Marital Celibacy...What?

No, I am not referring to monogamy. That should be a given in marriage. However, something that I just discovered in the past year delves even deeper into the sacred covenant. Last year, I was going through a time of intense dialogue with God concerning some of His references to women in the Bible. These same things had come up in some of my conversations with other women in the church, and I realized that I was not the only one who was having to gloss over these touchy topics when considering my relationship with my Father. I mean, what's with only counting the men at the fish feeds, or telling the women we need to keep quiet in church? What about this submission business? Remember all those references to women being unclean? That time of the month rolls around and suddenly we are disgusting creatures, childbirth even places us in that category. What's up with that? I believe that God loves me but does he somehow think I'm less just because I'm a girl? All my being screamed no, and yet I couldn't back up my belief with anything solid. With these questions rolling around in my brain I embarked on a journey that led me to discover the Jewish practice of mikvah. It intrigued me to learn that Jewish women don't look at things quite the same way that I do. For them, their "time of uncleanness" is actually a special gift given to them each month when their focus can be solely on themselves and their God. That's sounds really sketchy, but it turns out that the command God gave to women concerning this time was that all relations between a husband and a wife were to be stopped. No touching, no sleeping in the same room, some even went so far as to not sit on the same couch. The purpose of this time was actually to allow for a time of rest in the physical relationship between a husband and a wife. God is a God of Sabbath, rest, for everything. So during this time a woman is considered unclean, not because God is saying that she is dirty, but she is off limits to her husband. I don't know about you but that sounds kinda better than just plain unclean. It means my God actually thinks I'm special enough to set aside a time that I don't have to feel guilty about saying no if you know what I mean. No fake headaches here, just a break, and hubby and I get to work on our verbal communication skills. Wow, I think I like that.


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