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A farm near us has a rent-a-chick program each spring so that families can experience taking care of chicks for two weeks.
You then take them back to the safety of people who know how to and actually want to take care of them into adulthood.
It is an amazing program, in my opinion.
We rented two adorable chicks at only 3 days old and we have enjoyed taking care of them and watching them grow.
“Baby” anything is cute, right? If I could rent baby alligators for two weeks, I kid you not I would do it. In a heartbeat. Baby sloths? Yes. Baby badgers? Yes. Baby otters? Yes. Even baby octopi? Yes.
Even with how precious and fun these little chicks are, we learned pretty quickly that chicks get messy fast. Chick care requires daily maintenance. Patience. Perseverance. Kindness. Gentle touch. A willingness to deal with the messiness.
It all has made me think about how messy marriage can get. Of course, I didn’t need a rent-a-chick program to teach me that.
Marriage is teaching me how messy marriage is. And some marriages are messier than others, for a whole slew of reasons that we couldn’t unpack in one blog post, even if we wanted to.
A by-product of messy marriage, of course, is messy sex. (And I’m not talking about the literal physical messiness of sex that the movies never show you! That’s a different topic for a different day.)
I’m talking about the reality that a lot plays into the healthiness or unhealthiness of a couple’s sexual intimacy. Passion, desire, inhibitions, cumbersome emotional baggage, physical capabilities (or lack thereof), extenuiating circumstances, daily pressures of life, willingness to communicate, body self awareness, and more — all of it.
A Facebook message I received recently reinforced to me the deep need for anyone who gets married to recognize that it is indeed a place for grown ups. Marriage is a grown-up place — at least it should be — where we strive to not use sex as a weapon; where we let go of any immature manipulation we maybe spent our younger years mastering.
This particular Facebook message was from a husband who has struggled with deep depression over the sexual rejection from his wife. She is not interested in having sex at all and seems even less interested in addressing how her withholding is hurting her husband and the marriage. Despite his pleas. Despite his suggestion for marriage counseling. Despite his prayers.
Yes, I know. I am hearing only his side of the situation, but for sake of argument here, I’m going to lean toward believing his genuine heart. His cry is not unlike what other husbands and wives share with me about the lack of sexual intimacy in their marriages.
Often, I think the underlying problem is people not willing to persevere in solving sexual struggles when it is a given that solving is going to be hard. Possibly harder than anything they’ve ever had to navigate.
So messy, it’s no wonder many people cave before they even start. Or at least one person in the marriage caves before starting, which only compounds the problems. Oh, the irony. Ignoring or downplaying sexual struggles doesn’t make them go away, but rather makes them worse.
We often become most aware of marriage being a grown-up place when we refuse to loosen our grip on our childish and selfish tendencies, right? The more we may know we need to mature and grow is often when we most resist doing exactly that.
And work with your spouse on solving those problems?
What will it take?
I think it will take all the same things it takes to care for baby chicks.
Daily maintenance. Patience. Perseverance. Kindness. Gentle touch. A willingness to deal with the messiness.
Rental chicks go back in two weeks. Your marriage has been and likely will continue to be considerably longer than that. That is my hope for you, and I can only imagine it was your hope when you said your vows.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.