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The Dirty Socks that Almost Killed My Marriage

By Sam Crowe

Antony and I sat down to dinner a few weeks ago with some friends, a married couple, from interstate that we hadn’t seen face to face for over 2 years. We realised that we hadn’t shared a big part of our lives with them – the near implosion and then miraculous transformation of our marriage.

 

In a frank, open, loving conversation we shared the details of our marriage breakdown, they asked questions, and we all discussed together. Within that I was able to articulate how I had felt in our marriage three years ago. In a nutshell I would say that although Antony said he loved me, and I believed that he thought he loved me… I didn’t feel loved. Then came the critical question of the night, “What was the catalyst, or the big thing that you could put it all down to?”

“He left his dirty socks inside out in the dirty clothes basket.”

 

Silence.

 

More silence with quizzical looks. Followed by a round of silence.

 

He didn’t turn his dirty socks the right way round? That’s right, there was no adultery, there was no abuse, he frequently tried to use my love language to fill my “love tank”, he was a ‘hands-on’ Dad, he did a lot of work around the house and he was the most prolific vacuumer you could ever meet. How is it possible that despite all this, I could say I didn’t feel loved because he left his socks inside out?

 

Allow me to give some background. I spent three years working with teenage girls as a housemistress at a boarding school. One thing I learnt very clearly was that when you had a request or a command you had better make sure you also had a reasonable and well thought out response to the inevitable question, “Why?” And a little more relevant background – my husband is a fire fighter and he does a lot of physical training at work and at home. Ergo, his socks are always sweaty, sometimes smelly and particularly disgusting if they have been sitting at the bottom of the dirty clothes basket for a couple of days.

 

Not too many years into our marriage I made the request that he turn his socks the right way round before putting them in the dirty clothes basket. I followed this request with the very reasonable and well thought out basis for my request, “It’s really gross to put my hand into your inside-out socks because they are all sweaty, and I need to turn the socks the right way round because you wear them outside without shoes and they don’t come out of the wash as clean if I wash them inside out,” (or words to that effect).

 

Six years on I was making the same request with the same reasoning verbalised. I was also receiving the same response – inside-out socks followed by a variety of excuses. From our courting days I told Antony that I didn’t want to be a nagging wife and he fully supported me in this decision!! I was now in a bind. I didn’t want to nag, but I wanted the behaviour to change.

 

I can almost hear some men saying as they read this article, “What’s the big deal, turn the socks the right way round and wash your hands afterwards.” Or perhaps, “You are supposed to serve like Jesus, stop complaining and get over it. It could be much worse and you are just getting worked up over socks.”

 

Now I’m going to speak very frankly. Men, when your wife asks something of you repeatedly and you do not fulfil her request what you are saying to her is, “What is important to you is not important to me.” And whether you like it or not, whether you agree with me or not, what she hears from you is, “You are not important to me.” It’s that simple. It is that black and white. This is the whole point of this article. If your wife is a nag, please re-read this paragraph.

 

Of course you will tell her that you love her and you will point out all the other stuff you do that is important to you but less important to her, to prove to her that you love her.

 

In the end, the issue wasn’t about the actual socks at all. It was about what they represented. I made a reasonable request to my husband and he ignored it on a daily basis for six years. I didn’t feel loved.

 

Men, are you being nagged by your wives over insignificant things like socks? Does your wife complain about the way you do (or don’t do) something? Does she nag you because you “don’t listen” or “have communication issues”? This issue is not the communication, it’s what you are doing with the information. You now have a choice to make: to serve your wife or to continue to serve yourself and pretend it’s her problem (check out Ephesians 5:25-27 for some biblical input on this).

 

I’m very pleased to inform you that my story has a happy ending. I am blessed that Antony has a teachable heart and that eventually (with the assistance of others) he realised that all the vacuuming in the world doesn’t assure me of his love if spotless floors are not important to me. He now turns his socks the right way round (most of the time) and is greatly enjoying the benefits of a happy, beloved wife.

 

The Pill: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

The Article: The Pill: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?

The Source: The Atlantic

The Author: Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English and chair of the English and modern languages department at Liberty University

The Gist: It’s time to distinguish clearly—in terminology, thinking, and public policy—between contraception and abortion.

