sex

What the World Doesn't Understand (About Marriage)

Marriage. It's what brings us together today. (Or, maybe not.)

At least, it's the theme of this entire week.  

My husband and I are celebrating a decade of wedded bliss, and my baby brother is getting married two days after our anniversary. 

The world has it all wrong when it comes to this sacred institution. And I would love to enlighten the confused, although, I doubt most of them would even dare care to read our blog anyway. 

Marriage is sexy; prostituting yourself isn't  

I don't get it. I don't get the single (or married) people that find the fleeting one-night-stand thing appealing. How is that sexy and marriage deemed "boring"?

Truly, I get it, sometimes marriage goes thru "down times" where there is little much of anything going on sans just passing one another in the hallway while wrangling kids, life, and/or projects. But really, I mean, how is it preferrable to hop from one soul to another leaving yourself completely vulnerable and exposed, and then feel sorry for the married friend who has to have sex with the same person for the rest of their life?!!? 

Are you kidding me?!?  

I get to have sex with my best friend. The person that has vowed before an Almighty God to love me more than anyone else. I get to experience that with someone who won't forget to call me the next morning, or sneak out before the sun comes up. I get to look into my spouses eyes and see a deep, caring love radiated back, not lust. You're being robbed if you settle for giving yourself to someone who doesn't first hold your soul in marriage.  You think a "Fifty Shades" relationship is hot and something to acquire; Something that marrieds couldn't possibly have?

I can outdo your "Fifty Shades" any day. What a cheap ticket to ride. If that's hot to you, then you're doing it wrong.  

If only people would come up to me when they see my brood and say, "wow, five children, eh? You must really love your husband." To that I would say, "thank you, ma'am! I certainly do! How incredibly wise you are! Are you from another planet, perhaps?"

In fact, it is considered considerably more noble and acceptable to have several children because of several one-night-stands than it is for me to have a large family with my monogamous, "married-only-ever-to-me" husband. But, I digress.

If we are nurturing and treating our marriages like Christ expects us to, second only to His relationship with us, then marriage is and can be smokin' hot. It literally would put any "player" out there to shame. Married people don't "fizzle", they blaze like a roaring fire.

I get overwhelmed just thinking about how amazing God designed marriage to be for His glory and our benefit. Man, His design is just GOOD. To be ONE with another human of the opposite sex. To collaborate daily in all of the spiritual, mental, and physical rhelms is so incredibly beautiful. 

We are sinful and hopelessly flawed, but God within us can make our flaws into something of eternal value. Which brings me to my next point.

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I'm better off with you than without you

Ecclesiastes 4:9 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour." 

Married couples that do life according to God's will, they have a double effectiveness for the Kingdom of Heaven. Sure, I could've done great amazing awesome things for God solo. Many people are called to live life on mission for God as a single. That's incredible and I admire them so much.  God doesn't only use married couples, but I'm so glad to have the blessing of doing life with another Christ-follower.

I thank God everyday for my husband because I know together, we can do and accomplish so much more than separately. Our first mission field is our homes. Then our extended families and the community around us and beyond. Supporting, dreaming, collaborating, synchronizing, stretching, and working hard together so that the world will look at us and see Christ. That's worth fighting for. Fighting hard for.  

In a world where "self" is exalted and "others" don't even cross most minds, (Biblical) marriage is the ultimate challenge in selflessness. For life. 

Marriage isn't for you 

If you think marriage is for someone to cater to your every whim, someone to flip your pancakes for you, and to share a bank account with, then don't get married. Marriage is for God's glory, ultimately. Why do so many marriages fail? Easy. When you approach marriage with a "what can I get outta this" attitude, you're marriage is already failing before it even begins. When you don't meet their expectations, bitterness comes. When that happens, you aren't able to see past yourself, then you become your own victim. Divorce is the answer.  

Expectations will always ruin relationships. Always. Unless, of course, you expect your spouse to fail you daily. Then you are living reasonably.  

When the wedding is over, then comes the marriage 

Hey! Guess what?! Marriage isn't about that three hour wedding that took an entire year and $50,000 to plan. I'm so tired of seeing so many people live and plan and feverishly spend, spend, spend money, time, and energy on the wedding day and then pay no mind to the marriage that inevitably follows. 

Christians have fallen into that "wedding" trap just as bad if not worse than non-Christians. It's embarrassing and it's probably a contributing factor as to why the Christian divorce rate is no different than the worldly divorce rate. 

Stop investing so much into the wedding and invest into your marriage.  

It's absolute JOY to witness and support a marriage that YOU KNOW will go the distance. The first time I met my future sister-in-law this past November, I just knew. I knew she was perfect for my brother and I knew when their wedding came upon us, that we would be so beyond thrilled to be apart of it. The same goes for my sister and her marriage almost seven years ago. Same excitement. Several friends of mine have been married and you can't help but just praise the Lord for the ones that you just know are God's plan. Marriage, orchestrated by God, is a blessing!! 

