Health for Your Marriage: Be a Servant Lover
We are in the middle of a multi week series answering the question: “How can I find health in my marriage.” Last week we talked about how men naturally crave respect and women naturally crave love. You need to learn to provide your spouse with what they need unconditionally! Please consider going back and reading last week’s column on the Herald’s website, on Revolve’s website or in the Revolve Church NJ App.
Today’s pointer: Be a servant lover.
When it comes to sexual intercourse, most of the world is telling you that it is all about you. It’s about your pleasure, your satisfaction, your excitement, your fantasies and so on and so forth. Either blatantly or surreptitiously, the message of selfishness in sex is rampant.
Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in the pornographic industry. Pornography is all about you. It is the illusion of intimacy without risk. When you engage in pornographic material, you are able to enter into a completely selfish relationship with someone in a fantastical sort of way. They won’t judge you. They won’t reject you. You will never be inadequate. You can have whatever you want - no matter how twisted - and your partner won’t say no. In short, it’s all about you.
This type of selfish perspective towards sexual intercourse has dramatically impacted the way that the average person views making love within the confines of their marriage. Something that should be much more than a physical act - for many - has been diminished to a simple and selfish pursuit of pleasure. Is this God’s plan for intercourse?
Pause for a moment and realize that God created sex. The marriage bed is supposed to be a passionate place full of pleasure. It is a gift from God. Think about it: God didn’t have to make intercourse pleasurable. He could have made it boring. But he didn’t!
At the same time, sex is designed by God to be so much more than just you enjoying yourself. The Hebrew word for sex actually means, “a mingling of souls.” That is making love at its deepest, most profound level of intimacy (and why God calls us to one mate!). This mingling of souls is God’s design for sex - not selfish pleasure.
As one author I was reading pointed out, when you live out the types of principles that we have been discussing the last few weeks, your sex life will change. You begin to shift from being a selfish spouse to being a servant spouse - from being a selfish lover (who just does what they need to do to get what they want) to a servant lover (who loves to give joy, happiness and pleasure to their spouse). The way that you view your sex life changes too. It moves from being all about you to connecting with your spouse on a deeper, more intimate level. To let your souls dance together.
That type of intimacy, rooted in a love that is being fed all day and all week long (rather than in the last hour before you go to bed) will dramatically and drastically change your love life. Although there are extenuating circumstances, I think that it is safe to say that many loveless marriages result in sexless marriages. When you are serving your spouse, communicating with your spouse, listening to your spousing, romancing your spouse, respecting your spouse, and so on and so forth, the physical side of intimacy changes too.
Here’s some homework: love your spouse well by becoming a servant lover. Serve your spouse by beginning to implement the things that we have been discussing these last six weeks. Don’t wait for your spouse to set the pace. Start serving him or her today.
Set aside your own desires, your own preferences, and embrace the discipline of counting your spouse’s needs as more important than your own. Go out of your way to do these things and tell your spouse you are trying. Ask for feedback about how you can serve them well and love them well. Listen and learn from what they share.
Do these things - be a servant lover - and your sex life will be brought into new levels of intimacy as your souls mingle. But this isn’t about your sex life - this is about you being transformed. As you serve your spouse, you change. You become more like Jesus, the God who took on the likeness of sinful flesh to serve people who didn’t deserve it by dying on a cross in their place. See, God is a servant lover. When we love the way he loves, we become more like him. We reflect true love to a world that is looking for love yet can’t seem to find it. This is the ultimate design for your marriage. This is the high calling that you committed to before God when you said “I do.” This is why health in your marriage is so important and such a noble pursuit.