Lisa and I recently resumed our marriage enrichment small group after the holidays. We decided that for 5 weeks we would dig into what the bible has to say about a variety of topics within the context of marriage. Lisa chose to go over 1st Corinthians 7: 1 – 10 and I was THRILLED! And that is when satan started to pick on me.
As our group met, I made tons of comments, some humorous and some very heart felt.
I made confessions about having abused the verses we were discussing in the past and what I had learned since. Eventually I felt like in poor taste I did WAY too much talking. I started feeling condemned and embarrassed for my enthusiasm about sex in marriage.
I shared this with my wife, and found little encouragement.
She let me know that I sometimes embarrass her and she thinks that I can give the wrong impression about who I am as a whole. I also began to deal with the feeling of rejection via a reader’s response to Lisa’s most recent blog where a Christian woman was literally telling Lisa to kick me to the curb and for her to go find a Godly man??? And then a gentleman reader was telling me to “man up”.
I could not understand how my honesty was anything less than “manning up”.
So, I wrestled with God in my mind a bit. I took some complaints to him while whining about 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, verses God has given us to follow for our marriage enrichment concerning comforting others with the same comfort we ourselves have been comforted with.
So if God is calling me to “comfort others”, and He is equipping me to tackle sexual issues with couples, pornography with men and be a valuable support system for those couples who have chosen to engage in the art of “step family life”, then why on earth should I shut my mouth about any of this?
Then God gave me a vision of walking into a crowded fast food restaurant wearing the latest and greatest skydiving gear.
God began to enlighten me with an analogy (for the record I have never been near a parachute). If God himself were to equip me to jump out of airplanes, He would give me the best parachute and any other necessary equipment to safely do the job. Then God showed me a vision of myself opening the parachute in the middle of the restaurant and seeing every ones annoyed face.
A great Christian role model of mine attended a “gig” to see a band I am in perform. On my break, I shared all of this with him. He suggested that my wife needs to come along side and support me when God himself is calling me to say and do things on God’s behalf. He told me to keep speaking because it is a subject that gets swept under the carpet in our Christian circles.
Now Lisa was neither against me or what she and I whole-heartedly agree on that God has called us to do.
She was just a little edgy at the impression I give about myself, she does not want people to view me as a sex crazed maniac and for it to undermine my ability to speak life to people.
Here is where I will take the approach that Eminem demonstrates during the rap battle at the end of the movie “8 mile”…
-I am a believer!
-I love my wife!
-I am extremely enthusiastic about sex and its role in my marriage!
-I am tempted by porn and have been successful for a good chunk of time at finding ways to not fall into that temptation.
-I am HONEST about how porn affects me (And yes that was passive aggressive)
Check this out: 1 Corinthians 10:12 – So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
-I refuse to wear a church mask concerning any of these subjects!
As I come full circle about what God has taught me this week…
I realized I am not to be ashamed of what God has called me to do, but that I do need to learn some sensitivity about putting my parachute into use in the wrong place and at the wrong time, or opening it when standing on the ground for that matter. People will be offended as they often are struggling in their marriages in these areas and no one wants to be exposed when they are dealing with any kind of sin. Therefore, they can become defensive and protecting of themselves by projecting their disgust with me.
But God did not call me to be kicking anyone into the light, only to show it to them at the times when I happen to be upright and shine the light on them if they have asked me to. If we are all skydiving together, there needs to be adequate space between the parachutes to successfully use the equipment. Otherwise, we will all foolishly get tangled and plummet to our deaths
So please excuse me while I order something to eat and re-pack my parachute 🙂