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Can you imagine Jesus as a sex therapist? Some of you are blushing right now.
Just the thought of sitting across from Jesus, spilling out your deepest frustrations and insecurities about what's going on (or not going on) in your sexual intimacy is almost overwhelming.
It is a crazy picture, isn't it? You'd be squirming on the couch, fidgeting with the Diet Coke He offered you at the start of the session. He'd be wearing a sweater vest. Maybe even taking notes with a pen His Father gave Him.
Jesus as a sex therapist. We can't quite wrap our arms around that.
Here's the deal, though. He already knows. The Savior is well acquainted with what troubles your heart. He knows what's going on beneath your sheets... or in your kitchen as you and your husband argue about sex.
Jesus knows when you struggle with climaxing. He knows that physical and emotional nakedness with the man you married is not your idea of sanctuary. The pain, rejection and disappointment that has saturated your marriage bed? Yeah, He has seen it. He sees every look. Hears every careless word. Senses the confusion that plagues you and isolates you.
Oh, He sees the ecstasy too -- the sexual moments that are so intense you are reminded once again what is good and holy and pure about being one flesh. But my guess is that for many of you reading this, that kind of experience feels distant or unlikely in your marriage.
Jesus as a sex therapist.
Is it difficult for you to grasp that Jesus could understand (or be interested in) your sexual intimacy? After all, Jesus didn't have sex.
Think for a moment, though, how we wall Him off from this aspect of our life -- and simultaneously invite him into other painful experiences that He never would have personally faced either.
Jesus never gave birth to a stillborn, but countless parents who have endured such tragedy have leaned on the Savior. Jesus never was abused as a spouse, but countless women who live within such circumstances have cried out to Him in those terrifying moments.
Jesus never was a husband who journeyed through a divorce, yet at the foot of the cross many of us who have been divorced have found a healing balm for our deep wounds. Jesus never had a child failing her senior year of high school and announcing one evening she is pregnant. Yet how many parents have stood in that place and realized with frightening clarity that they had nowhere to go with their fear and disappointment -- except to the Savior.
Though it may stretch your heart and mind, can you begin to invite Jesus into your sexual intimacy? Stop seeing him as distant or incapable of relating, because trust me -- He hungers for you to invite him into every crevice of your life.
For all our idealistic ponderings that perfect marriages exist out there somewhere, the truth is that each marriage has its own challenges, heartaches and misunderstandings. What is universal is that we never stop learning how to be married.
My beloved and I recently celebrated 8 years together, and we still stumble around at times, moving in the direction of what it means to be married. We succeed. We fail. We get back up. We get annoyed. We get happy. We find that being married affords us endless opportunities to reflect the love of Christ -- and the endurance of Christ. Honestly, I'm not always thrilled about those endless opportunities, but I'd be lying to you if I said they didn't exist.
Can Jesus make you a better lover? Well, He can't make you, per se, seeing how He is all gung ho about that free will concept. If we allow Him, though, He is ready to reveal to us what it's going to take to be a better lover.
Three Ways Jesus Makes You a Better Lover
1. He reminds you that now is as good a time as ever to start turning the tide around.
Do you have longstanding patterns in your marriage of denying your husband sex? Do you rarely or never express sexual desire for him?
Have you with your tone and actions conveyed to him that sexual intimacy is nothing more than a chore on your list? Is your body always off limits to him
Well, take heart! Good news! Jesus says that now is the time to take some baby steps to changing those patterns. Today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not when your anniversary rolls around. Today.
Don't know where to start? How about a heart-to-heart conversation with the man you married. There are also numerous Christian resources that address everything imaginable when it comes to sex, whether it be overcoming a painful past or enjoying less inhibition in your sexuality.
2. He reminds you that what matters most in life takes effort -- but it's worth it.
Do you think a relationship with Jesus is easy? I don't. His love is everlasting, but a journey of faith is wrought with challenges. Even Paul, who had steadfast devotion to the Lord, admitted to what we experience as well -- "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15-16)
But what's on the other side of all that wrestling? Rich abiding relationship. Relationship with Christ and relationship with our spouse -- both call us to the deepest core of what true relationship requires of us.
If you want a marriage -- and a sexual relationship within that marriage -- that is rich, you will have to fight for it. A lot of enemies are lining up as your adversaries -- Satan, your calendar, your dysfunctional extended family, your stress, your distractions, your to-do list, and even your children to a degree, etc.
Choose this day that your relationship with your husband is worth what it will take to nurture sexual intimacy. It is not an easy choice. But there is rich potential for relationship on the other side of that choice. Don't miss it.
3. He reminds you that you can only be accountable for your own actions.
Now, some of you hearing that are cringing because you know some of your actions with regard to sex in your marriage have been less than honoring. Don't go the shame route and get stuck there, but rather begin to be more loving, more intentional and more sexually available to the man you married.
If you have been trying to nurture sexual intimacy and your husband is the one doling out rejection and hurtfulness, then allow Jesus to console you in that lonely place. You can't control your husband, because he is accountable for his own actions. You can, though, find comfort from Christ. Lean into the Lord's Word, find safe Christian female confidantes, and ask the Lord to reveal to you the best way to navigate within your marriage.
Lastly, if you are a wife who has always seen the value of sexual intimacy -- and have fiercely protected this tender time with your husband -- just keep doing what you're doing.
Jesus as a sex therapist. I know it's a crazy thought, but what if such an image is spot on?
Want to read more posts along these lines? Here are a few that stood out to me. Check out Paul Byerly's "He is Risen! And Why I Think That Matters to Your Marriage" and Kate Aldrich's post "Wife = Picture of Church?"
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage Blog.