“My experience indicates that most people become infatuated or fall in love with others an average of six times in the course of a long marriage.” Six times – Does that make sense to you or does it offend you?
This is the statement Gary Thomas used to share an honest blog post admitting his own attractions while offering advice on how to handle them. Thomas is a best selling author and international speaker whose ministry works to bring people closer to Christ through marriage, parenting and spiritual formation. His heart and career center on the sanctity of marriage.
As you can imagine, Thomas’ words unlocked a flood of raw, revealing comments. And those readers’ comments became a launching point for this episode of “Becoming Whole.”
Josh and Kit pick up where the comments left off.
Listen is as we take a longer look at the statement, the blog post and the comments to carry on the conversation with just as much honesty and care.
If you are single, we hope this conversation sets up reasonable expectations about what marriage is and what it looks like.
And if you are married, our hope is this equips you to move forward with wisdom and awareness rather than fear or denial.
Be sure to look to the Homework section for practical ways you can guard your heart and your marriage from infatuation confusion.
Infatuation is something that different people will experience in different times, in different ways
This is a common experience. Take a deep breath. Don’t overreact but pay attention.
You’re noticing the ways your spouse ISN’T in the way you’d like them to be, more attentive to your emotions is getting to you a little bit more and so you’re more vulnerable
If you notice an Unhealthy Attraction, here are some Guidelines:
- DON’T assume something is wrong with your marriage, in the sense that you need a new marriage.
- DON’T be caught by surprise.
- DON’T feed the attraction or the infatuation.
When you notice an infatuation with someone other than your spouse; let it be a signpost pointing you towards something deeper going on in you.
Good Guardrails during Vulnerable Times:
Try to Actively Invest the 5 T’s in Your Spouse
Find Space for Fun
Gary Thomas – Best Selling author, International Speaker
“My experience indicates that most people become infatuated or fall in love with others an average of six times in the course of a long marriage.” – Avodah Offit in “The Sexual Self”
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
A colleague of ours, recently shared with us a blog by Gary Thomas. He’s the author of sacred marriage and some other great books, big fan of his work. But his his blog was titled something like when you’re infatuated, when what to do when you’re infatuated with somebody who’s not your spouse. And we thought he brought up a couple really great points. But we also saw in the comments to the to his post, there were some things that had that he hadn’t said, and from our perspective of our work here, regeneration, we thought, you know, we’d really like to kind of pipe into that conversation. So Kitt, and I are going to try to do that today. And Kitt, welcome.
Thank you. Good to be here.
So firstly, I wanted to say just personally, I know that this has happened to me, I know that that that as a married man, I have experienced a, an infatuation of sorts to somebody else. But as we were talking about that, one of the things we ran into is with some confusion, even with what we meant by infatuation and, and why we’re talking specifically about this, and what we’re not talking about. So why don’t we start there? So Kitt. What What do we mean by infatuation? What is that?
Well, it’s this kind of, I’m not an ongoing forever kind of rumination, but it is a something that sparks in you about somebody else that that you can’t completely let go of that somehow is controlling you a little bit that you find yourself thinking about this person a little more than you want to. And so it’s infatuation is something that different people will experience in different times in different ways. But that’s in general, what I think about when I think about it, what about you? What, what do you think about?
Yeah, no, I think I think that’s exactly right. And I would say some characteristics might be, you find yourself thinking about this, this person, or maybe if you, if you’re at church with this person, or you’re in a some kind of club or group, or you work with this person, or, or you’re at a conference that you you’re kind of looking, you know, you might find yourself kind of looking around the room, are they here? Is he here, she here? Those are signs that, hey, you’re dealing with a little bit of infatuation? It is it is a temporary thing. And it’s and, and I think one of Gary’s Gary Thomas’s main points is that it does happen. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that that should be really disruptive. So his two points, his primary key points were, don’t freak out, if it happens to you, and you’re married. And then secondly, and equally as importantly, don’t feed it. And we’re going to talk about those. But we wanted to also add to that. First of all, like, what, why does it happen? Because there are some normal reasons it happens that, that could indicate you don’t need to freak out about it. But there’s some other reasons it can happen, that actually really warrant some more attention. And then, and then lastly, we’ll talk about what what can you do to safeguard to make sure that it doesn’t turn into something inappropriate, something more than it should be? So Sound good?
