In this chapter, Stormie tells a story about a man, Tom and his wife, Patti. Neither grew up in a home where affection was given to them and this was affecting the way they related with each other in marriage. Tom didn’t show Patti affection because of his upbringing, and Patti desperately needed affection because of her upbringing. The lack of affection from Tom was affecting Patti so much that she feared the issue would lead to divorce.
“Finally, Patti’s misery forced her to take the problem to her prayer partners. They diligently covered it in prayer every week and as they prayed, God worked on Patti. He spoke to her about obeying Him in the area of eating right and getting proper exercise – an area where she had always been in rebellion. When she totally submitted to God regarding this and started doing the things He had been telling her to do, she began to feel better about herself and realized that she deserved to be treated affectionately by her husband. She didn’t have to feel guilty about wanting affection because the Lord wanted that for her too.” (The Power of A Praying Wife, Pages 69, 70)
Although my story isn’t just like Patti’s, I’ve experienced a lack of affection from my husband at times. It also affected me so much that I did take it to the Lord in prayer and He showed me some things about myself that I wasn’t expecting. One thing He showed me was that I was preventing my husband from being affectionate. My husband would try to be affectionate, but I would be so self conscious about my body that anytime his hands ran over a “trouble spot” I would retreat. He could feel me tense up and eventually give up. I would be so upset because I truly wanted the affection from him, I just didn’t know how to get past the discomfort of him possibly thinking I was fat. Another thing the Lord showed me was that I needed to start eating right and exercising. This all happened after I gave birth to my son. My husband was already feeling left out and then I would shy away from his affection thinking he wanted more than I could give at the time. As I started eating better and walking for exercise, I started feeling better about myself and welcomed his affection more. My body didn’t change all that much for the first few months, but my attitude and mindset did. As I welcomed his affection, he became more affectionate. He didn’t feel so left out, and because I was able to steer the affection to a more sexual nature when my body was ready, my husband was a very happy man. His affection didn’t need to always lead to sex and both of us got what we ultimately longed for and needed.
Fast forward a year and a half. I have lost about 40 pounds and I feel so much better about my body that I welcome his affection – except when I’m exhausted from taking care of our toddler all day – which is every day! My husband gets home late from work and some days we just kind of say hello like we are room mates. We are working on this. He knows that at the end of a hard day I need affection, but sometimes I’m in too much pain to receive it. My husband has constantly studied me and knows how to hold me to give me affection without causing more pain. I am working on receiving his affection even though it might cause me pain. The Lord is always at work in our marriage and I am so thankful! It is amazing how much better I feel when my husband is affectionate. I know he has really long days too and he just wants to relax, but I will continue to pray that his affection is continually poured out on me. I am so glad the Lord cares about things like this!