By: Tim Sader
Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31)
Sammy and I had a day date at the beginning of the month and a whole week together later in June. One day that week we spent the day in downtown Charleston eating lunch and going to the museum. With more quality time together we were able to confront the difficult aspects of relationship and disability but we also learned that love is enough overcome our fears. In July there was no day date in Columbia but later in the month Sammy’s dad and Darlene had to go to Pennsylvania and she needed someone to stay with her. Again this was a great opportunity for us to be together in a month where there wasn’t any funding for a hotel. We got to Summerville a few hours after her dad left for the trip. We didn’t have much planned this time; we enjoy going out but sometimes it was nice to have time together alone inside the house. Sammy gets hot easily so in the July she would rather be cool at home than out somewhere getting overheated. We are funny because she hates the heat and I can’t stand being cold so one of us or the other is usually uncomfortable. Couples with this difference know it is no small hurdle to jump in a relationship. We have found ways to make inside work for us meaning we keep the temperature as high as she can handle and I use a space heater and a blanket. I am one of those people who is under a blanket in summer when it’s 100 degrees out because the A/C inside is cold. So yeah whenever I would visit I was always under my blanket so we could have July time inside. I don’t remember a lot about this trip except one day we had pizza and when no one was in the room her dog knocked it off the table and ate the rest of it. For entertainment we sat around watching our Dawsons Creek marathon while holding hands and sitting close to each other aka wheelchair cuddling. At night we got to lay close in bed for real cuddles a couple nights while I was there so that was nice. Falling asleep and night cuddles is our closest intimate time, often it is the best time of day for both of us. Looking back this trip seemed uneventful but we were wise to do life together and learning about each other was an important milestone in building our relationship.
I don’t know how to say this without saying it so I’m just going to go there. Sammy and I chose not to have sexual contact until we were married or very close to it. That being said sexual contact is very limited with both of us being disabled the way we are. Most people would say there is no real sex happening and they would mostly be right. Even without that our love for one another has been described as much deeper, genuine, inspiring and contagious. One time I heard author Josh McDowell speak about love and he said the world defines love as sex. As I have found out and will go as far as saying is that love has very little if nothing to do with sex. Sometimes we express our love for a spouse with sexual acts but all sex is not making love. One of the best things I have learned is that loving someone intimately is a choice not something that happens between the sheets. If sex is the only way a significant other shows their love I wonder if they truly love the other. McDowell went on to say that most people can tell you something about love but cannot define it. In the bible a hint to the definition is husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. If he loves his wife he also loves himself because no one hates their own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church (Ep. 5:28-29). We provide for ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually and relationally. We also cherish ourselves by protecting ourselves from what is harmful. Most simply McDowell said love can be defined in a few words, to provide and protect. To fulfill the law of God we love others like ourselves by providing for their needs and protecting them from harm (Gal. 5:14). By having July time inside we had the opportunity to see each other’s needs and what providing them looks like. Our physical needs are provided by others but still we protect by seeing those needs are properly met by them. In times like these we learned to provide and protect; we learned to love.
Lord I ask that we will be at home among the wise help us to heed their life giving instructions to shape our lives in a way that is pleasing to you. That being said help us not to define our love for others using crude acts that may or may not have anything to do with love. Help us to choose love because we want to love them like they are our own body. We ask that you would help us to properly provide and protect for everyone who our lives come into contact with. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16