It was year 3 of our marriage. Things were rough for us then. We had yet to know what enjoyable sex was. I experienced pain every time we tried. This just amplified every single area of marriage.
My husband and I were both Christians, we both wanted to serve God together, and we both had different expectations for marriage.
Our first 3 years had taken a toll on us. Unmet expectations fueled a disdainful attitude toward God. We were miserable and our relationship was only hanging on by a thread.
One day my husband invited me to join him at a Bible study group specifically for married couples. My heart resisted and my response was a quick, “No!”
I didn’t want to be embarrassed by our lack of love. Whatever we did have motivating us to marry was waning at this point. I didn’t want people to see into our relationship and I didn’t want them to see the pain. I didn’t want them to see our weaknesses or our sin.
I didn’t want to go with him.
A few weeks went by and he asked me again.
This time I was slower to respond. I knew he was asking because he did love me and he hoped this would in some way help us.
I felt that if I said no to my husband this time it would be as if I was saying an ultimate no, eventually leading to divorce. It would have shown my husband that I was done trying.
This was a heavy decision for my heart.
I decided to say yes. I was terrified of what saying yes meant. But I was more terrified of what a no meant. I desperately hoped that we would make it.
Little did I know how this one word would be a catalyst for change in my marriage.
This one word was and will forever be important.
Regardless of my anger and frustration with God at the time, and regardless of separating myself from God by distancing myself…His love for me never failed. God continued to love me and pursue me. He is the one who was inviting my husband and I to this Bible study. He is the one who prompted my heart to consider the weight of my choices and their repercussions.
I said yes in obedience to what God was trying to do in us. This was a first step in the right direction and probably the most important step leading us to finding healing.
I realized in that moment that my little choices of saying no to my husband were adding up to a future no that would ultimately end our relationship. The yes’ and no’s I establish today will the direction of where we go in the future.
I saw the power of my yes and no. I also experienced the direction of my heart shift when I decided to say yes.
My heart turned inside…toward my husband and toward God.
In order to embrace intimacy we must turn and face those we love. We must confront our fears. We must be willing to say yes to being known. We must say yes to take the steps necessary to find healing and reconciliation.
So, I said yes.
It wasn’t easy. Even in the first few seconds of stepping into that marriage Bible study it was uncomfortable.
But looking back from where we are now, I am so proud of myself for having the courage, the guts, the love to say yes!
It was saying yes in that moment that led us on a journey that transformed our marriage from dangerously close to divorce to extraordinary!
I urge you to evaluate your life and marriage, and see if God and your husband are inviting you to embrace intimacy…are you willing to say the word that will bring the change you desire? Are you willing to say yes?