The Excerpt:

In addition to the linguistic clarity about contraception, clearer scientific understanding of how the pill works is needed. Many years ago, as a teenager, I decided to go “on the Pill,” as they say. I remember clearly my physician’s explanation of how the birth control pill worked: first, it was supposed to prevent ovulation; second, in case ovulation did occur, the pill’s backup mechanism was designed to prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg; finally, the backup to the backup was to render the uterine wall inhospitable to any accidental zygote that may have formed if the first two steps failed. At the time, I shrugged off the last part almost as easily as the first two, having not yet arrived at the strong pro-life convictions I hold today.

But now I—along with about half of the nation—am pro-life, and the distinction between contraception and abortion is the difference between life and death. The labeling of birth control pills, in their various forms, for years has included information similar to that given to me by my doctor, information that has caused strongly pro-life people, as I am, to consider the birth control pill—and the morning after pill, which operates on the same principles—to be, potentially, an abortifacient and, therefore, to be rejected within a pro-life philosophy. My own relationship with the birth control pill is a picture with more strokes of gray than black and white. I didn’t go off it immediately after adopting my anti-abortion view but did in time with increased knowledge and conviction about its potentially abortifacient elements. Many conversations with like-minded friends reveal similar inner conflicts and downright confusion.

The Bottom Line: Many pro-life evangelicals who oppose the use of abortifacients such as RU-486 (Mifepristone) are comfortable with oral contraceptives, i.e., the Pill (a combination of estradiol and progetin). But what if the Pill is a potential abortifacient?

Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to sufficiently resolve that question, which leaves the bioethical implications murky. Should Christians err on the side of caution and oppose the Pill since it may destroy life? Should we apply the principle of double effect and claim that since the intent is not to terminate a pregnancy use of the Pill is morally licit?

As Prior says, it is crucial for women to have as much knowledge as possible about how medication works and affects their body’s functioning: “It’s a medical issue. It’s a moral issue. It’s a political issue. It’s a women’s issue. It’s a human issue.” It’s also a Gospel issue, with eternal significance. It’s time we evangelicals start considering such questions with due gravity.

The Secret to Fulfilling Sex

The Secret to Fulfilling Sex

 

The Secret To Fulfilling Sex

Talking about sex in church can be awkward. Here you are, surrounded by hundreds of people, thinking about how to be a servant lover of your spouse. So before we step up to a new level of discomfort, let’s start the conversation with Jesus.

The Servant God

Jesus came to earth as the Servant God. He said of himself, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus instructed his disciples that to be truly great is to be a trusted servant (Matthew 23:11–12). He even described serving someone’s critical needs as an act of worship (Matthew 25:40). Jesus himself is the Servant. Those who follow him are identified by serving each other like Jesus.

Servant Lovers

But we have a huge problem: We aren’t servants by nature. Rather, we are selfish.

This sin manifests in all parts of our life, including the bedroom. Selfishness destroys every aspect of intimacy in marriage, especially sexual intimacy.

Transforming from selfish lover to servant lover takes more than willpower. We need Jesus.Philippians 2:5–7 reads:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

The change from selfish to servant requires a new identity, both in mind and in form. According to Philippians, this mind is exactly what Jesus gives us: it is “yours in Christ Jesus”! We don’t experience change through doing more and trying harder. We change by turning from selfishness to trusting in Jesus and the new identity he gives us.

Invite the Holy Spirit

True change cannot come apart from our Servant, Jesus. He works in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here are some ways that you can invite the Holy Spirit to apply God’s grace, bring transformation, and help you serve your spouse:

  • Ask your spouse to share with you examples of your selfishness in your sex life. Be earnest in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • Ask your spouse to share with you his or her needs you could better serve in the bedroom. Encourage specific conversation. Be sincere in your desire to meet those needs.
  • With love and respect, honestly communicate your own struggles related to experiencing freedom and/or setting boundaries in sexual intimacy.

Remember This

As you have these conversations with your spouse, remember that sexual intimacy doesn’t really begin in the bedroom, nor is it achieved through sexual acts only. Intimacy, or oneness, is something to be nurtured everywhere at all times. Serving your spouse in the everyday, routine tasks of life glorifies God as an act of worship, and is a vital component for a fulfilling sex life.



This “The Secret to Fulfilling Sex” article was written by Pastor Dave Bruskas on Mar 11, 2012

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