Yeah. And I like that, I’d appreciate that. Gary was like, you know, don’t just have a knee jerk, you know, reaction and freak out. And like, Oh, no, no, no, and go, you know, beat yourself up. And, you know, never talked about it again. Because I think sometimes we can do that, you know, and we miss opportunities, you know, so I do appreciate that he’s saying, you know, kind of move on from it, don’t let it freak you out. But at the same time, like we’re saying, well, well, you know, let’s talk on the thread a little bit. Let’s not look for issues, but let’s see what might be going on there. I think that’s always self reflection. It’s always good, you know, as long as it’s done with God and done in a healthy way.
Yeah, let’s so let’s come back to that. I want to start by just because I think it’ll help to frame this up and even figure out what’s what, by talking about, why does a person become infatuated with somebody says, Yes, yeah. So kit, once you once you jump in there, why? Why does that happen?
Well, I think I really love that we can say, listen, God gave us you know, a god given sense of appreciation of beauty, and strength and goodness. And so sometimes, you know, you can be attracted to a flower into a tree, you wouldn’t think oh, you know, but when we’re attracted to a person because of something good in them, we immediately think that’s bad. And so, you know, like, it’s okay to appreciate a god given appreciation for beauty. Strength, goodness.
Yeah, absolutely. I think another another one Reason. And this is so that what you’re describing is, I think kind of the, it’s just a normal thing and it might happen. See, so if it’s turned beyond kind of a momentary attractions, like, you know, I noticed that man is handsome or I noticed that woman is pretty pretty or I noticed that man is strong, or I noticed that, that she’s really intelligent, the moves beyond something just kind of a, an acknowledgement and admiration into the infatuation where it’s kind of like, You’re, you’re losing a little bit of the grounds getting a little slippery for you. And as far as how you’re feeling towards that person, that can still be normal, you want to be attentive to it, we’ll come to that. But I think where it moves into, like, Hey, here’s some other things. Other reasons it might happen. This is where you want to pay more attention. So So three things come to mind for me, one is, you might have unmet personal needs, you might actually have some wounds in your life. And you might also have some habits in your life. And each of those can stir, I think, or can be more fertile ground for someone to find themselves infatuated somebody else, even while they’re married.
And, you know, as soon as you say those things, Josh, I think unmet personal needs from brokenness or wounds, old habits. Hmm, who doesn’t have those? To some degree, not again, not that we’re preoccupied with always trying to, you know, look for something but it you know, but just an openness, like, Oh, you know, let me pay attention and tune in to what’s happening right now, that might be important that God might could talk about?
Yeah, so let’s unpack them a little bit on that personal needs. I think one of the common things that would happen in a marriage is for whatever reason, whether it’s difficulty in the marriage, or a busy season, or an absent spouse, or lots of kids or, you know, whatever it might be, they’re just some things that you used to lean into your spouse for, that are not available right now. You know, you’re you’re going through a really stressful season. And your spouse used to be really attentive and right now he or she is not. And so somebody else in your life, who is attentive, and might even ask a question like, Hey, I noticed you just kind of seem really stressed What’s going on? Like that can that can produce something because it’s, it’s meeting a legitimate need?
Absolutely. And, you know, one of the things we do in marriage all the time is adjust and learn how to honor differences that we have with one another. And sometimes we go through seasons when it’s just harder. And so you might be one of those seasons, you know, because of any kind of reason where you’re like, you’re noticing that the way your spouse isn’t in ways that you would like them to be, you know, more attentive to your emotions or something is getting to you a little bit more. And so you’re more vulnerable a little bit.
Yeah. So the other another area that we want to pay attention to is wounds or brokenness kit, talk a lot about that. What do you think of when when you hear that as potentially making the ground more fertile for an unhealthy infatuation?
Well, we all have our brokenness and our wounds. And if we’re going through a particular season, again, some you know, we’re more vulnerable and sometimes than others, and if we’re feeling you again, for whatever reason, you’re just feeling less confident in yourself, less peaceful in yourself, and someone shows some special attention to you’re going to be, you know, drawn to want to receive that because you’re feeling a little bit more needy than you might otherwise be feeling. And so that can easily happen.
