If you’re looking for excuses to get out of sex, or reasons to stay mad at the mistake-making human husband you married, you’ve come to the wrong place.
But for the rest of you… the tired mom who just wants a little extra sleep, the woman for whom the initial delight you had in your beloved has faded into a hum-drum occasional physical interaction, the wife who feels exhausted by her children and has been excusing “not having anything left over to give” to the man you pledged your life to… to YOU, I have a few things to say.
Know that I’m not saying this from some lofty tower of well-rested ease. I’m an oft-tired mom of six, going on seven, children– including lots of little ones. We moved across the country less than six months ago, and are definitely in a more tired season of life.
But here’s the deal, ladies– your life is like a vapor. And that quick-fading nature of the time you are given includes ALL of your relationships.
This is the time you have been given. Today.
Tomorrow? …none of us know what lies there waiting for us. It could be more of the same-old, same-old everyday things. Tomorrow could hold something great; it could also bring a diagnosis like “cancer.”
And I don’t want to play the “everything could go wrong tomorrow” card just to make a point.
But the truth is, it could.
Regardless of what lies in the future, tonight, tomorrow night, when you (a tired woman) lay next to a human husband who (like you) has faced the everyday attacks and assaults of the world and the enemy, you have a choice to make. How can you pour into him? How can you truly be a helper to him, and a blessing to his heart? How can you serve and encourage and show active love to him?
One way (not the only way, but ONE way) for us to shower our affection on him is to be a willing wife… yes, even when our body desires sleep.
With that in mind, here are 5– scratch that, I’ve given you a bonus sixth! SIX– reasons to make love, even when you’re tired:
- YOUR BODY IS NOT YOUR OWN. As a believer in Christ, this is always true of us, no matter what. If you are in Christ, your body is the Lord’s. We are not our own; we are bought with a price. But as a wife, Scripture says my body does not belong to me only, but also to my husband. This is a starkly different message than the “my body, my choice, my rights” message we get, non-stop, from our culture. Hear me, though; this is NOT a demeaning message– this is ultimately a FREEING and LIFE-GIVING message. This is the beauty of the Gospel. Christ loves the church and gives Himself up for her; our husbands are called to love us and give themselves up for us. Their body is ours (they work for us, shower us with their affection, protect us, go to battle if necessary to defend us, put themselves between us and harm’s way), and ours are theirs (we care for them, joyfully give physical affection, bear their children, nurse their babies, care for them when they are sick). So if your husband asks, or implies, or you think he might, respond (or even, INITIATE) rather than retreating.
- Seize the day! I don’t think a single one of us will reach the end of our lives wishing we’d just been able to squeeze in 20 minutes more of work, dishes, gardening, or sleep; a great many of us will reach the end of life wishing we’d connected more deeply, more often, with our husbands. NOW IS THE TIME (yes, even when you’re sleepy), MY FRIEND!
- INVEST, BECAUSE THE STATE OF YOUR SEX LIFE AFFECTS & REFLECTS THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP. Don’t believe me? Read 1 Corinthians 7. Paul, a single man who was (arguably) perpetually given to religious rather than physical affections, recognized the inherent connection between sexlessness and Satan’s footholds within the marriage relationship. I’ve known married couples who have done it every night (yes, every night!) for 20+ years, and some who have done it every Thursday night for 35+ years. Sadly, I also know couples who haven’t touched each other in years. Beyond habitual patterns and statistical data, the way that we approach one another physically gives indication of other aspects of the connections between us. More often than not, the state of the sexual relationship gives an insightful glimpse into two things: the marriage relationship, and the way we approach God. Invest in your relationship by investing in your physical affection and connection. So many of us in this wicked culture bring heaps of unhealthy baggage into this arena, but it is SO worth it to work through that junk. Let me urge you: make this a priority in your life.
- MAKING LOVE IS LIKE EXERCISING. I have a friend who says this about working out: “I never really want to do it, but I’m always glad to have done it.” For some women, making love is like that. It’s a good thing to do. God has made it good for your body, good for your marriage, good for your heart, good for your husband, good for your health, good for your soul. Heck, it’s even (in a long-view-of-life way) good for your kids, grandkids, and descendants, for you to pass on a legacy of self-giving, loving affection as normative in a healthy marriage. So even if you (initially) aren’t “in the mood,” God built our bodies wonderfully, making us women particularly able to adjust our “mood.” Like exercise (assuming that you want to be healthy), even if you don’t initially *want* to make love, you’ll never be sorry that you did.
- REALLY, IT’S *SUCH* A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME. Sure, sometimes you’re newly postpartum, or have something strangely exhausting happening in your life; those times are the exception. But generally speaking, you can afford the 10-35 extra minutes to get in a good time of physical and emotional connection with your husband. Honestly, who cares about the tiny amount of extra sleep, as compared to putting a slap-happy smile on your husband’s face (AND YOURS)? Plus, women who have had sex sleep better (it releases body chemicals and hormones like dopamine and oxytocin that relax your body and enable rest to come more easily). The time investment is truly SMALL compared to the connective fibers you are stitching into your marriage.
- WE’RE ALL TIRED. Honestly, we really are. No matter our age or phase of life. This cutthroat, go-go-go, hyper scheduled culture keeps most of us a hair past exhausted. But we all make time for what’s important to us. I’ll say that again: WE MAKE TIME FOR WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO US. Is this area of your marriage important? Maybe you would answer “no”… but would your spouse truly answer the same way? The truth is, we’re all tired, but God has given us (as husband and wife) the ability to have this beautiful physical act that mirrors the connection, the intimacy, the transparency, and the joy that we are to have in and with one another. We’re all tired, but we make time for what’s important to us. Consider raising the importance and priority of this activity, and commit to just do it.
Let me challenge you today: invest in this part of your relationship. You could “just do it” tonight.
Yes, even if you’re tired.
image courtesy of mack2happy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net