When the book arrives I am scared. What if he finds it? Surely he’d not understand. After all our talks about *this* never end well. It wasn’t always like this but I’m not willing to figure out what went wrong. Right now I’m trying to heal from an addiction and I’m just about willing to do anything.
A Bible study on sex for women.
I almost stop at that sentence. There’s just NO way that you can do a Bible study on sex. Besides, I can tell you the scriptures. Adam knew his wife…and that was sin. David knew Bathsheba and then killed her husband…and the baby died for it. How many stories in that book about a man knowing his wife and then a baby is born and the next thing you know, evil arrives. Sex is not only a thing God does not like, it is something we eventually need to overcome in order “to make the bride”. I stop myself. I can only heal if I quit fighting. So I sit down, open the book and begin.
The concept of having a passionate and intimate relationship with the husband was so foreign me. Although I never denied him an opportunity to “connect”, I rarely felt close to him. Honestly, I was clueless about my body. I had no idea what an orgasm was, and if I actually had one, it just triggered all the shame I felt from my childhood. I shared my body with him, because that’s what I was taught to do and I really didn’t want him to leave for someone who would. Most of the first two decades of our marriage, my husband regularly had an experience he describes as “sex with a blank wall.” There was no passion, no intimacy, no connection. And then things changed when I began the Passion Pursuit* study from Authentic Intimacy.
I have consistently pursued passion and intimacy since I began the study. It’s not been an easy process and healing didn’t come overnight. I had to throw myself into the pain of healing from sexual abuse. I had to be consistent long enough to rebuild trust with the husband and trust with myself. We’ve had to talk about really painful things that happened in the earlier years of our marriage. We dealt with the aftermath of a flashback which threatened to end our marriage, despite all our hard work and love. After almost 4 years, we are now bearing the fruit of our deliberate pursuits of passion and intimacy.
Tonight I opened the book again. Reading over the notes from my study I stumbled across this response to a particular challenge:
Complete abandonment. That will only happen if I feel completely safe.
Reflecting on our recent getaway to the beach I realize I feel completely safe and that allows me to give myself to him, completely, which allows him to feel safe and that allows him to give himself to me. No fear. No shame. No hiding. Transparency with one another and with our Abba. And that has brought trust, intimacy and passion into our lives. This, is what God meant when he said, “Two shall be one.”
I’d like to close with a prayer for those who long to feel safe, pursued and passionately loved. Who long deep in their soul for an intimate connection, not just with another human, but with the Creator.
Abba. You said in the beginning you looked over all you made and saw that it was very good. You said you created us, in the image of God, male and female. Somewhere, we lost our way. We became afraid. And in our fear, we felt shame. And shame caused us to hide. And we continue to hide. But you pursue. You pursue and you call to us. “Where are you?” Where are you my child? Why are you hiding? Why are you afraid? Why are you staying in the dark, when you were made to stand in the light?
Abba, you know the depths of a soul. Your love can reach even into the deepest of hells. Pursue those who hide from your face. Pursue them with your all-consuming love. Speak those words of love like those written in Song of Solomon. Set them like a seal over your heart, like a seal over your arm. Show them a love that is strong as death, jealous as the grave and bright as the flames. This love you have cannot be quenched. Let that love flow over them.
I speak as the voice of the voiceless. You know the pain that grips their life. You know just how deep the wound goes and how strong the poison flows and how loud the fear speaks. You also know the innocence that was taken and the shame given in return. You alone know how to heal. And that is what I’m asking for. I stand in the gap for those who desperately long to be freed from this hell they do not deserve.
Free them. Free them like only you can. Free them to pursue love and to be loved. Free them to be who they were before someone else told them who they were to be. Free them from the shame that is not their shame. Free them from the hate and anger and despair that traps them and leaves them defenseless. Free them so that they may discover the wonder of drinking freely from the cup of passionate love and the intimacy of being connected.
I know this journey they will walk. I know how hard it will be to walk toward something that will force them to face their biggest fear and their biggest pain. But I also know the joy of choosing to do the hard thing. And the reward of feeling passion and love and intimacy.
Abba, I know what you want most, is for your children to be loved. To be naked and not ashamed. To be honest and not afraid. To speak into the darkness and shine the light. And I know, you will walk with them, just as you have walked with me.
Thank you for always hearing, always loving and always being near.
*Passion Pursuit is a 10-week study written by Linda Dillow & Dr. Juli Slattery published by Moody Publishers. 5-days a week they reveal what the Bible says about being a passionate woman, embracing our God-designed sexuality and becoming a “Smokin’ Hot Moma!” Not only do they cover the pure physical pleasure of the relationship, they discuss intimacy with both your spouse and God. Challenges through out the book reinforce the concepts learned.