And in this way, I think it’s also it’s one of those experiences where, when, when something happens today, like in an infatuation that’s really, really powerful. It can actually be a great signpost of like, oh, there’s something deeper going on in me. And so, you know, I think of some of the people that I’ve worked with over the years, who they, they grew up unvalidated, and they Yeah, they have spent their entire lives trying to prove their worth something. So maybe it’s through sports, or through their financial status, or through the job they have, or even sometimes the Christian positions that they hold. Another area there is is the attention of somebody else. And so sometimes I think people who who are we’re kind of lacking their own sense of solidity and who they are and confidence. They’re, they’re scanning the horizon for somebody who’s paying special attention to that. And that can can make them especially vulnerable to that. Absolutely. Yeah. And that, you know, there There you have it, so and then the other I want to say is just is I think it’s a habit for some people. So I think I’ve worked with men over the years. I know this has been true for some women too. As single people growing up, like they just developed habits of being more flirtatious or seductive. Maybe they develop they just kind of they they’re in and out of codependent relationships. And as a single person, they may not have identified this is a problem. And then they get married, kind of imagining that you know, now I’m going to be committed to this One person not realizing that they’ve never learned to relate with a woman or with another man in a in a healthy way with good boundaries. And so now as a married person, they’re still relating with really poor boundaries, they’re saying flirtatious things without realizing they’re being flirtatious. And they find themselves in these really unhealthy situations where they’re kind of drawn to somebody like what is going on? Yeah, and certainly that’s true if there’s been a porn or sex addiction, too, for a lot of people who get married, thinking that’s gonna resolve it, but it doesn’t,
mate. Yeah, I like that. Um, we’re saying, this is a common experience, you know, just kind of take a deep breath. Don’t overreact, but pay attention. And then along with that is, so don’t freak out and don’t feed it. And I think this is this feed is really important. And I think there’s a couple of things that are really important about this. The 40s that are talked about in the article time, talk, touch and text, and then we add thoughts. I think those are good, good, you know, guardrails. And especially if we know for some reason that we’re feeling vulnerable, this infatuation thing is starting to come up, you know, it’s good to be like, Oh, wait, let me just kind of stop and take some inventory here. And what I’m feeling and what I’m doing, and I think that’s good wisdom.
Yeah. So, kid, tell it just to expand it for people who haven’t read the article, talked about time, talk, touch and text, like what specifically is he saying in regards to not feeding? Whatever the infatuation is temporary attraction is
spending more time than would be wise, talking more than would be wise, or talking about things that might not be wise. Touching, of course, you know, speaks for itself. And texting, you know, you can, texting is interesting. It can lead places, because you’re maybe not right in front of each other can lead places that you’re not even sure it’s going. So just to be thoughtful about those things. So they don’t move from, you know, a wise healthy place to where it’s not.
Yeah, and I think I think the thing about texting, and then art, the tea that we would add thoughts, is the both of those have a tendency to be something that can stay more secret. I think that’s where we’re at texting can also has another layer to it, like, you know, nobody, if you’re talking to somebody that you work with, your co workers can see you unless you’ve gone somewhere alone, which is also not doing but, but if you’re texting people, you know, have no idea that you’re texting, so, yeah, so, yeah,
good. I was gonna say, I think this might be just a time, there was a long time when I didn’t feel like I had male friends and maybe didn’t even know how to have male friends. And I think and we’ve talked about this a little bit before that, you know, sometimes the church can be really kind of funny about, you know, like a little bit fear based about that. And I just want to say that, I think, you know, we, we want to be careful, and we don’t want to be fear based. We want wisdom and awareness. But we don’t want to be fear based. So, you know, there are male friends I have that I talked to and spend time with and even text. But I, I know that there are ways to do that in a way that’s healthy. And I know there are ways that aren’t. And I think that’s important, but we shouldn’t be fearful. We should, you know, no knee jerk reactions really just be thoughtful and prayerful about these things.
Yeah, I so appreciate you bringing it up kit, because I I think one of the things that we were both reacting to in the article was that it seemed like some of the comments would almost kind of, I mean, there was one, especially one of the comments that the the person talked about the length that they have gone to, to make sure that they don’t fall into a unhealthy relationship. And I read it, I thought, Oh my gosh, like this is you’ve put a bandaid on it on a dam that’s waiting to burst. And he held it in for all this time. But, but what you’ve done in the process is you’ve you’ve kind of eclipsed who you are meant to be relationally with people and so I do think that I think you’re exactly right. I mean, what we’re talking about with the practicals in this podcast, you know, and we talked about, like limiting time touch, talk and text. Like that’s just the practical surface that heartwork underneath. Isn’t stuff that’s that’s more important. Yeah. I mean, I can you know, I it’s it’s not a seat, you know, kid, I’ve texted you before and asked you personal questions about how you’re doing and you’ve done that for me and it’s Yeah, and and it’s, it’s, it’s appropriate and good and healthy. It’s not secret.