God designed marriage, so He calls the shots   

This won't be a debate about who and how we should marry. I trust the Author of marriage. He designed it. He gave us very strict guidelines for marriage, our bodies, and how we should live our lives. The world shouldn't be expected to follow those guidelines. They are lost for a reason. They're confused. They set their own definitions, expectations, and guidelines.

But, Christian, we must stand up for and proclaim God's Word about God's will for marriage. There is a reason why He gave us so much information about marriage, because His design is perfect and good for our lives and for the survival of the human race.  

When marriages fail, we fail. When marriage is valued about as much as a cracker jack prize, then society falters. We are seeing the effects of decades of divorce being the "norm" in our culture. The world doesn't value, nor sees the importance of God's design in marriage anymore. This should make us weep.  

I intend to keep fighting for marriage. Ten years in, and I'm wholly better because of my marriage. It's my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow. It fills me with hope, love, and peace and exposes my faults, shortcomings, and selfishness.  

To the world, I say, stop cheapening marriage. Understand that settling for a McDonald's kind of love life means you're missing out on the "fresh homecooked meal with a massive plate of warm chocolate chip cookies" love. It takes more work, and a lot more effort and ingredients to serve up the latter, but boy does it ever beat a drive-thru love you're convinced is more delicious than the meal I eat everyday. And to that I say, "you can have your Big Mac, these cookies won't stay warm forever". 

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Made in Secret

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You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.Psalm 139:15

I said I wouldn't use this blog as a platform for anything controversial or political. I tend to sometimes get caught up in the political goings on of our country and sometimes, it got me in trouble on Facebook. I would get into discussions I never intended to be a part of, much less create.

This blogs purpose is to honor God first and foremost, and to encourage other mothers and highlight all aspects of parenting as we journey through them.

So as I struggle to articulate without the political soapbox, my hope for this post is that we would be reminded just how unique and incredibly made we all are.

I want you to come with me on a journey right now. I think all of us need an occasional glimpse inside of the human womb. We need to be reminded of how miraculous and to be treasured all of human life is. Especially life inside of the womb.

The lottery of conception is what begins a new human life. Typically, 300 million sperm are released during sex into a woman's vagina. These 300 million single-celled organisms (roughly 1000 times smaller than a single grain of sand) quickly diminish in numbers as they begin what is an extremely precarious journey to the prize: the egg. They only move at 1/10th inch/minute with their single-tailed propulsion. Because a woman's vagina is filled with acid, nearly 99% of these sperm die almost immediately. For the one percent that remain, the journey becomes even more treacherous.

Only 10,000 or so make it into the hostile environment of the cervix. The rest die. Once in the cervix, only 3000 or so remain after completing the journey to the other side. When the 3000 reach the uterus, tens of millions of leukocytes begin to attack the remaining sperm. They attack and crush the weakest ones. And only a dozen sperm remain.

Nearly 18 hours have passed, and the twelve hopeful ones have reached the egg. They fight and fight to burrow their way through. Only one makes it and the egg immediately changes so as to repel the remaining sperm. Life is sparked into being with the union of the two one-celled organisms. Beating the odds of one trillion to one. The new life begins to divide rapidly and begins a new journey: the journey to implantation.

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Implantation usually takes place about 8-10 days after fertilization. The burrowing of the baby into the mothers endometrium ensures further growth and ample blood supply.

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It isn't until a few days to a week or so later, that women can even expect a positive pregnancy test. To know, quite simply, the amazing miracles that have been occurring in the woman's body prior to the knowledge of pregnancy, just leaves me breathless. The odds that have been overcome. The unique set of DNA that has never been before and never will be again. Simply, mind-boggling.

The knowledge of what happens in the first two weeks of pregnancy is enough for me to say "all human life is precious....all human life should be protected from beginning (conception/fertilization) to natural end (death by natural causes).

The taking of any and all life is the definition of murder. Something cannot be dead and alive at the same time. Something dead cannot suddenly become life and have value after it's birth. At the same time, something that grows and changes cannot be classified as non-living.

At just 21 days past conception, the baby's heart begins to beat. Brain waves can be detected by an EEG machine at day forty. And usually by the time the mother is made aware of the life she is carrying, the child has every body part it needs to eventually survive outside of the womb.

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One of my dear sisters in Christ, a fellow mother of her own six precious children sent me one of the shirts she makes. I absolutely am in love with it because it speaks more truth than any other "Pro-Life" shirt I've ever bought, and it declares the Gospel of Christ in a very simple, but powerful way.

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I also love the way she packaged it, by the way.

