We are working our way through the nine needs in every woman’s life, and this month we consider: Intimacy:
Of the 8 definitions in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, only one is explicitly sexual, although that is what immediately jumps into our minds at the term. Those who know me well know that I like the thought of closing the bedroom door and jumping into bed naked, but the word does have a much richer meaning.
Recently, at the ripe age of 65, my husband told me that when he was a teenager he sought to do heroic exploits to turn the attention of the girls, but he has come to realize that what women really want is just someone who will listen to them. Do I hear an Amen? (It takes them a while to get it—do I hear another Amen? Why do you think so many young women fall for older men?)
One definition reads: A close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
Another: The quality of affecting someone in a comfortable, friendly or personally pleasing way –the intimacy of the room was enhanced by the warm colors.
And yet another: Privacy conducive to sharing a secret.
I have had hospitality coordinators who thought their job was to provide plates, napkins, and silverware. Jackie recognizes it is far more because she warms up the place, doesn’t she? She creates an atmosphere that is relaxing and comfortable, turning a big room into a cozy, friendly place. And I pray that our discussion groups can provide you with safe relationships so that you feel like someone listens, someone cares, and no one will betray your confidences.
Listen, being a wife and mother is a struggle. We don’t always feel loving—or even like we give a flip—about our husbands and children. Sometimes they ignore us or hurt us. Sometimes we don’t feel we can handle the job that has been thrust upon us. At your stage in life, usually your husbands feel the protector-provider instinct dominate them as they build their careers. They no longer seek to woo you with attentiveness, they are seeking to put a roof over your head and send your kids to college. They are terribly afraid of being laid off and not making it to the next advancement. You, on the other hand, are trapped in the house with sick kids who make incessant demands, whine, and do anything but listen to you. Kids don’t care about you, they demand for their needs to be met—and you are the meter out of food, protection, entertainment, safety, and love in endless supply.
So MOPS seeks to meet that intimacy need. Here someone else listens, cares, and responds; your secrets, your frustrations, your failures are safe—what happens in MOPS stays in MOPS. WOW
Now, those more explicit parts of intimacy must be met at home—we can’t do that for you here! But, if you are not so needy that you provoke him, hopefully you will be empowered to create that warm atmosphere at home, and be more responsive and understanding of your husband’s needs. When I do the talk on sexual fulfillment, I remind women that Paul specifically tells us in I Corinthians 7: do not deny our husbands, our bodies belong to them. (Sorry, I know that does not meet 21st Century feminist dogma—and I do not have time to go into the much harder command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, laying His life down for it.) God promises to deliver us, husbands and wives, from temptation, if we meet one another’s needs. You will often have to take his love by faith, not feeling the flush of excitement, not basking in the wooing attentiveness we women want—after all, a toddler could barge in at any time! But usually, if you walk in forgiveness, choosing to love and understand, you will be rewarded with great joy—and maybe once in awhile you can sneak in a whole night for yourselves.
Maximize the opportunity you have at MOPS, open up and share your hearts—you are not so different from any one of us here except perhaps if you do not know the Most Intimate One Who will all your burdens daily bear. If you need a Daily Confidant Who will always listen, love, forgive and accept you, any member of the team would be happy to introduce you to Him, He is waiting for you to open the door.
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