Because we’re colleagues and friends. So yes,
that’s right. And important and there should be there can be really beautiful freedom there and God given, you know, provision and joy that we don’t want to miss. Right? Mm hmm.
So, so I think what we’re going to talk about that isn’t is not encompassed at all in the article we want to talk about what can you do kind of the personal work you can do. And we might put it one or two ways we might say, this is personal work you can do to safeguard yourself, so that if strong emotions, strong feelings come up for somebody who’s not your spouse, you’ll be able to more healthfully walk through that. But another way of thinking about we’re talking about is, this is personal work you can do to be a healthier person. And as you do this, you’ll probably we think, probably be less likely to find yourself with an unhealthy kind of attention towards somebody who’s not your spouse. Yeah. Because, yeah, because it’s really talking about becoming a more whole person. And then we’ll wrap up with just a few thoughts about things that couples can do together, that would be helpful in this in this area. So yeah, Kate, once you start us off with that,
so when you were describing, you know, where you find yourself in expectations of marriage, what’s going on why you might be tempted, I remembered a time when Greg and I were going through a hard time, it was, you know, just one of those seasons in marriage, where there’s a lot going on, you know, with our children, and a lot of tension and a lot of buisiness. And we were not connecting, we were we were feeling far away from each other and out of the blue, and I and I do believe that sometimes, if you’re in the matrix proudly to tempt us, and this old boyfriend from years ago, starts emailing me, and he tracks me down. And he begins talking to me about how he’s become a Christian. And he’s separated from his wife, and he’s remake doors from his wife and in some pain, and remembers me with all this fun this and so I connect with him and start thinking, oh, maybe, you know, maybe I can help him, you know, a little bit with his marriage. And it he became really kind of stalking me and became, became more personal. And I told Greg about it. And he was at first like, Okay, well, that’s a little weird. And then I started to feel uncomfortable and told Greg about it again, it’s like, I think this guy needs to find somebody else to talk to. And I realized that I appreciated the attention. I appreciate being told I was beautiful, being seen as someone who was special. But it was important that I stopped, told Greg checked what I was feeling and how I was responding and check my thoughts. And it was like, it was like, I stopped and turned, I had a I could turn left or I could turn right. And it was like, you know, I needed to turn whatever left because I knew that this would not lead anywhere. Good. And so I think it’s important when those things happen to be introspective, reflective, thoughtful, prayerful, so that things don’t be when you’re when you’re in a vulnerable place, you don’t get caught up.
Yeah, well, so appreciate your vulnerability, their kit and and so what I hear you saying really is, is you have worked hard in your life to cultivate a level of self awareness, a level of pain, and some patterns, some rhythms of paying attention to the inner workings of your of your heart, like what’s happening to my thoughts were so even when, when the attention started to come. You, you know, you told Greg you could also then reflect and say, I think one of the reasons this this felt so good was because one of these habits means it feels good. And and then you also notice there’s a correlation with you know, and Greg and I are walking through a really difficult season in our lives. Yeah. That that’s just gold right there. And I think that’s so that would be maybe point number one, in really cultivating and safeguarding is, is, is making sure that you are you are working to have rhythms in your life where you’re paying attention to the deep waters and your soul. Yeah. Yeah, because without it, I think we’re we’re much more likely to kind of inadvertently seek out stuff and that’s, you know, it’s true things food and drink and TV and porn and whatever else but and, but and it’s certainly in this area, too. I know for me that that I spent so many years with a deep struggle with lost and some other sexual sins that and I also spent a lot of time I was one of those people pre marriage that really wrestled with some codependent relationships. And there were some women in my life who, you know, I was the guy who was kind of, you know, important information that was coming, coming through about who they were and how they you know, what they wanted in life. It was important stuff kind of, you know, on the envelope marked urgent and important, and I would kind of put in the junk mail pile you know, like, you know, I’m not gonna pay attention to that cuz I really, really liked this person. I really, really hope they like me too, you know? And And so, so for me moving into marriage, then I had already began to cultivate some, some personal boundaries to help me to safeguard against some of those situations. And some of those I’ve needed to maintain to this day. I mean, there are, I mean, specifically related to the some of those old people in my life. Like I, I’m not friends with them on Facebook, I don’t follow them on Twitter, you know, and in part because I just I, you know, I, I made a vow to to forsake all others for the sake of my wife, and yeah, so yes, I’ll trust that they’ve got good people in their life who can love on them and appreciate them for who they are? And they don’t need me to be with us people? Yes,
yes. And I’d like that, Josh, because at one point, I did have to put a very strong boundary, like very strong, I said, Listen, here’s the thing. I am married. Some of the things you’re saying make me really uncomfortable. And I wish you well, and I will pray for you. But you do not want you to contact me again. When he did, and I had to say, do not contact me ever again. And it was important to put that boundary in place.
