| | A troubled marriage?
Every day, all around the world, men and women commit to spending a life time together with exactly one person. They pledge to honor and cherish that person for the rest of their lives for better or for worse for as long as they both shall live. The actual wedding vows may vary, but the basic idea is the same. They commit to love only each other for life.
I think that the true benefit of marriage is something bigger than shared economic interests, combined skill sets or family planning. I think that when a man and woman come together and commit to serve each other in love, beautiful things can unfold in each of their lives. This is the true reason why God calls us to marriage. Marriage is a vehicle that helps us to enjoy the highest form of love that can be experienced in this world.
In order to understand this, you have to consider what each of the participants brings to the marriage. Men and women are NOT the same. They are equal in the eyes of God, but they are not the same. A Husband and a wife each has a unique gift that was given to them by God, and when they both commit to fully utilize their gift within the marriage, then magic happens. It is a kind of magic that neither of them can experience alone. They need each other to bring out the full effect of each other’s gifts.
God gave men the gift of attention. A man has the ability to focus his attention on a particular task and commit himself to it until such time as it is completed. It is in the domain of attention that men are at their best. If he focuses his full attention on a job then that job is done with intense love and concentration. In marriage, God calls a man to focus the power of his attention on a person … his wife.
To women, God gave the gift of radiance. Women are much more in tune with their own feelings and with the integrity of the world around them. When a woman feels that there is a lack of love and integrity in her world, or her man, then hell hath no fury that can match her.
On the other hand, when a woman feels strong love and integrity in her world, and especially in her man, then she will be radiant in her love. She will shine like a star and fill the hearts and minds of all who are blessed by her presence with love and happiness.
Of course, a man can be purposeful all by himself. He does not need a woman to focus his attention on. He can focus it anywhere. The world is full of men who are successful and single.
Likewise, a woman can be radiant all by herself. She can shine light into the hearts of all who know her without any man in her life.
However, in the sanctity of a loving marriage, these two gifts combine in a very powerful way. When a man chooses to focus his attention on his wife in ways that are loving, appreciative, positive and uplifting, then he helps her to become even more radiant. She is filled by his loving devotion. It fills her from head to toe and explodes out of her as happiness that rains down on everyone in her life.
Have you noticed how a woman is in love seems to be walking on air all the time? She can light up a room with her presence. You can feel happiness radiating out of her in waves. You feel happy just to be around such a woman. A man has filled her with love and now she is sharing it with everyone who is lucky enough to be around her. Such is the power of a strong masculine love that is focused on a woman.
Nothing makes a man happier than to see his woman in this state. When he has filled her with love and he knows that his gifts have found their mark. The radiance of a woman inspires a man to want to give her love. The more radiant she is, the more he wants to give his gifts to her.
Therein lays the beauty of the system. A man focuses his loving attention on his wife and fills her with the gift of his love. Her heart lights up like a Christmas tree and she is radiant in her happiness. Much of that love radiates back to the man and inspires him to give even more, which makes her even more radiant, and inspires him to give even more …
I think you get the picture. God designed marriage to be a love making machine. When it is functioning properly it will create love in huge abundance. Together a man and woman can generate more love than either could experience alone.
Of course, there is a catch. It is not just a matter of getting together and BOOM the magic happens. The system only works if both of the participants are willing to play their God ordained role. If either person stops doing their part, then the love machine stops.
A woman stops the love machine if she stops actively inspiring her man to give his gifts in the world. She stops telling him that she loves and appreciates the things that he does. She stops telling him that she is proud of him. She stops trusting him and stops offering her physical and emotional beauty as a living inspiration for him. She stops accepting the gift of his love making with an open heart, and starts seeking her fullness elsewhere … all of her love goes to the children, shopping, Facebook, and text messages from friends to name just a few.
A man stops the love machine when he stops offering his gifts freely to his wife. He stops telling her that she is beautiful and that he loves her exactly as she is. He stops creating fun and exciting experiences for her. He stops leading her toward happiness and instead starts to put conditions on everything. He collapses back into his own needs and forgets about hers.
Instead of living his life as a gift to her and his family, he tries to negotiate a settlement with her where he gets to have time with friends, some nice toys and sex twice a week in exchange for giving her freedom that she also needs.
In the worst case their marriage separates into two lives lived under one roof. He is busy focusing his needs. She is busy focusing on her needs. Her light is shining dimly, and his attention is being directed anywhere but on her. Sooner or later one or both of them will decide that they cannot live this way and the marriage is in turmoil.
Or, perhaps one of them decides that they cannot live this way and decides to fix it.
How do you fix a marriage that has gotten off track? How do you get the love machine moving again? Usually, what it takes is for one or the other to decide to just go ahead and start living the way God intended them to again.
If it is the woman, then she makes a conscious decision to start shining her light into her husband’s life again.
If it is the man, then he needs to focus his loving attention on his wife again. He needs to make a conscious effort to learn what his wife’s needs are and to meet them for her.
So regardless of whether you are the man or the woman in a sexless and passionless marriage, make the decision to be the one that starts the healing process. Contemplate the gift that God gave you. Women, contemplate how you shine your light within your marriage. Are you inspiring your husband to love you? Men, contemplate how you focus your attention. Are you focusing your love on your wife often enough?
In both cases, I bet you will find that the answer is “No”. I am not doing as much as I could. I am not keeping up my end of the deal. I am not doing my part to get the love machine rolling again. I am waiting for my spouse to do something. I am waiting for them to change first.
Stop waiting and start giving your unique gift again.
Of course, thats just my opinion.
“Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional.”