Thursday, April 28, 2011

Divorce & Desire: Sex or No Sex?

Divorce happens for different reasons. Popular opinion suggests that these generations assume entitlement to constant happiness and instant gratification, so much that when the facade of sitcom marriage wears off in  like the luster off an uncleaned diamond, divorce is the remedy.

I don't believe that. Diamond owners usually polish their gems to the original brilliance on a regular basis. They take care of the gem, not discard it. Neither are the majority of marriages cavalierly thrown away. It costs both parties to much emotionally, physically, financially, and even spiritually to throw away a relationship with wanton randomness.

Something else is at work here, but I digress (and that is a roundtable discussion waiting to happen). 

Being raised Catholic and Methodist, divorce is not supposed to be an option - we are in this world, not of it, and therefore do not leave because of a few little problems. As Methodist, there exists a method to everything we do, even to approaching the problems within a marriage. Unless the capital crime of adultery is the lynch pin, it can be worked out. Even then, if the adultery either results in no children or presents the loss of status and viability within the religious organization (think the wives of high level politicians who have put in as much or more work than he to get to this point in life) it can still be worked out. Hell, even if there are just a few kids born outside of the marriage, it can still be methodically worked out.
Who left the gate open again?

The underlying current of Catholicism running through my veins edifies the religious and culturally entrenched relationship survival dictum 'don't ask, don't look'. If I did my part and he didn't bring anything or anybody home, it was copacetic, righteous even, for me to look the other way. Boys will be boys, and they often stray like puppies out of open gates.They always come home.

It would seem that since my father and mother never had incidence of infidelity, I would expect the same in my marriage. Culture and religion outweighed personal experience. Subconsciously, I thought of their marriage as an anomaly. Indeed, I am a Daddy's girl, so no man was able to meet the high standards he set. This was reasonable to me, even though in action and word everything about my own father said it should not be acceptable.

This plus some other underlying psychological issues meant that sex was never linked to marital issues. Yep, we were doing 'it' in season and out of season. As my girlfriend used to say, we were making 'the heavens light up with the glory of God at the communion of husband and wife' with regularity (Gasp).

It was when adultery became a lynch pin for separation and eventually divorce that sex became an issue. That was when all intimacy ceased - about 3 months before the husband finally moved out of our home. That was nearly 4 years ago. Since then I have been celibate.
Song of Solomon 2:7 "Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."
Ephesians 4:21-22 "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts." 
There has been opportunity and temptation enough to make me want to toss conviction and a Coach overnight bag into a back seat and ride out. However, having spent so much time with God through the whole process of praying for my marriage, praying about my marriage, trying not to prey on my ex; having had God to bless me through the midst of the storm with a stable mind and an anointing to pursue life, I know that He didn't loose me from a mess to become a mess up. My life is about pleasing God. The more I grow in Him, the more that desire grows as well.

My focus had to be on making it through the redefining of a relationship victoriously, and gain healing and wholeness. Initially, it took a whole lot  (like Herculean strength) of focus to overcome my fleshly desires. There were days when I didn't think this celibacy thing was going to work out. Yet, I kept speaking the Word of God to myself and over my life.
"...cast down vain imaginations and to bring every thought captive (II Corinthians 10:5).

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2)
I made a conscious decision that I wanted to both glorify God in my choices and present a picture of right relationship to my children. I wanted to show them what is right when it comes to intimate relationships and God, for both my life and theirs.

God gave me a new understanding of why we have to study to show ourselves approved.
Romans 12:3  "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
The tools to overcome our fleshly nature are as war ready as our faith can make them. Our faith comes by the hearing of the Word of God. How can you hear a Word unless you read it? How can it become manifest unless God anoint it according to your measure of faith?

God revealed to me that my out of control desire for sexual intimacy was rooted in a stronghold. A stronghold is a faulty thinking pattern based on lies and deception. Deception is one of the primary weapons of the devil, because it is the building blocks for a stronghold.
2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."
To break down a stronghold, the lies at the root of it have to be cut off. Truth is the opposite of deception and lies. Truth is the light that overcomes the darkness of any situation. God's Word is the truth and the light. This is where it's important to grow in God's Word. (for reference, a good study can be found at Great Bible Study)

Here is just one of the divine revelations from the midst of my journey:
Our proclivity for sex outside of wedlock is an institutional and temporal myth suggesting the results of sex is a pleasure unmatched by any other activity in the world, with no real consequences. (Sounds like an apple presented by a snake to me). 

One lie is that there is no greater personal pleasure between two humans than sexual satisfaction. The greatest satisfaction was derived for Adam and Eve, and God, by the communion that was had between them. The lie has caused us to seek physical relief for a spiritual desire and to believe that any relationship is made consummate (complete or fruitful) by the act of sex.

That is not how we were made. We were made for the most satisfactory intimate relationship to include God.
I can back that all up with scripture, and I believe it in my soul. I teach it to my children, because the word says that if I teach them while they are young, when they grow old they will not depart from it.

I could go on about how God carried me through a palpable need for sexual satisfaction to a virgin reborn. Okay, so I go too far sometimes! At least He has created in me a living will to wait for Boaz, and to experience with him a communion that no man can replicate. (What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Or Vegas.). While I wait I am being proverbial. That is a whole 'nother subject.

Before now, not many people new about my celibacy. I felt like telling people was like courting disaster. Now, I realize that many women and men are faced with the same decision regularly. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony. If I can help somebody else overcome...

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