Yeah, yeah. And for those who are listening to go, oh, gosh, that just sounds so mean. We would just say, maybe need to examine your definition of what mean is, and sometimes, uh, you know, locking and closing your door, when there isn’t lying outside, and the lion is hungry, is not a mean thing to do. It’s basically saying like, okay, you’re hungry, you need some meat, but not here. You’re not gonna you’re not gonna eat us
alive. And yeah. And this isn’t meant for you either. It wasn’t good for him to be doing what he was doing later, he needed to go someplace else, and talk to someone else that would be healthy and willing and in a good place to be there for him and I wasn’t that person.
Yeah. So the other thing that is underlying some of what you said, kit, I mean, I think the very fact that you talk to Greg about this, I think highlights and this is another area, I think of really creating some patterns in your personal life or in our personal lives, to make sure that we’re safeguarded against these things, is that we have a reasonable expectation of what marriage is and what it means to be married. Yeah. And so like, one of the things I think happens for a lot of people, and this is kind of riffing off of some what Thomas talks about his article, too, is this idea that, you know, my husband or my wife is going to be everything for me, they’re going to meet all my needs. And I think I think that’s just dangerous territory. And so when we find ourselves attracted to somebody else it can or thinking about somebody else, it can all of a sudden be very confusing. Yeah. And so I think having an expectation of like, you know, or say, we have this unmet needs that we talked to before, we’re going through a difficult time, if we’ve believed the Hollywood version of what you know, the happily ever after is, and we’re going to, we’re going to be more thrown by those things, as opposed to, like, You’re, you’re a good person, but you’re a sinner, and you’ve married another person who’s a sinner. And you, you both have limits, and you’re both human, you’re not gods. And so you’ll be able to give to each other, but not everything. And so. So what do you do when you have a spouse who’s you know, who’s not as available emotionally, and you really need them to be you need somebody who’s available emotionally? Well, you recognize that my spouse, I don’t need to sneak around about it, I can acknowledge, you know, what, I need some more attention emotionally right now. So I’m going to talk to a good friend, I’m going to talk to a therapist, I’m going to talk to a spiritual coach, I’m going to talk to a mentor. That’s a healthier expectation of marriage. I said this before about parenting, I think it’s true. In in this regard to Paul writes to the church in Corinth, that the body needs every part, one part of the body can’t say to another part, I have no need of you. And so this fiction that we’ve got culturally around the nuclear family, the nuclear family is our full source of happiness. And if you find the right person, you raise great kids, and everything else falls in line. That is fiction is not true. Yeah. You need other people in the body, and and your spouse can’t be everybody for you.
I think that’s such an important point. It really truly is. Yeah, very important.
And then, I think the last thing I’d say about kind of a kid if you have other things I want to hear too, but one of the things I’d say about that kind of what can you do, personally, to be cultivating stuff in your life so that you’re safeguarded? And also to reduce the possibility This is gonna get out of control for you, is when we come back to those five T’s time, talk, touch and text and thought and consider like, really, like investing those in your spouse, like so you actively. So if you’re, you know, if your spouse isn’t giving you time, or or talk or touch, like, Oh, can you can you bring that can you initiate that? And I’ve heard people say, Well, yeah, but if they you know, if they really love me, they kind of know that I need those things. No That’s also Hollywood fiction, like, sometimes they get busy too. And so you can you come to them and say, Hey, could we spend a little more time together this week? I’m really needing some time, or can we talk about something we haven’t talked about. So I really want to talk about it.
