The following is an excerpt from our book True Intimacy.
For the next month we will be posting a chapter a day for your reading (and marital) pleasure. However, if you would like to purchase an electronic or printed copy for yourself or someone else we would greatly appreciate your support! To go to the web page for more information click here.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord. Luke 1:45
Blessed is she who believed. Do YOU believe that God can heal your marriage? I believed; and it totally changed the course of my entire life. God’s plans for us are so much bigger and better than our own plans. HE knows the future, we don’t. Trust Him. He is faithful to His word. When you obey Him, He blesses you. Sometimes more than you can bear. So I hope you’re ready for this!
I would like to share a letter to God that I wrote in the beginning of this journey.
“Lord, my heart is so broken right now. I am so consumed with Christian and his neglect of his duties to us. I don’t understand what you want me to do. I know that you don’t want divorce because I have a blood covenant with him, but he hurts my feelings so much. I feel like he’s sucking the spirit from me. Yet I love him so desperately. I can’t REALLY leave him. You’re not really telling me to leave the husband of my youth are you? Surely not. What you have joined together let no man tear asunder right?
Lord, I need an undivided heart, one where BOTH halves are pumping and functioning together as one. PLEASE help us become one again. And not just for a short time but for forever. Please please please don’t let it come to this again! Please Lord, I’m begging you; heal us back together again so that we are one functioning heart again. Let the two become one and stay that way!”
Reading that letter again I remember the pain and grief that I felt over how our relationship was fairing. Yet, it makes me happy to read it, because it shows me just how far we’ve truly come; how far God has brought us on the path of healing. In response to this letter do you know what God told me? Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19) He gave me my answer. Repent, turn to God, and times of refreshing WOULD come. Not maybe they’d get here, they WOULD come. I had already repented of my sin of pre-marital sex and I believe God had forgiven me for it. But I hadn’t forgiven myself, and I certainly hadn’t forgiven Christian for taking my virginity before it was time to take it. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t rape me, if I had told him “no” he would NOT have had sex with me.
I’ll never forget that moment of decision as long as I live! We were lying there completely naked together, Christian over me asking “What do you think?” And I heard God’s desperate plea in my right ear say: “Baby, don’t do this!” But the tempter was right there too, in my left ear, “Oh, it’s no big deal, you’re going to marry each other at some point anyway so what difference does it make if you do it now or later? It’s all the same. Go ahead. Do it.” And just like Eve, I believed his LIE! So instead of saying “no”, I said “yes”. And that moment, the moment I said “yes” instead of “no”, changed everything. That moment of disobedience turned my world upside down.
So, back in the present day, what’s a girl to do?!? I felt like I needed to talk to Christian and in the least, request an apology from him. But as I was preparing for my “talk” with him I did a lot of praying and scripture searching. I felt that we needed to do more than just ask for forgiveness, we needed to DO something. “God guide me!” I said. He immediately made my eyes fall on Ezekiel 33:14-16. But when I say to the wicked, “You will surely die,” and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.
God gave me the steps to take. 1) Repent of our sin of sexual immorality by asking for forgiveness from God, each other, and ourselves. 2) Do what is right and restore what has been taken, therefore making restitution. 3) Sin no more. Once we’ve done those three things NONE of our sins will be held against us anymore! We will be free! “OK”, I thought. “I can do that! Ummm, but Lord, how can I pay You back? How can Christian return what he stole from me? I mean… A hymen’s not really something that grows back ya know.” That’s when the idea of fasting came to mind. How can you give back sex? Stop having it! Not forever obviously, just for a time. In 1 Corinthians 7:5 Paul writes: Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. He was telling his followers in the church of Corinth that they should not withhold sex from their spouses except to grow closer to God, and only for a specific period of time so that the enemy would not tempt them to commit sexual immorality. All of this seemed to fit perfectly for our situation. I needed to repent and return the things that I had stolen and I needed to do that by abstaining from sexual relations with my husband for 30 days (which is the traditional length of a mourning period, fitting I thought). I knew that Christian would not be happy about it, but I also knew that I would give him no choice. And he’s a great man; I knew he wouldn’t force me.
Christian was not happy, not happy at all. No sex for 30 days! We weren’t having sex all that often, but 30 days? That’s like a month!
Yeah, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t really understand either. But it was important to Tamar, so it was important to me.
As was stated in chapter one, as well as here, I wasn’t a great husband. No, I wasn’t a good husband, or father. I’d stay out late, working on demolition derby cars at one of my friends’ shops. I would only begrudgingly come home if Tamar had something to go to. It wasn’t that I didn’t love Tamar, but to me, everything I had going on was more important that anything she had going on. Little did I know, that’s what was tearing us apart.
The fast came along about the same time that I began to realize that I was a major problem in our marriage (after the pre-marital sex, multiple partners, masturbation, and porn of course). So I thought, “Hey, if this will help us to get closer, I’m in.” Boy howdy! Have we ever gotten closer (Wink wink, nudge nudge). Things aren’t perfect, but they are much better, and getting better every day.