The Magical Beginning
The wedding was over. Our lives were now joined as one, before God and before man. For most rom-coms this is where the story ends, but it really served as a beautiful beginning. We were married. For the first time, we lived under the same roof, shared the same room, and no one had to leave at the end of the night. It was everything we wanted, right? The wedding was over and the real marriage had begun.
We were entering into a whole new level of intimacy and it was lovely-ish. There was great sex, lots of snuggles on the couch as we fell asleep and there was sweet conversation over Saturday morning second breakfast. We were enjoying the early days and getting to know each other on a deeper level. But the deep end isn’t always the easiest place to swim. With all the new couple magic there were also new couple challenges. We had to learn how not to be annoyed by every little thing the other did that was “different”. There was also the realization that in our dating life we had become used to being able to “escape” conflict with distance and that this was hindering us in marriage. Little did we know that the magic of the early intimacy would soon become eclipsed by the challenges of it and that there were some hard but necessary lessons that we would have to learn.
It was the attraction that pulled you in, but it is the intimacy that makes you want to stay. However, that very thing that keeps you is actually continuously under attack. You are under attack by a fierce enemy, but sometimes you lose sight of who it is, and before you know it, that enemy begins to look like the person you married. In our near two years of marriage, we struggled in intimacy physically, with communication, transitioning our mindset from two singles to one married couple, and more recently the birth of our wonderful son.
The challenges were strong. Physical intimacy, while initially thriving became more difficult as time went on. The lessons we learned initially about seeking to meet the needs of the other before our own actually had to be applied (shocker!). Words flew but clear communication did not. We were speaking to one another but not truly hearing the heart (or sharing the heart) behind the words.
The transition from being single to married was weightier than we anticipated. We allowed fear, stubbornness and discomfort to keep us from knowing and being known as deeply as we should have. We walked in with expectations of how the other should be, how our lives together would look and we struggled to deal with the reality that was in front of us.
And then there was the baby. Our beautiful, precious, sweet baby boy. Joy of our lives and gracious gift from God. We had heard that a baby would change things but we had no idea. We were somehow both closer and farther apart. We had experienced one of the most intensely personal, painful and beautiful processes together and were the better for it. But we also now had someone else; someone else to focus on, someone else to distract us from each other. Most of our communication became very functional and specific to the daily operation of making sure the kid was ok and not too fussy. And to some degree, we were ok with that. Not in the deep parts of our soul that needed the other to be present, to listen, to know, but in the more shallow places that didn’t want to have to do the hard work of marriage while also doing the hard work of parenting.
Redemption starts at the cross. Redemption in marriage in every facet, especially intimacy, starts with seeing your marriage through the lens of the gospel. Jesus came not be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). His very posture was always oriented towards others, so much so that He died to save His bride. To follow His example, I must daily ask myself, ‘how can live in a way in which I look to serve rather than be served?’ When it comes to intimacy in marriage, we must ask ourselves, ‘how can I serve the other in a way that makes my spouse feel close, feel known, feel loved?’ When we struggled with our physical intimacy due to health, we had to come to a place of humility to desire how to serve each other best in the midst of ongoing health issues.
The growth and sustenance of our intimacy has truly been the work of the Lord in drawing us to Himself. Some of the best moments of experiencing true intimacy have been while praying together, reading the Bible together, and having conversations in and out of small group about things of the Lord. We have found that this has naturally segued to matters of the heart and confession of sin. We have not been able to nail the consistency of being in prayer and the Word together, but we have made significant strides compared to our early days of marriage.
Obviously, in less than two years of marriage, we are still working through and struggling through intimacy, but we are continually finding Jesus to be sufficient for all our needs and the true source of the intimacy we seek.
~ Megan Allison & Tyrome Delano
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