I’m gonna say something that’s gonna surprise you, Josh, because you know, I’m such a people person and a relationship person. But I’m going to say that there are also some really healthy ways. It’s, I totally, totally am on board with everything you’re saying. I really value friendships and people in my life, and there’s great benefit from learning how to enjoy time by yourself, learning how to have time in solitude in and with God, whether it’s for me, the forest, or it’s, I have a friend who loves to go bowling by herself. She just loves it, or pick up a new like, I know that people when they’re going through life, and they’re starting to struggle a little bit, they’re like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna learn how to play guitar. I’m gonna take a photography class, I’m gonna begin painting, I’m going to start. And those things, interestingly enough, can be really important ways to find wholeness, and a sense of self. That doesn’t necessarily include other people. And so I just want to put a plug in for that. I just think that’s kind of a fun thing to, to consider.
So would you call that self care? Is it self care what
it is, it is, I mean, it’s a little bit, it’s a little bit outside of the box, I think, for self care. So I think a lot of times we think self care means taking a bath and you know, going to the spa, or, you know, something different than just playing, then just enjoying yourself.
That’s good. I like that. I like that a lot. Thank you. And no, I’m not I’m not actually surprised that you would say that kid. I think you’re you are a person who’s been, I think willing to, to spend time in solitude. I guess maybe the surprising part is the or the new part for me is, is the finding. Excuse me finding space for for fun?
Yes. Yeah. I’m, I’m all about it.
Well, so let’s move into then. So in our in our last few minutes, let’s just say let’s just talk to the couples for a minute, say, you know, you got a couple who says, Hey, we’re aware that this is a dynamic that may happen this, you know, noticing somebody else, we are in it with each other, we’re for each other, what can a couple do to help cultivate soil that would reduce the likelihood of an outside infatuation. But that would also help to safeguard if an if an outside of infatuation does occur?
Well, I think you mentioned a really big one, the expectations of both a marriage and of each other. So I think really just being honest with yourself, and with one another about that, such a, it’s such a good thing, we don’t even know a lot of what we expect, we don’t even know the kinds of things we think about, back to that idea of awareness. And so just spending some time really being honest with yourself and with each other about the ways that you might be expecting the marriage or each other to, to meet your needs in a way that isn’t helpful. And just talk about that.
And those can be really wonderfully rewarding conversations, they can also be really hard. I know for me, like to find out that there’s an area where I’ve been letting Jamie down or where she needed me. And I didn’t notice it. Right. I haven’t been present to her. And there have been times where she’s, you know, I think I’ve shared this podcast before. There have been times where I come home, and I’m, you know, she’s there for me, and I’m telling her about my day. And she’s listening, you know, compassionately, and I’m like, Oh, thank you so much. That was great. And then she says, you know, you haven’t asked me at all about my day. And it was really hard. And I go, Oh, my gosh, I’m, but I think that comes back to and this I learned from Carrie Thomas in his book, sacred marriage, the idea that the goal of marriage is not just to make us happy it is to help us to become more like Jesus. And so I think, as a couple if we can hold that, that in front of both of us and have that as a mutual goal. I think it helps us their boundaries, it helps us to know about give and take it helps us to say hard things sometimes and to say them with a spirit of love. Yeah, like like what Jamie just you know what I showed? She showed me?
Yeah, yeah. So the tone and the choice of words is huge. So you know, we never think that I don’t think we think about that that often. Like when we want to say something that’s, you know, maybe raw or hard. Just choose your words carefully and pay attention to your tone. Very, very, very powerful. If you say something in a certain tone of love and care versus judgment and exam aspiration. You know,
Yeah, but and all this under the category of like having those conversations with your spouse about about how the relationship is going, what what do you need? What do I need? Where you see me where you’re not seeing me? Yeah, I do want to point out too, that the reason that we talked so much about like, the five T’s and and some of the that that stuff in this singleness part in the in the What can you personally do is because there are relationships, there are times in marriage where you’re not walking with a spouse who’s kind of like, on the same page able to give as much as you want. Sure. I think a lot of times if we’re approaching our marriage from a consumeristic perspective, yeah. And if like, you know, like, you’re not giving me what I need, and I’m, it’s why I’m in this marriage, as opposed to I’m in this marriage to love you and become more like Jesus, then I think that that we can, we can end up in trouble and a little bit more prone to like, well, if you’re not gonna make me happy, I’m gonna, I’m gonna find somebody who can?
Yeah, I think it’s, I think we had this conversation a lot with people and myself about that, that, you know, both things are really important being in touch with what you need, and how you feel, being able to express that is important. And being able to, you know, really be open and caring about this other person and appreciating and accepting their brokenness or their capacity or their how they’re wired. You know, those those things are so important, and they don’t have to contradict each other, they can both be important and true in a marriage.
