Before I get “on subject” I want to thank publicly whoever is in charge of Marriage Heat for its existence. The site has been quite a revelation for my spiritual life and my married life. In simplest terms, Marriage Heat has confirmed all of the thoughts about how God feels about sex and sexuality in a monogamous relationship for the thirty-eight years of my life. So inspired, I have had a desire to begin contributing first in this way and then eventually onto tales of our own Hot Monogamy.
A few months ago, I decided to add a few Christian marriage podcasts to my regular playlist that I listen to as I go about the small mundane aspects of my day. It didn’t take long for me to find myself getting outraged at them. Why? Every one of them barely scratched the surface on marriage. As I described it to my wife, they seemed to be geared to white upper middle class or higher couples whose greatest difficulty in their marriage is being too busy and/or too exhausted to be together.
I understand that those kinds of marriage podcasts help people. I don’t doubt that they can be a blessing. Yes, it is important to make a commitment to make time to be together, to make each other a priority in the marriage. However, any time they got any deeper than that surface “first world marriage problem” they’d say “Well, for this you just need to see a marriage counselor, and we won’t cover that here.” I even went as far as to email the hosts asking if they could, at least, encourage those in tough situations. Their response was, “We have no plans to cover that in the future.” While I suspect that they don’t cover tough situations because they may fear lawsuits…as Christians can’t a guy get some encouragement? Does the Bible have nothing to say about when life throws your marriage a curve ball, and it all goes to some semblance of “hell”? I mean, they were Christian podcasts after all.
So, here I am putting my money where my mouth is for one particular demographic: the spouses of abuse survivors. We ache, we hurt, we bleed emotionally, we go through it too, and we are often overlooked. Brothers and sisters, hang in there. God loves you, and He isn’t going to abandon you one bit. It can be rough, but you are not alone, and His grace is sufficient.
I’ve been married to “Beloved” for sixteen years now. I count myself fortunate that before we even officially started dating she told me that she was a sexual abuse survivor. She told me who, she told me how, and she told me how long. I’m not one to praise myself, but I am amazed at the time that I didn’t even flinch. She cried, I held her, and I assured her that I wasn’t going anywhere because of something that happened like that. We were married a little over a year later because when you know it’s from God, you go after it, and I was sure. I still am.