“Matt, can you help me figure out what is going on with my wife?” Bob said with a tremble in his voice. He and Sandy were married for 24 years with three children.
“What’s going on?” I asked. Bob gave me a very familiar response. His wife had gone COLD just like a block of ice. As he was sharing I was thinking ALERT, ALERT, ALERT as if we were inside a war room and witnessed the enemy launching nuclear missiles towards our land. Bob didn’t see the threat. He was calm and collected. He thought it was simply a ‘phase’ they were going through.
Countless Christian couples look back and say “If only I would have done something sooner, we would have avoided divorce. If only I was more aggressive.”
We must press on, shutting the door behind us and focusing on our ‘tomorrow’ with passion.
Here are three signs you need to be AGGRESSIVE so your marriage will get back on track.
1st Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
When communication shuts down, VERY BAD things begin to happen. Our words are always a reflection of our heart. With few words being exchanged our hearts will create a wall of defense. That wall gets higher each day. If your spouse is playing the “silent treatment” recognize it as a huge threat to the marriage. Maybe the culprit is YOU. Stop it. Don’t let it go on. Pretend for a moment that you are literally handing your heart over to Satan. “Here you go, do with it what you will.” That is precisely what we are doing when we go cold and shut down. We no longer trust in God and decide to take the matter into our own hands not realizing the door we are opening for Satan and his lies.
BE AGGRESSIVE and set up a date night so you can begin ‘talking’ again.
It’s when we stop holding hands, offering hugs or little touches. Sometimes affection is simply in our voice. We have a softness that is appealing and makes our spouse feel like the universe is ok. When the affection is gone, trouble is near. Some couples sleep in different beds but have a decent sex life. I don’t suggest that as a general rule but for some couples that is the only way they can sleep. If so, compensate in other areas.
When was the last time you came up from behind your spouse and wrapped your arms around them? I was in an airport traveling last weekend to speak at a church when I noticed a well dressed middle aged man standing next to his wife. They were facing away from me while her hand was gently rubbing the middle of his back. He stood very close to her while quietly wandering in the meadows of conversation. She continued to slide her fingers up and down his spine as to say, “I am right here baby, keep talking to me.” This went on for 20 minutes. It was a genuine display of public affection.
Some people tell me “We just aren’t wired that way. I don’t like to be touched.” Just because you don’t like to be touched doesn’t mean your spouse isn’t motivated by it. Often people operate out of their own narrow list of likes and dislikes without even considering what motivates the other person.
I also noticed a man and a woman recently at a restaurant deep in conversation. Their gentleness was noticeable. There was a strong sense of affection in their voice, in their questions and responses. How about you?
Can you go on an AFFECTION QUEST? For 10 days try to offer your spouse affection that is NOT deserved. Give them the physical touches, feet rubs, holding of the hands or simply affectionate conversation. See what happens.
Be AGGRESSIVE and pour out some affection on the one you love.
Sex is often a barometer to the marriage. (with some exceptions)
If you are not sexually active at all, there may be a problem. If there is NO activity in the bedroom, there may be a problem. You don’t have to always have sexual intercourse to be ‘sexual’. There are many ways to enjoy your sexual activity within the healthy context of marriage.
Intimacy is not always sexual. It can operate as a twin to affection, things such as hand holding, brushing her hair gently while watching a movie and rubbing his back after a long day of work.
So many couples totally give up. I truly believe that affection and intimacy can be a subliminal signal to each other that “I still love you”. When communication, affection and intimacy are gone, the marriage quickly slides into the pit.
Be AGGRESSIVE and offer some intimacy to your spouse that seems appropriate. Don’t wait to be served, serve.
BE AGGRESSIVE, when your marriage hits a lull.
Paul, one of the greatest prophets speaks about being aggressive and pressing on towards Christ for His sake, His glory and His blessings. Your marriage was built and sanctioned by God, treat it as such.
Philippians 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Go and be different,
Matt and Pam