Don’t know about you, but Liz Sanchez’ December 2010 post, “Take The Pretty Nightie Challenge,” may be the most talked about MomLife Today post in the Gresh house. Take it from a woman whose husband accuses her of being a hoodie-aholic (but only at bedtime), it’s a good thing to consider the concept of putting on something pretty now and then despite the fact that you’re sure you’ll freeze to death. (I took Liz’s challenge and wore something pretty to bed for a month and I did not freeze to death. I am, in fact, still alive!) The Pretty Nightie Challenge certainly ignited a few confessional conversations amongst me and my girlfriends. I might have even bought and shipped a somewhat pretty nightie to one of my fellow MomLife Today bloggers. (She shall remain nameless.)

Mind if I take this one step deeper, girls? I do have to warn you fellow hoodie-aholics that I just might step on those fuzzy sock clad toes of yours if you dare to keep reading!

Let’s head off to the Bible’s steamiest book, Song of Solomon. We’ll head to chapter 7 verse 10, where the girl in the love story declares: “I belong to my lover.” What a giving of self. She expresses a submission that flies in the face of today’s feminist empowered womanhood. God’s treatise on the gift of sexuality cries out for a submission to giving yourself away. The Apostle Paul takes it a step further in I Corinthians:

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.

1 Corinthians 7:3-6

Paul writes to the church encouraging those who are married to mutually give themselves to each other physically. Don’t hold anything back. Your body is not your own. It belongs to him (as his belongs to you).

So, now… let’s talk about those nights when you’re “too tired,” “have a headache,” “still  mad about yesterday”, or “just don’t feel like it.” I just have to say that if those are not the drastic exceptions, you’re throwing this good man’s advice out the door! I don’t see a good reason to let your flesh be in control of how often, when, and where you give yourself to your husband. Of course, I’m not suggesting you submit to abusive or controlling sexual pressure, I’m talking about those times when your husband warmly moves in for romance and you cut him off cold because you just don’t feel like it.

Here’s the deal: marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. We should be striving to display to a lost world the kind of compassion and giving of ourselves that Christ displayed and continues to display to us every day. In the light, I’d like to suggest that while the mark of intimacy in marriage is a physical giving away of yourself, the mark of our intimacy with Christ is prayer. Follow me here. I have a point. Sometimes we pray because it just spontaneously spills out of us. Gratitude. Neediness. Praise. Joyful love. But there are times when I pray because if I do not the love I have for Christ will run dry, and so I muster up the discipline to approach him. Are you following me? Of course there will be times in marriage that you’ll be unable to keep your hands off your man and you both erupt into a passionate exchange of giving yourself to each other. But other times…come on, this is good stuff girls…you must discipline yourself to give yourself because if you do not your love will run dry.

Why not try a little No Headache Challenge. Maybe for a week. Maybe for a month. Hey, you might like the results and go for a year!