I want to encourage all of you to really consider how amazing and complex and incredible human life is. The womb is a secret place that science now knows so much about. They cannot deny that the instant sperm and egg unite, that there is life. It's how you got here, how I got here, what made us all mothers, and how the entire human race is saved.

Imagine if Christ had not humbled himself to be a part of the most unusual, unplanned pregnancy ever. We would have no hope for the next moment of our own lives.

If you would like one of these shirts, I encourage you to visit www.showprolife.com and take advantage of the 10% off they are offering right now.

As mothers, let's stand for life from conception to natural death, because we know and understand just how amazing it is to be a vessel for life.

Love, Alicia

It's not your body [the beauty of married sex]

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20140616-185509-68109900.jpg There's been a discussion brewing, between a group of ladies that I hold so dear to my heart, today. And we've been brutally honest with one another about what some Christian women consider a four letter word: sex.

In some Christian arenas, it is still taboo to speak openly about one of the most wonderful, amazing parts that God created humans to experience. I think mothers need to be honest with themselves, their husbands, and their God when it comes to this topic. A topic that can really take up a chunk of our lives.

We've all been there and some stay there longer than others: the barren land of "I don't care about sex". We've all had the following thoughts:

"If he so much as touches me after I've nursed this baby all day..."

"I feel so gross right now."

"Oh great, he has that "look" in his eye."

"This would be a terrible time to (bend over to get that thing I dropped, change into something more comfortable, etc, etc)"

Motherhood is simply exhausting and I believe it's easy for mothers to look at sex as another thing to accomplish, another thing to suck whatever energy you have left outta you, or as someone else who needs something from you.

It's so easy to fall into that trap. And it's so hard for some of us to climb out. Some of us don't even have the will to do so. And some of us may not have the most "understanding" of husbands when it comes to sex.

But I say to you, sweet mother, that God is able and more than willing to pull you out of the pit of a sexless mentality. He wants husbands and wives to enjoy one another. Freely and uninhibited as much as possible, He desires the coming together that every marriage should hold as sacred.

remember your vows

Remember the vow that you made to God on that day you told Him you would remain one with the partner He sent to you. Remember how you blushed and your eyes watered as you looked into the eyes of the man across from you and promised your whole self to him. Remember how you felt giddy and excited to share in your new found state that very first night as man and wife.

even in the hard times

What better thing to do than to frequently come together in this way when hard times come. Allow the sorrows you face, the financial hiccups, the health obstacles of a loved one, or just simply a hard day to lead you to one another in both a physical and spiritual oneness. I tell you what, never is my husband more attractive to me than when he leads me in prayer and holds me when I'm hurting. There is a window that can be swung wide open when you seize the hard times and remember the love only the two of you can share.

yes, the kids drain you

I've got four, going on five children. I also homeschool my children. We are together twentyfourseven, folks. Rarely EVER are they not in my care. If it wasn't for my super sweet mother-in-love offering to watch them sometimes once a week for a quick date night, I would never get that break. So maybe 3 hrs a week out of the 168 allotted am I not breathing the same atmosphere as they. That's draining. That's a recipe for a "don't touch me" attitude. And, believe me, I've spent many an hour there. But I realized a few years ago, that I must choose not to stay there. I choose to love my husband, I choose our marriage over the 15 diapers I change everyday and 7 loads of laundry I tried to fold, and 3 little people I had to educate, and the 3 meals plus snacks I had to prepare, and, of course, the 57372818 times I picked up toys today. Because I simply value my marriage over all of that. At the end of a sometimes very trying day, I make it a choice, and sometimes I very much fight my flesh making this choice, but I make a choice to fully love my precious husband. You can too.

your body isn't yours

When you became a Christ-follower, your body became the temple of the Holy God. It's really never been yours in the first place, considering God graciously allowed you to inhabit it when He created you. But in addition, marriage is the same in that you no longer belong to yourself, but you are him and he is you. Free access. Within loving boundaries. God reminds us in His word just how important sex is in marriage:

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I Cor.7:5

Hebrews 13:4

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

There will always be perfectly good reasons to abstain from sex in marriage: sickness, hospitalization, unavoidable distance, and after childbirth. But make sure that you never use sex as a playing card. Withholding sex as punishment or because you're simply "not feeling it" is wrong and selfish. There are unique and isolated situations amongst couples that I am not specifically speaking of, but in general terms, sex is not yours to withhold or play games with.

I encourage all of you mothers to rise up and make a choice to put your husband, your sex life, above the exhaustion, above the commitments, above the daily annoyances and tear downs life throws at you. Really seek God and His word about the beauty and richness of married sex. Ask Him for that lifeline to pull you out of that pit you may be swallowed up in. He's ready and He's able and He wants nothing more than for your marriage to be fruitful and filled with that "four letter word": sex.

Love, Alicia