forgiveness for the sake of the marriage bed
“so how’s your sex life?”
this is a question that is usually read from the front of a glossy magazine in the check-out aisle or said in a counseling office when things aren’t going so well. this question she decides to ask me while we’re drinking coffee in her kitchen.
i froze. and i did what i needed to do. i lied.
“it’s good. it’s fine. yeah. it’s really good. how’s yours?”
when i walked down the aisle my bridesmaids wore white.
during wedding planning i read that the tradition of bridesmaids began because it was believed that evil spirits were there trying to harm the bride, so they dressed several women up in white to confuse those darn spirits.
but when i think of it now, there were more ghosts than evil spirits heading down the aisle towards my husband to be.
“oh,” she replied “our sex life is good. we have sex at least every other day. my husband can’t go longer than three days or he starts going a little crazy, you know?”
i nodded along. right. every other day.
she was talking about sex so plainly. she was talking as if sex were a normal part of her life. as if sex were a normal part of marriage.
and she was right.
the ghosts of the past all gather when a husband reaches for his wife.
i was tired of facing the demons and so to avoid them, i avoided him. i didn’t want to pray together and remember how broken i was. i didn’t want to tell myself that i was safe. i didn’t want to forgive him for the lies and the actions that must be forgiven in every marriage.
i didn’t want to do the hard work of accepting the forgiveness god had for me or him or those who hurt me all those years ago.
but here was my friend with a coffee cup in her hand. she was telling the truth and asking me to tell the truth, too.
“actually i’m having a really hard time forgiving my husband for something.”
she nodded along.
“but i think i need to.”
the evil spirits and the ghosts that haunt marriage aren’t solid. they aren’t the flesh and blood of man and wife. they search our aisles and our bedrooms, but when he reaches for me now, i know who is stronger.
the holy spirit keeps the vows we make but could never keep.
you may now kiss the bride.
repost from the archives…