I truly am asking, not in a rhetorical way, but in an intimate vulnerable way. As a fellow Christian wife, my heart is to genuinely understand, so that we all can grow in the direction to which God is calling us…
Copyright 2010. Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.