Yeah. So another thing I think that that piggybacks that, and we’ve talked about this, in the previous part is the importance of letting your spouse have outside relationships where they can be filled them, yeah, besides just just by you, and we’re not talking about like, you know, five nights a week, they’re out with their buddies, or, you know, we’re certainly not talking about, hey, let them you know, go and do this, you know, spend time with somebody that you feel threatened by, we’re not talking about that. But, you know, where, who’s their tribe, who are the close friends, they go to in their own in their, for their own health as far as like, you know, I want to be a better man, or I want to be a better woman and, or I want to be more Christ like, and so I need some, you know, help from this Bible study, or this small group of men, a small group of women to help me to do that. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Again, just combating the idea that the marriage is you know, all you need. That’s, that’s a fiction. So the last thing I want to talk about with this kid is because we have to, if we’re talking about like, Hey, you know, how do we as a married couple, reduce the, the possibility there’s going to be an outside infatuation? I know that some people listen, you’re going to be like, Well, wait, wait, wait, like, talk to us about sex? Like, isn’t that a factor? So what do we what do you want to say about that? I’ll kick that into you.
Well, I think we’re gonna do a whole nother podcast on that. But let’s just touch on it. I do think, of course, of course, you know, physical sexual intimacy is such a precious thing. And so we do want to, you know, be honest again, about where we are, where we each are, where we are together, and not be afraid to talk about it and to address differences and not you know, it’s I can be easily threatened if one person wants to have sex more often than the other, or whatever the differences are, and then instead of being threatened to be able to be just able to enter into the conversation, in an honest way, because here you are sharing the most intimate relationship of your life. But sometimes we can be scared to talk about that stuff. And so we just want to encourage you to in love and in a tone that’s caring, and in a respectful way, like begin talking about it, how can you learn about each other and talk about these things in a way that’s helpful?
Yeah. And it is one of those very sensitive areas so so we will we’ll do another podcast on and maybe specifically on something about like, you when when couples have have different rhythms or desires for their sexual relationship? Yeah, for for for this one that I would want to add just that if you are in a marriage where you maybe you want sex more than your spouse does. Are there things that you’re interested in sexually if your spouse is not interested in? That is a place again, where we I have to say, my my job is to come back to what’s the what’s my job in this marriage and my job is to love sacrificially the other the other person My job is also, or maybe the greater heading is my job is to become more like Christ. And so are there ways that I can conserve the the other person sacrificially. So if my spouse wants sex less than I do well, so maybe serving them means I abstain. If if maybe my spouse wants sex, does his already made me mix? No.
You said you said yes. Once last night, you’re saying if she if they want more, yeah.
What’s more, are there ways that you that you can that you can serve your spouse? Now, the flip side of that we have to add here too. And again, this we’re getting into the other pockets we’ll do. There are times for somebody asking for something that just feels dishonouring or feels pressuring or demeaning, or entitled. That’s a different category. And we’ll get after some of that in another podcast, but in an otherwise healthy marriage, where they’re just differences. How can each look to the other? Has, how can I love you like Christ loves? And can I serve you in some way? So? Yeah, glad. Yeah. Well, we hope that’s been helpful. We’ll have a link to the article that we we’ve been referencing. And I think if you if you take a look at the comments, you’ll get a little sense of why we felt that we wanted to type into this too. But if you’ve got other questions, or this, this podcast, or any of our podcasts, raise questions for you, or lead you to want to hear more about some other topic, we would love to hear from you. If we say something you disagree with, we’d love to hear from you about that, too, because we are just here to have conversations that we hope will be helpful for you as they’re helpful for us. So let me close in a quick word of prayer. And then we’ll So Jesus, we’re talking about marriage, which is something you care so deeply about. And it’s so important, Lord, if for no other reason, then the marriage between a husband and a wife reflects in a very real way, your love and your commitment to your bride, the church. And so that I pray for each man, each woman listening, that you would be speaking to them in a way that would help them to safeguard their marriages. Or that would be helping them to honor better their husband or their wife. When we pray, rightly so that for every married couple, he lead them away from temptations of all kinds, and deliver them from evil and from all the schemes that evil one has, or even when it seems to look good. We pray this for their sake, for our sake, and for Your glory. Amen
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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.
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