It has taken me a year to only partially tell my love story, my unexpected, desperate, struggling, and out-right fiery love story, and when it came to the part before my third-born began to stretch me way past my limits, I was able to write about a point of great touch-exhaustion, the condition of being overly touched (by children).
Once in a while when my touch-deprived husband offends me with a physical advance, like he loves me, like I am not my own, like my physical being is his for the taking, I shrug him away in the way an unrested soul and body only can.
This hits a nerve, doesn't it, how hard intimacy is? So lately I began to ask God about the spiritual significance of my lack of desire, and I realized that prayer itself is my metaphor.
In prayer I pour my heart out to God. I express gratitude. I go to Him and say that He is worth it. I ask for the things I need. I have to show my own condition in humility. At least that's what it's supposed to be, if and when I ever do it.
Unaware of themselves in the garden, Adam and Eve walked with God, and they were naked. They were completely exposed, and they were not work-driven, and they did not have babies hanging on their legs, sitting on their hips, poking their eyes, squeezing their noses, or drooling down their backs.
Oh how we want the garden back sometimes after we have babies! Oh how sweet the garden seems when we're looking back from our over-worked positions – whatever they may be! Don't we crave such time and depth with Christ that we become one with Him, know His thoughts, and love how He loves? Don't we survive by keeping intimacy with Him, in prayer?
What is missing for me is the humility and discernment to say NO when needed, so I can say YES when needed, and I keep asking myself if I were to arrange my life so that intimacy with the Lover my soul were my priority, then wouldn't intimacy with my husband become a great byproduct of that – an overflow?
Would you like to pursue this idea with me? Sometimes saying it is the first step, so if you're in, consider answering this question:
How can you better prioritize your time with the Lord and pursue greater intimacy with the One who loves you and gave Himself for you?
by Amber Haines, the run-a-muckLeave a Comment
To Think Is To Create says
I have been wanting to write about this too, I love that you had had this bit of epiphany as well.
Because something (yet another thing) I have learned the past month is that during periods/days/weeks of intense prayer and worship. Alone, or with my husband, one of the many wonderful results is that my intimacy with my husband skyrockets. Our desire seems exponential.
The dual intimacy, with God and my man, feels almost too good to be true and I’m bowed in humble thanks for all of it.
I’m not sure if this is an answer to your question, but the way I do this now is to pray that my thirst for Jesus is unquenched and ASK that my hunger for Him always be ravenous. I ask for that desire, because I fully see how it leads to such a rich life at home.
Faith Barista Bonnie says
“babies hanging on their legs, sitting on their hips, poking their eyes…”
— pulling my hair and climbing on my head… 😉
You’re right! Eden didn’t include babies. LOL.
Seriously…I definitely have more of me left at the end of the day for him, whenever I start the morning, getting my cup started with Him.
Happy Valentine’s Day, sweet Amber!
This may be an odd thing to say, so let me choose the words carefully – but, sometimes for Christians, growing up in a passionately Christian household, we might emerge into a period where we are at a point of religious or spiritual “touch exhaustion.”
We have been over-churched, over-guilted, and over-preached at. Passion has been reduced to obligation.
And desire must grow again from the old root; but it must grow better, stronger, truer this time.
I think it can, if we want it to. If we ask for it. If we pray for the “desire for desire” that you speak of. Then He will meet us again at the beginning.
Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms says
Amber, your writing always touches a place inside that moves me to tears (and sometimes to a downright ugly girl cry). I often feel unworthy to even comment…but today I will!
I believe moms of really little ones struggle with this more often than not. Myself included. Since my youngest is in Kindergarten this year, let me give you some encouragement that this season-the most EXAUSTING season of parenthood-will come to an end and less active (less touchy!) seasons will arrive.
I’m with Bonnie…although I converse with God and sense His presence throughout the day, I must have some concentrated time in the Word with Him. Now, I can do this in the early morning, but with very little ones that is very difficult! Then, I met with Jesus during naptime or a special movie time. One little tip that has worked wonders for us: since my young’uns were 4 (or were able to read a digital clock), we made them stay in their rooms ’til 7am. That is, as long as they weren’t sick her hurt, of course. If they wake up before 7, they are allowed to play quietly or read, but they must do this in their rooms. This assures their dad and myself that we can get our prayer time and Word time in before the craziness begins. I know some of your children are too young for this now, but maybe it would be helpful in your future.
Sorry so long-winded…hopefully I haven’t driven you to tears from boredom! 🙂 Praying for your darlin’ family right now.
Thank you, ladies for your wisdom here. Thank you for letting me be honest.
It’s so funny that when we’re in this stage, it seems to last forever, but looking back, I know it will have flown by.
