For the longest time I took it for granted that Edric and I had healthy intimacy. I always felt like we were an affectionate, PDA sort of couple that had no issues when it came to sweetness and lovey-dovey-ness. I mean, at times, we were probably annoyingly affectionate with one another, irritating people who saw us out in public. So it never really occurred to me to put in extra effort to cultivate intimacy. The chemistry between us was always so natural.
However, in recent years, the number of children, fatigue, and busy-ness have taken its toll on me physically, and Edric has, more than once, remarked about my seeming disinterest in being intimate with him. My excuses often revolved around timing. Why did it have to happen at the last hour of the evening when I was dead tired? I am not just talking about sex, but even kissing and hugging, and holding one another before falling asleep. Many times he felt like I was just not that into him.
My dismissiveness would make him feel hurt and rejected. For a while, I thought I was in the right, that he was the selfish and inconsiderate one for pursuing invitations when I was exhausted. Yet God convicted me through this latest trip we took together in Kenya. After observing the tender exchanges between a forty-two year married couple…aka my parents, I realized I have a lot to improve on.
Edric and I had hours of bonding time together with my mom and dad during our vacation league of the trip (the first part was more ministry). During the safari, my parents occupied the row of seats in front of Edric and me, so we both noticed how sweetly they interacted with one another. Dad would frequently smile tenderly at my mom and hold her hand. Mom often said, “I find you so handsome (to my dad), and I really enjoy being with you.”
Although my parents were always loving, it’s been pretty special for me to see them still tender (if not more so) in this season of their lives. Even if they are senior citizens, they act like a young couple in love. They still put effort into cultivating intimacy with one another.
Whether it was appreciating each other verbally, deliberately seeking to meet each other’s emotional needs, sharing jokes, or exhibiting patience and restraint during conflicts, they both showed me how to be a better spouse during this trip. While Edric and I have a great marriage by God’s grace, I know I can still up my effort levels in the areas of tenderness and responsiveness, especially after seeing the dynamic between my parents.
Very often I encourage wives to consider that we are the only, legitimate, godly option for intimacy, for our husbands. Yet if I were to honestly assess myself, my past six months’ performance has been wanting. I haven’t tried my best to meet Edric’s need for intimacy. I would give myself a mediocre score in this area because I haven’t been as into him as I ought to be. My mom and dad were great examples of what it means to delight in each other as husband and wife.
Sometimes I forget to appreciate how special Edric is, and how blessed I am to have a husband who loves God, loves me and our kids, and who wants to be a good husband and father. I need to be more like the woman in Song of Solomon and be a more passionately in love wife! “Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers. Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.” Song of Songs 7:11-12 NLT