By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
Rediscovering the Pleasure of Marriage
By Jennifer Waddle
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Bliss, contentment, enjoyment: all words that describe the experience of pleasure. Yet, how many of us would use those same words to describe our marriages?
It’s an honest question that deserves an honest answer. Because if we’re truthful with ourselves, the God-given pleasures we ought to be experiencing in marriage have been replaced with adverse experiences such as discontentment, boredom, and conflict.
If you’ve lost the pleasure of marriage—the pleasure God designed for husbands and wives to experience—I offer these words of wisdom:
Only in God is there fullness of joy.
I’m afraid we’ve placed a lot of pressure on our spouses, to make us happy and keep us happy. Instead of drawing from the well of joy within us, by the abundant fruit of the Holy Spirit, we’ve expected our spouses to fill us with joy.
This may include the expectation of material things, exotic trips, lavish gifts, or other surface “joys.” It may also include unrealistic time commitments and unhealthy attention from our spouses that are impossible to fulfill.
In whatever ways we seek fullness of joy from our spouses, we must get back to the source of our joy—the Lord Himself. Once we do that, we’ll have an abundance of joy welling up inside. And from that abundance, we can focus our attention on our spouses in healthy, pleasurable ways that are honorable to God and fulfilling to each another.
For some practical tips on how to bring back the joy in your relationship, check out this article, 8 Ways to Find Joy in Your Marriage.
Only with God are there pleasures forevermore.
Our wedding vows, which often include the phrase, “till death do us part,” are sadly misrepresented in the way we live out our marriages. As we walk down the aisle towards a new and hopeful future with our spouse, we never dream the road might become dull and lifeless.
When reality hits, and real life happens, many couples fall into a tug-of-war instead of a side-by-side marathon. The once-enjoyed pleasures of marriage become drudgeries.
The thing to keep in mind, is that true and lasting pleasure begins with the Lord. And it continues with Him for all eternity. Being in His presence, walking in His Spirit, and meeting with Him day after day gives us the deepest sense of pleasure imaginable.
Once we realize from Whom lasting pleasure comes, we can gain a new perspective of pleasure in marriage—one that is Christ-centered instead of self-centered. This new perspective can completely change the dynamic of our marriages.
Marital pleasure was designed by God.
In the article, Passion and Pleasure, author Gary Thomas says this about God: “Whether He’s creating the stars or forming the human body, God’s design is always beautiful. And His plan for marital intimacy is equally awe-inspiring.”
Intimacy in marriage is more than physical. It encompasses the heart, mind, and soul of a person. A couple can spend intimate time together by having deep conversations, sharing hopes and dreams, and enjoying sexual intimacy.
Let’s get back to the God-given pleasures designed for marriage. Let’s forsake the surface, fleeting pleasures that do not fulfill, and instead, embrace the bliss, contentment, and enjoyment of pleasure that is rooted in Christ.
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.
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