It’s just that they’re so tender and impressionable, and I want these years to lead them right. The funny thing is that, as grown-ups, we’re tender and impressionable, too. What I give to my husband and what he gives to me, it changes us.
What I truly offer to God, it changes me. We’re never supposed to grow un-tender.
i too have been journalling my thoughts over the past few weeks about intimacy, my lack of it and my times of intense passion. i have been seeking for patterns, relationships so that i can understand it better.
to answer your question: i think it is about being silent before God, allowing my deepest desires to surface in His presence. i might think i know what i need and i want but it is in fact His Holy Spirit that needs to reveal these things to me. once these desires surface… i can be naked before Him and His true work of transformation can begin.
This is such a lovely thing for me to read today. Just this week my husband and I both have been enjoying a deeper sense of intimacy with God, and I found myself totally surprised to realise that it did bring a deeper sense of intimacy and closeness, and deeper desire into our relationship. It is such a logical thing when you look at Scripture, but my taking notice of it was a passing thought that I am not sure I fully put together and allowed to make a proper connection in my mind and my heart. I am glad it is now established, and again blessed by your words. Thanks, Amber!
This is such a wonderful topic to discuss.
I will be giving this much more thought.
Amber, this was a beautiful and honest post. My boys are now nearly past the physically exhausting “touch time” as they are 12, 8, and 5, but now I’m finding myself with a new challenge
Yes, speaking it is the first step. I have begun to grapple with this very thing. There was a goal in mind when I resigned a busy position recently–to get more in touch with my spiritual and creative side. I was exhausted with doing. I find now that there are many little steps to getting into the full swing of my new life. I have to deal with the doubts and have the faith that the next piece will come even though I don’t know what it is yet. It’s a faith walk, but I need to set the priorities in order to get to the ultimate goal. Not only set the priorities but stick to the plan adjusting it as needed. I do remember the demands while raising my children. It’s a time that is jammed with so many activities and stresses. That’s why it is so important to carve out the time we need to rejuvenate and find the energy to finally be grateful for all the many sticky blessings. Those blessings will be beautiful memories caught in photographs and journals when time moves us forward. Love is difficult but so worth the struggle. God bless! Happy Valentine’s Day.
You always here about lack of sexual intimacy when the husband and wife are parents. But my husband and I are not. I was just thinking this morning about how only a few years ago our sex life was more active. I of course miss it. We get home from work exhausted, and then I struggle with just not being in the mood. I’ve heard many people describe sex between husband and wife as worship to God. It is a beautiful thing that He created. At the beginning of the year I started praying that God would give me the desire to have intimacy with and passion for my husband. Of course the battle of my flesh and the desire for intimacy struggles against each other. We are a selfish people – in our time with our spouse and with our God.
I am so glad to hear that I’m not the only one going through this! I, too, have seen a correlation between having a deep intimacy with God leading to a desire to please my husband. It’s never easy, and I still struggle (a lot) but I know that God will help us through this.
It’s interesting, but I find that this is something I really need to talk about with other women, but my girlfriends and I don’t talk about it. I don’t even know if they feel the same way.
I am with you on this journey!
Susan Marquez says
Oh my, did you ever strike a chord with me on this post. I worry that my husband feels left out of my take-care-of-the-kids/house/life world. This is a journey so many women are on…and yours will help nudge me into taking my own. Thank you for putting my feelings into such eloquent words.
Melissa Brotherton says
When I read your original post about touch exhaustion I felt like there was someone out there who got what I was living. It’s hard to explain to a husband who needs the physical touch to reassure of love that you just want to be left alone for a while. This post today beautifully points out how closely our relationship with our spouses can mimic what we’re feeling towards God. Thank you for remining me that not only does my times of intimacy with God strengthen my walk with Him, but also my relationship with my husband.
@gypsymama – I think that’s such a important idea to consider. My life has been saturated by church stuff for the last few years (bible college, leading a college group, LIVING upstairs from the sanctuary). I can see your point that I could be experiencing touch exhaustion with God, as well. But, it must not really be God – just the service of Him – because how could I get tired of being with Him? Just like with my husband, it’s important to push through that initial reluctance because in the end I will feel a greater sense of intimacy and a renewal of the relationship. Thanks!
Hello, I am new to your site, And I love what I am seeing. Such an important part of marriage is keeping the conection of intimacy
between you alive. So easy to just push it aside for another day. Great post!!!For Gods Glory Alone, Many Blessings Deborah
Come by for a visit at http://www.dlrubyspalette.blogspot
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Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
My husband and I are in a new season of life with our eldest in college. The issues now are reestablishing a strong and intimate friendship where the first topic of conversation isn’t about what the children need. They are caring for those things themselves now.
Prayer = passion
Prayer fuels both a passion for our Beloved Lord but also our spouse. It is the most intimate conversation we will ever have.
