We sat down at our usual spot in KM. It was a tiny room, dusky, with gaudy pictures on the wall, but well, we loved their freshly squeezed juice.
KM used to be place in Campus where meals were abit affordable for students who were trying to save up on any penny. He ordered passion juice and I got mango juice.
However gloomy and drab the place was, we made peace with everything. We had a focus. To talk, and share our naked souls.
Having conversations with Johnny always left me struck in awe. We could talk about the world, politics, Campus life, view of life, marriage, our walk of salvation, the Word, why flies are so dirty, why snails always leave a train of mucus when gliding their way. . .why our primary school teachers weren’t permitting us to go pee sometimes. . . anything.
We had to develop the art of listening, not simply talking. Communicating. Listening.
The art of listening and communicating is crucial for any marriage because one not only listens with the ears, but with every part of your being. The whole self.
Johnny always says that he studies my movements around the house. I definitely communicate to him. Verbally or non-verbally.
A touch, a rub, a wink, a smile, a hug, a warm welcome, an indolent walk, an insolent face, a weary look, all communicate something to your spouse.
Let me break this down,
We listen with our eyes as much as they are made to see. Paying attention is what I would call it. You should always maintain eye contact as you talk and listen to each other.
We listen with our expressions especially facial expressions. If I squint, or look distracted, probably raise my brow on every point made, am passing a message too. A message that probably insinuates that one is very uncomfortable with that conversation, bored or disinterested.
We listen with our minds by asking open ended questions. Questions that will spark conversations, thought provoking conversations, mind stimulating conversations. Not just talking about Naija movies or Kum Kum Bhagya [the program where Indians talk Kikuyu fluently!]
We communicate and listen with our hearts by reading the white spaces between the blue margins. See, every part of you communicates something to your spouse.
It means being active and present in all, taking it all in, being percipient, but more so, being empathetic, listening beyond the words spoken. It involves being perceptive to their hurts, their fears, their struggles, their losses, their victories, the gruesome, the embrassing, anything that they would wish to remain unearthed or untouched.
Making your marriage bed blossom requires that you communicate your SEXpections too. Yes it’s very biblical! It’s not being crass. Indeed we encourage those who aren’t yet married to communicate their view on SEX and marriage before bonding yourselves. You will be left dismayed sometimes.
See, we carry different SEXpections based on our backgrounds, upbringing and exposure. For some, talking about SEX is taboo. The tones should be hush hush in the dark crannies of our homes. Yet, this is the sin that easily entangles us, moving our hearts away from God, defiling our bodies and emotionally scathing us.
If you are not married, learn the art of listening now. Stock up that virtue for future giving. The relationship isn’t about you, but gaining clarity for the journey you are about to charter together.
If you are married, keep the conduit of communication unclogged. Talk about your SEXpections. Talk about your insecurities and what can make you hide your scars and flaws. Begin.
The Shunammite woman was definitely insecure about her body, her face and she termed herself as an ordinary plain girl who could not be chosen by her beloved.
Look at Song of Solomon 2:1. She says, I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
These were very ordinary flowers. Too ordinary for anyone’s awe. Flowers that only bloomed in the wild. For her to term herself as “just ordinary, normal, standard”, she was insecure about her body, and voiced it out. Look at what she says in Song of Solomon 1:4-6. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect.
But her beloved assures her of his undying commitment.
Look at what he says, Song of Solomon 2:2. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women. How amazingly reassuring. Everything blooms in her as love whispers! He COMMUNICATED his commitment to her and well, she was no ordinary girl to her. He says, “as a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women!- Song of Solomon 2:2.
She was a lily amongst the eyesore thickets. No woman mattered to him. No woman compared to her!
The mere thought of this turns my cheeks rosy!
Then she says, in Song of Solomon 2:3,5 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.Strengthen me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am weak with love.
How about that! I love their initmate conversation. I love how disrobed they are. Am sure they had one passionate night. How could they not after such a stripped down connection?
Wouldn’t you want those words to freely flow out of your husband’s mouth. Husband, wouldn’t you want a wife who is excited to surrender to you? Always looking forward to passionate nights with you?
The subsequent verse indeed talks about her SEXpections. “I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.”
In other words, I can’t wait to make our marriage bed smoking hot! Make love till dawn! -Song of Solomon 2:17. Such God breathed words!
Every couple needs to be excited over their communication. It should be wholesome. Not patched. Not hidden and certainly not full of ambiguity.
Wives, husbands are not mind-readers. You cannot work with “he needs to know.” They are human too. They get jaded, fatigued, stressed. So let’s cut them some slack here. We have a part to play too! SEXpections should be candid, raw, unfiltered, and unmasked.
Don’t assume that you know what SEX means in marriage. Don’t assume that you are satisfying each other. Don’t carry the baggage of your past to your marriage bed. Don’t carry the fear of the future to your marriage bed. Don’t carry the issues you have now to your marriage bed. Don’t carry the thought of “performance” to your marriage bed, instead, carry the thought of servitude and a mutual joyous giving.
Communicate what you would love to see in your marriage bed. Take each other’s suggestions positively. After all, aren’t you tending to your vineyard?
Listen and communicate!