A couple of weeks ago, I began blogging about sex , a topic too often shunned until marriage then awkwardly discussed afterwards. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so as much of what I say is foundational to what I share below. I discuss how and why I believe the body of Christ has failed miserably in glorifying sex as much as it condemns it. It is my firm belief that if we would appropriately and enthusiastically train our children on the beauty of sex ordained by God in marriage MORE THAN we condemn it before (both must be taught), we would see a shift in current marriages as related to intimacy on all levels and a shift in future marriages in terms of purity, purpose, and preparation…
… yes. Preparation because there will be speed bumps along the way. In particular, for the wives and mothers.*This post is addressing mainly women, but men are encouraged to read it as well. It may even bring insight to some things now or in the future 🙂
As many married people know, our sexual drive (women, typically) shifts with significant changes in our lives from newlywed days to years down the line. Family concerns. Job changes. Physical health changes. One great change that affects it is children. I love my kids to life and know they are a blessing from God. Yet, they naturally changed the chemical make-up of my body and require much more energy to keep up with then I initially understood. From laundry to homeschool to long drives to trying to craft my art to maintaining a decently clean home, I have found myself exhausted. Drained. So drained that my bed was beginning to be seen primarily as my place for solace. Rest. A place where I didn’t have to do something else for someone else. A “please just let me sleep” zone. I found myself getting HYPE at the mere thought of climbing into bed, not to entertain or stir any sexual activity up for DAYS at a time. Now, here me out – I know sex is not needed EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. What I’m saying is that it was definitely NOT on my radar as much as it probably should have been simply because I was ____. Add that to not eating foods that stimulate or energize you ON TOP of body image struggles post-children and WHAM! I had more reason than ever to place bright yellow, “Do Not Enter” tape on my side of the bed and all around my body. It wasn’t that I didn’t like being intimate with my husband – I was just too weary to get into it and too self-conscious to embrace it.
However, as a woman who loves Jesus, the sin of selfishness can’t last but for so long before conviction comes (or chaos). Why was this such an issue? Why was I disengaged? These were my questions in prayer to God, me asking and seeking and knocking. And of course, He came through…hard. God began to show me different times where I placed my daily schedule with the kids over time spent intimately with Him AND my husband. I’m here to share my dirty laundry in hopes maybe you can relate and find clarity and encouragement from it all.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
First, God reminded me of His rightfully jealous love for my affections and how I had de-prioritized Him. I had slowly allowed tasks to dictate our time together. Then, when things got overwhelming, I found myself looking up from the emotional and spiritual chaos, asking for help with everything, including marital intimacy. He made it, so why not ask for help with it? In His loving mercy and grace, He assisted because with all my heart, I wanted to please Him and the man He blessed me to marry. But yeeaah…I probably should’ve started with putting God back in His rightful place FIRST then maybe my husband would’ve been spared the toils of my shenanigans.
Okay. Now that THAT’S out of the way…
“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-9
For many wives with kids, we fail to realize our children’s dependence on us can push our “independent” husband away. Yes, he can function well on his own without needing to be cleaned, fed, helped with homework or taken to special events. Despite them being independent in ability, our husbands are still VERY MUCH dependent on us in the area of intimacy (and other things). If we neglect our husband by serving our children or even other things more (careers, relatives, friends, etc), how can they “hold fast” to us, thus becoming one??
Here’s the deal: our little boys will become men and leave home. Yours too. They will grow out of needing us for baths to needing us for single and/or marital life advice outside of our homes. Your children and mine will grow up and go on to serve (prayerfully) God-loving wives and husbands of their own. But who will have ALWAYS been there and continue to be there with us when those children leave? Our husband. Our boo thang. Our covenantal baby daddy 🙂 It would be tragic, as is the case for many today, for our children or other people or things to be the glue that holds our marriage together and not the God who called husbands and wives to be one in relationship above all other earthly relationships.