Wonderful thought provoking post Amber. Thank you so much for re-focusing this day on God’s love for us and our spouse.
Blessings and Grace…
Oh. my. Can I just say you perfectly encapsulated a struggle I have faced the last three years running? Josiah is edging on six months now, and I feel that touch-sensitivity reducing. I notice it when it leaves, and I notice it when it comes back, and I really don’t feel like I have an answer. One thing I have noticed with intimacy- it’s a letting go and losing control. Sometimes, we are fearful of losing control and that translates into the not letting our husbands in to our hearts and minds. We’re maybe afraid of what they might think? That they will take advantage of our vulnerability? And that translates into the touch-sensitivity. But I swear everytime I have just let go (no matter how eeek! I am about it) and just let my husband touch me, I always feel better. Sometimes it gives me space to say Help! and cry a bit. Sometimes it helps me realize what’s eating at me that I can not meet my husband open-heartedly. I definitely think you’ve got part of the answer in the pursuit of God. I dunno. I just know that we are made for touch, and when we are getting spazzed about touching, something’s way off balance. I think of what we would do if our babies arched away from our gentle touches and love-gifts of kisses and rubs. Thinking of how much children rely on their parent’s touch to bring them back to a balance- needing a cuddle, etc. But somehow when I hit adulthood I thought I could do without those care-full touches from someone I hold dear. It is definitely a struggle. Thank you for bringing it up.
Dedra Herod says
Thank you for going directly to my heart and to what has been playing over and over in my mind.
“How can you better prioritize your time with the Lord and pursue greater intimacy with the One who loves you and gave Himself for you?”
not only to spend time with Him daily, but to look for Him in the daily-ness and keep the constant conversation alive…overwhelming desire to run off to a cottage and be alone right now.
I just love you.
This really spoke to me, and I’ve been married to a wonderful man for a long time.
We’ve lately been convicted that we pour so much of ourselves into being great parents and people and employees, but we just expect marriage to “take care of itself.”
And we’ve both been driven to the One who loves us, who is driving us closer together.
Natalie @ Naddy's Blog says
I think one thing that really plays into this with me is that if my heart isn’t right with Him, my attitude isn’t right, I’m discontent, and really not honestly that attractive or welcoming. Whereas if my heart is right, my attitude is right, etc… then the only obstacle would be the two small, bright eyed children! I wish for magic sleepy dust sometimes! 😉
I stumbled upon your blog from that of a friend’s. And you are talking right in my ballpark of struggle. My husband and I are two years passed the enlightenment of infidelity–and God has worked an absolute miracle in our home. But more than that He has worked an absolute miracle in my own life. Through my process of healing I began writing and I believe–both scripturally and experiencially–that you are completely right, “if I were to arrange my life so that intimacy with the Lover my soul were my priority, then wouldn’t intimacy with my husband become a great byproduct of that – an overflow?” I say absolutely yes. We have to find our fulness in our Maker–the Lover of our souls–before we can truly love these men we have vowed our days. Your seeking is absolutely beautiful. Keep on, sister-friend.
I have to say that I’ve been so encouraged by these comments. Thank you sincerely for coming here.
Southern Gal says
I’ve not thought of it in this light before. Thank you for stretching my thought process as I try to understand my own struggles with intimacy.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
I hate it when my head knows what my heart doesn’t. Honesty is brutal…and I want to crave intimacy because I want to please God. Not because it’s what I “need” but because He desires relationship with me because He adores His son in me.
Ravenous and thirsty…such weighty words (good ones) for craving the best and Glorious one :).
Well I do know I am always searching for Him, continuously laughing at the facets God cuts from this obscured piece of a rock, he’s got a great sense of humor as I take shape. But mostly I am always asking Him “Are we okay?” “Is this what I should be doing” Communication is my constant path, I think you can understand that since you communicate so well with us;) But to do one better? I’ll just have to go ask Him. I guess He wanted me to see your angle. Thanks Amber.
It’s so interesting you should write about this. I had been praying a little while ago and asking God what I could give Him. I wanted to sacrifice something in my life for God. He spoke clearly to me that He wanted my mornings. So, like a zombie, I started waking earlier and spending time in prayer, coffee in hand, before I did anything else. It has been a struggle for me because I’m not a morning person but I’ve been doing it.
Yesterday, my husband looked at me and said “Have we been having more sex than usual?” (am I allowed to say that???) I thought about it and said – ummm, yes. I wasn’t sure why but it occurred to me that my husband and I have been closer lately. After reading your post – it makes sense. I’ve been closer to God – and that brought me closer to my husband.
Wow, what a challenge. I feel so drained all day (not just at the end), that often I want to veg in front of the computer or just go to bed. Priorities.
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