Intimacy – Acceptance

One of the biggest challenges to true intimacy – as I have discovered this last week – is a lack of acceptance.

  • Not accepting your spouse for who they are
  • Not accepting your circumstance, your “lot” in life, so to speak
  • Not accepting who you are

Psalm 16:5-7 NIV LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

As I revealed last week in doing Dr Caroline Leaf’s 21 Day Detox program, I have some seriously negative attitudes to marriage that I did not know that I had.  It is all based in my childhood when my own parents’ marriage and some of the decisions they made in that marriage had a truly profound effect on me.  It is this negative attitude that God is now dealing with.  I was protecting myself from hurt by not accepting that this is exactly where God wanted me – you know, “just in case” something had to happen I’m prepared for it.   God knew before I was even born who I would marry and who I would be with, what child we would have for He created her and knit her together in my womb.  God knew – before I knew.  He knew – and He rejoiced.

I am reading a lovely book called Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and in it she explains the importance of trusting that God knows exactly where you are in life and where you need to be to grow like Christ.  We can surrender ourselves to Him and trust that it is all good.  Linda Dillow quotes from J.I. Packer and I love this quote,

Contentment is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefor it is good.

I don’t think we give God enough credit for being in control and knowing exactly what he is doing.

He does.

He is God.

He created the world – the entire universe – in six days.

Do we not for one minute think that He’s got this?

Whatever your situation is – God has it.  He has it in the palm of His hand.  He knows you and He loves you.  He wants what is best for you.  Your growth to becoming like Christ is of the utmost importance to Him because in that growth is where we can experience God’s true peace.  Please note, as Linda Dillow so eloquently states, our peace and surrender to God is NOT determined by our circumstances.  In fact, our life could quite literally be falling down around us and we can still experience God’s peace, because God is in control.  It’s that surrendering to God that gives us peace because we know that He is good and we can trust Him to work it all out for our good.

Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

How does this pertain to marriage and to intimacy?

Well, you can surrender your fears and anxieties, your doubts and insecurities to Him and know that He has got this.  You can trust Him.  You are free to enjoy your marriage, and any form of intimacy with your husband as long as it honours God, because well – this is your portion and your cup from God.

Psalm 16:5-7 NIV LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

So, for me, who is dealing with the negative repercussions from my parents’ marriage, I can surrender my fear and anxiety to God knowing that God had control, does have control and is in control.  I can give God my heart knowing that He will handle it with the utmost care as He grows me to be more like Christ.

Now, for any marriage that is generally struggling with intimacy and general everyday life issues, all this is fine.  But what about marriages where there are issues like infidelity, porn, drugs, etc.  I can’t tell you what to do – I do agree with Sheila Wray Gregoire where she says you cannot enable sin.  For some of you, that may mean leaving.  For others, it may mean confronting – in love –your spouse.

Even in this, you can trust God that He has got this.  He is with you, every moment of every day and while you need to earnestly seek God and seek His word on what you need to do in that specific situation, remember that He loves you deeply, intently and sacrificially.

If your spouse is acting in such a way that they are denying a vital part of themselves and a vital part of the Christian life–like responsibility or intimacy or community–then doing nothing about it enables that spouse to avoid any impetus for spiritual growth.  Sheila Wray Gregoire

Go to your church and find someone who will help you; who will sit down and talk to your husband, whether he likes it or not, to hear his side of the story.  Someone who will walk you through an intervention process, if it is necessary (and in some cases it definitely is).  And someone who will stand alongside your husband and give him the tools and help he needs to rediscover who he was made to be.

I know this is scary.  When you rock the boat, you feel like, “if this marriage breaks up I’ve failed.”  But you have not.  And while divorce damages kids greatly, there are times when staying in a marriage does, too.  Those times are rare, and please, don’t take these words as an excuse to leave your husband because he plays video games too much or won’t put stuff in the dishwasher.  I’m not talking about normal marital disagreements.  I’m talking about things where men (or women) have completely forsaken key elements of who they were designed to be.  And in that case, your children need to witness health and wholeness and healing.  So don’t stop until you find someone to help you!  Sheila Wray Gregoire

Love this:  …where men (or women) have COMPLETELY forsaken key elements of who they were designed to be.

And here’s the crux – even if you have to confront major sin in your spouse, or just learn to accept that you are exactly where God wants you to be: He has got this.

God has got this.

We cannot put God into a box – He is bigger and more magnificent and more loving than we can ever hope to give Him credit for.

Surrender your life to Him and watch Him work.  God has got this.

MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Intimacy – Letting go of Fear / Intimacy – Rest / Intimacy – Knowing / Intimacy – A Gift / Intimacy – healing / Intimacy – Cleaving / Intimacy – Love Casts out Fear /  Intimacy – Feelings / Intimacy – Attitude

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