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Do you feel insecure or awkward when you and your husband make love, wondering if you are "doing it right" or if he is enjoying it?
You're not alone in those feelings.
Many Christian women strive for modesty and appropriateness in the way they dress, speak and carry themselves in the presence of other people.
And while those modesty standards serve us well in public and even in our gatherings with friends, modesty can become our stumbling block behind our closed bedroom door.
Some wives confide in me that they struggle getting past the idea that if they become more sexually confident in giving and receiving sexual pleasure in their marriage bed, they are somehow sinning (or, at the minimum, they are "disappointing" God rather than worshipping Him).
Not surprisingly, a common frustration among husbands is that their wife is not more enthusiastic about sex.
He longs for a wife who will seduce him, desire him and express vividly with her body and her words that she genuinely enjoys sex with him.
Those two points of view -- one anchored in sexual inhibition and one hungry for sexual adventure -- tend to leave a husband and wife wrestling alone, on opposite sides of the bed, with confusion and rejection.
Sexual inhibition is not helping your marriage; it may even be causing ache and despondency in something that should be profoundly tender and sensual.
If you have never let your husband undress you before sex, this is a really good place to start (even though I imagine it is causing you trepidation just thinking about it).
Likewise, if you have never undressed your husband, consider what it would mean to him if you did.
Here's why undressing each other is a boost to sexual confidence and arousal: It is a physical way to live out the spiritual reality that your bodies are no longer just your own.
It allows you to place trust in each other and to loosen control on something that we typically handle ourselves -- taking off our clothes.
Another reason undressing each other starts to free your sexual inhibitions is it requires you to touch each other's bodies in areas you may not typically touch.
Consider the way your fingernails lightly graze his navel when you unsnap his jeans.
Linger awhile on the feel of his hand on your back when he unhooks your bra.
Though undressing each other may seem awkward at first, you likely will find that it endears you to each other and heightens your sense of closeness. It's great foreplay, and sadly, foreplay is virtually non-existent in so many marriages.
For more encouragement, check out this post on getting comfortable in your own skin.
Light in the room?! When we're having sex?!
If you as a wife go to great lengths to shield your husband from seeing your body -- your post-baby midriff, your less-than-firm calves, your calloused feet, your varicose veins -- then this advice of "light on in the room" seems so counter-intuitive, doesn't it?
Consider, though, that when you make "complete darkness" a non-negotiable for having sex, you rob your husband of something that likely is one of his primary arousal triggers -- visual stimulation.
You don't have to turn on the overhead light. Instead, light some candles or turn on a lamp on the nightstand or turn on the closet light and leave the closet door partially open.
Relax, slow down and let him see your body. When you do this, you give him the opportunity to affirm you. And you give him the opportunity to partake of something that no other man gets to see -- your naked body.
What in the world does being a good Christian witness have to do with being uninhibited sexually?
A lot, if you ask me. I know. No one asks me these things, but seriously… if they did… here is what I would say...
If you are concerned with maintaining a good Christian witness outside your home, you would be wise to first be one inside your home, including sexually with your husband.
Pour your heart into understanding what God says about sex as much as you pour your heart into what He says about hospitality and loving thy neighbor and keeping the commandments.
God is the author of marriage and sex and orgasm and all one-fleshy things that show up in the covenant of marriage.
Your Christian witness has a lot to do with your willingness to fully engage sexually with your husband. You may find some more insights at this post on 5 Ways to Sexually Please Your Husband (it's not just about his sexual pleasure, by the way).
Assumption is a lousy game plan if you want mutually-enjoyable sex. A better approach? Tell and show each other what feels good sexually.
Nearly all phenomenal sexual experiences between a husband and wife come within the scrumptiously intimate reality of clear communication. Instead of being hesitant to give and receive feedback about what is working between the two of you sexually, you should run toward it with abandon.
If sexual inhibitions are chipping away at the sexual intimacy you and your husband could be having, why not start to right the ship on that?
Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.