The last thing I was lovingly reminded of was just annoying but humbling. Like, “God… did You HAVE to bring this back to me now??”
“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” I Corinthians 7:5
It seems the only excuse we have for delayed, sexual gratification comes 1) after BOTH the husband and wife have agreed and 2) for the purpose of PRAYER. So, wait a minute… I can’t just “shut it down” for a few days… or week because I’m so busy and exhausted? We gotta AGREE on these days I’m “taking off”?? The Bible is ruthless sometimes… but considering the latter portion of that verse, I see why. Sex or the lack thereof in marriage is such a powerful, spiritual force. Even when medical or natural circumstances occur, I know and believe whole-heartedly God’s grace is sufficient, hence prayer needing to be made even more for each other during those times physically apart.
This leads me to say that, in all of our daily scheduling, I believe we need to “prepare” our days (when feasible) in a way that makes us conducive for sexual intimacy later. Like I said, this is not with the notion of something sexual or sex everyday, but just engagement more often. It may look like pushing things until another day or making sure to eat well so you’re energized later. It may be dusting off (lol!) that scandalous lingerie set or doing a little something that makes you feel good about your body. And even if everything still doesn’t go quite as desired, I pray (for you and myself!) to at least have the confidence to GIVE WHAT WE HAVE! Work with what you have, even if its some cut off short or just the last strength in your body, to both of your advantages. If the woman with the two mites was able to give out of her lack and catch Jesus’ eyes, I’m believing God will look down and bless our husband with the same eyes and sense of adoration of the “little” we may feel we have to give in intimacy.
As for my husband and I, we are in a new season in our lives. It’s sweet, but the struggle can be ever so real and still come sometimes. Yet, I’m so grateful for the mercy and grace of God to be able to grow in this area and encourage others. And trust… I’m still taking notes from the older women (Titus 2!). For something practical, I do want to encourage you to make an “intimacy goal” this month or this year if this an area in need of improvement. Commit to yield your body more often not just to your husband, but to God. You’ll be surprised at the various outcomes of doing so. Enjoy sex in your marriage and, most importantly, enjoy pleasing God which includes pleasing your husband. Your body was designed by God to glorify Him and be a blessing to your husband. A body God designed for your husband to find pleasure in. And here’s a tip: when you’re halfway not feeling it but still have a heart to yield, I have quickly learned that when you whisper a quick prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to help you explicitly in the sex department at that moment, HE DOES. God always answers… that’s IF you are willing to ask.
If husbands and wives in the body of Christ can get a handle now on prioritizing intimacy from a Biblical viewpoint with the Holy Spirit and prayer, especially sexual intimacy, I believe things can radically change as it relates to the family structure, restoration of Biblical principles and so much more. If not, we are already seeing our failure in silencing the beauty of this gift. And neither you nor I can afford for misinterpretations, frustrations or disdain of sex in marriage to continue to occur, especially not with the arrows we need to aim towards Jesus Christ in our present times.
So… jump on it! 😉
*Sidenote: If there is a history of sex before marriage, homosexual activity, sexual abuse or trafficking, promiscuity, molestation, pornography, etc., please understand that there is healing individually that must take place, best under Biblical counseling and shepherding of a pastor along with accountability with brothers and/or sisters of the Jesus-faith you trust. Sex in marriage will NOT absolve the affects these things have in your life; it may often amplify the reality that help is needed. I highly encourage you, 1) if you’re not a believer, to seek God now while He may be found. Although the sin nature of man has always existed, it is NOT greater than the blood-stained love, mercy and forgiveness of God. A God who is not waiting for you to be perfect and get yourself together, but simply desires your confession of faith from your mouth and in your heart that He is Lord, or 2) if you are a believer, first pray then seek counsel at the church you attend. They may recommend you to someone within the ministry or someone/organization elsewhere (every church is different). If in dire need at this moment, you can call Focus on the Family at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).