“I’m married and haven’t had sex in two years,” a person recently shared with stress and disappointment in his/her voice (names and gender not mentioned for privacy). “I don’t know how it got this bad and I’ve been sleeping in another room for quite some time now. My spouse says that he/she needs ‘time’ to sort things out and while I’ve given her/him a lot of time out of respect, I’m still treated terribly and I want to address the situation about how I’m treated and our intimacy problem, but I’m afraid to. I’m also feeling tempted sometimes by other people in my life who are around me at the gym and where I work, who are very nice and are giving me attention that I’m not getting at home and I’m afraid I might cave to the temptation and make a bigger mess.”
What is this person and many others we have talked to really afraid of? Rejection.
Some psychologists would tell you that fear of rejection is rooted in low self-esteem, and Julie and I would tell you that it is rooted in a low ‘God-esteem.’ To esteem God is “to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration”
When we have a low view of God and/or are ignorant of His nature and promises, or do not believe His promises are for us personally we will fear rejection from people.
We will avoid hard conversations because they are hard, and because it will require strength and courage to face the problem and the people or person that the problem is with. In the situation above there are 2 fears that this person is struggling with:
Fear of rejection…what if his/her spouse says ‘no’ to any intimacy and does not want to work on the marriage? What will that mean? As humans we get to choose what that means. Fearful vs. faith-filled people will define the meaning of rejection in very different terms. How do you define rejection when it happens to you? What meaning do you give when you feel rejected?
Fear of succumbing to temptation…what if eventually I can no longer stay strong and I ‘cave’ to the temptation of other ‘offers’ for love, attention and intimacy?
The first fear is based on this person’s belief that another human can determine his/her value instead of believing God that his/her worth is found in Him, not in the actions or opinions of others.
While the fact that being sexually deprived in a marriage does put you at risk for temptation to arise (see 1 Corinthians 7:5), the fear for this person is that he/she will eventually not be strong enough to continue to ward off sexual temptation which opposes the promise of God in 1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP that says: “No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].”
As Julie and I have mentored people we have discovered that many believers are believing God will be true to His promises for others, but they struggle to believe that He will be true to His promises for them personally. So if that is you today, perhaps this verse will be a great reminder that:
“He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 AMP
Do your words and ‘stories’ you have told yourself reflect the truth in God’s Word above?
We encourage you to ask God to help you with your unbelief. He desires for us all to possess and exhibit great faith in Him. Ask the tough questions, start the hard conversation and believe God to overcome the fear that is keeping you from transforming your life and relationships. What are you waiting for?
If this post resonated with you and if you would like a free 20-min. consult with Julie and I to receive personalized tips on how to ask tough questions, or start the hard conversation and overcome your own fear, worry or anxiety click here.
Fearless in Him,