Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Three's a Crowd

Welcome to this week's edition of...


Over the past week or so I've had the pleasure of partnering with a friend of mine to write a series of blog posts addressing a Godly perspective of sex.  As I answered readers' comments on those posts, I began to understand just how deeply many women are hurting in this area of their marriages.

One particular topic that just keeps coming back is the prevalence of pornography, even in Christian homes.  It breaks my heart to read how many couples are being held in bondage by this evil trap that Satan has designed.

I want to spend some time addressing the topic of pornography, but today I feel the Spirit leading me in a different -- but somewhat similar -- direction.

You see, part -- and I do really mean only part -- of the problem of pornography is the fact that it brings another person (or people) into what is supposed to be an exclusive marriage relationship.

But porn is not the only means through which we do this. 

Do you call your mom to complain about your husband every time you have a disagreement?  Does your husband share all the details of your sex life with his buddy at work?  Is your best friend privy to information about your spouse that is deeply personal and private?  Does your mother-in-law have unlimited access to your home and your husband's attention and affection?

Then perhaps you should consider that you have allowed another person into your marriage.

Or maybe you've brought someone into the most intimate part of your marriage -- your bedroom.  They may not (absolutely SHOULD NOT) be there in person, but you've brought them there through your thoughts and fantasies.  Maybe your spouse isn't the only sexual partner you've had, and you compare those past experiences to the intimate moments you share with your spouse.  Or it might not even be a real person, just a character from the latest book you've been reading or movie you watched.  And instead of focusing on giving yourself wholly to our spouse, you're imagining it is someone else that you are with or comparing reality with this unrealistic fantasy.

And suddenly there are not just two people involved in your marriage, but THREE.

I'm guessing that's not exactly how you pictured things on your wedding day.

There are just certain parts of your marriage that are ONLY to be shared between you and your husband, and the only "third party" that should be involved is God.  The sexual side of things is obvious, but I challenge you to think beyond the bedroom when you consider your vow to keep yourself only for your spouse. 

Scripture speaks several times about a husband and wife becoming "one flesh."  We generally take that to mean a sexual union, but I have come to understand that it is more of an entwining of people, heart, mind, soul AND body.  Which means you are to keep yourself emotionally and intellectually for your spouse as well as physically.

The danger in bringing someone else into your marriage, such as a mother or best friend, is that your loyalty begins to shift.  The relationship that was designed to be sacred, intimate and unbreakable then becomes second to this other relationship.  The person who is supposed to be FIRST in your life ends up taking a back seat to this other person.  And trust me, Satan will snatch that opportunity to begin driving a wedge between husband and wife, his primary goal to destroy the beautiful marriage that God has created.

[I'm not saying that a wife shouldn't have a confidante (although I strongly advise against it being her mother!), just that there are certain subjects and details that shouldn't be shared outside of your marriage.  Trust me, I know that sometimes we just need to tell someone, but some details are best saved for your journal and your prayer time.]

Marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman; no mothers, best friends or fantasies are invited!

I'm a sucker for Victorian-era movies, and The Young Victoria is one of my favorites of late.  Toward the end of the movie, the young queen is advised by a friend that her long time caregiver, Lehzen, must be let go if Prince Albert, her new husband, is ever to feel welcome and comfortable in his new home.  The friend realizes that a marriage that involves three people just doesn't work.  It was a hard thing for Victoria to do, to send her life-long friend and confidante away, but for the sake of her marriage she did it.

It might be time for you to make some hard decisions yourself.  It might be time to break some ties with certain people or to set new boundaries for your conversation and friendship.  Let your spouse know that he or she is the most important person in your life, your marriage the most valued relationship. 

Because in a marriage, two is perfect company, but three is definitely a crowd.

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