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So this is where you must come to terms. A sexual reckoning, so to speak.
This is the point where you have to decide if you are all in when it comes to sex in your marriage.
Some people arrive there on day one, more often than not having heard and sought wise insights. From God. From other Christians with a positive view of sex. From solid Christian resources.
But most people?
Yeah, most of us don't arrive on day one of marriage being all in when it comes to sex.
So much easier to camp out in half-truths or outright lies about sex... that it's nothing more than duty. That it serves no purpose beyond baby-making. That it's mostly for the man. That it won't take any effort. Or that sexual pleasure -- mind-blowing sexual pleasure -- is wrong.
Now if you stood at the altar with a positive, healthy, godly and enthusiastic attitude about sex, that is reason to rejoice. You know that you know that you know -- sex is profound and good and holy and intricately woven into the fabric of a healthy marriage.
If that describes you, you have been all in since day one.
But if that doesn't describe you, then hear my heart.
It's not too late to chart a new course for sexual intimacy in your marriage. As long as you and your husband are still in this thing called marriage, then it is worth charting that new course.
It's worth figuring out what it will take to be all in.
I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear this, but being all in won't be easy, especially if you built your "normal" of sexual mediocrity over years.
It's human nature that we drift to the least common denominator and settle in there. Crawling out of an unhealthy normal may take more heart, resolve, commitment and tears than you have put into anything else. Ever.
But it is a worthy reckoning, this desire to be all in when it comes to sex in your marriage.
I don't think there is a blueprint that works for every married couple, but the below points likely would show up in any approach:
I don't know what this looks like for your marriage. But if sexual intimacy is not all it could be and you know the struggle could be lessened or eliminated, then you have to start by admitting there is a problem.
My advice? Admit it to yourself and God first, and then have a humble conversation with your spouse. A team approach is better than going at it alone.
I've been reading a book called The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry. It is based on Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. (NIV)
So the premise of the book is that our thought life does matter; always, but especially when we are trying to change something unhealthy in our life. What you think makes a difference.
We see this too in 2 Corinthians 10:5:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NIV)
Is believing change is possible a guarantee it will happen? No. BUT if you don't believe change is possible then it's a pretty sure guarantee that you will fail before you start.
An Olympic swimmer stands on the starting block believing he or she can win. That, though, doesn't guarantee the win, right? But it's doubtful there has ever been an Olympic gold medalist swimmer who stood on the starting block believing they were going to lose.
So you have to ask yourself, "Do I want my actions to align with belief or unbelief?"
If you want things to look better sexually in your marriage, you have to at least bank the odds in your favor and believe such growth is possible.
This could play itself out a million different ways.
It could mean you have to seek Christian resources and counseling to find healing from what has tormented your sexual intimacy, whether it be sexual abuse, promiscuity, infidelity or skewed thoughts about sex in marriage.
It may mean you need to seek physical help from a doctor if you have struggled with painful sex or low sex drive.
Or it may mean you need to embrace new ways of looking at sex.
If you are never one to initiate sex with your spouse, you could start initiating more. If you've never cared about your own orgasm, you could learn what it would take for you to climax and subsequently enjoy sex more.
Or it may mean you and your spouse need to show more affection while clothed. How we show affection while clothed will generally feeds into how we connect when we take our clothes off.
If you want to be all in with sex in your marriage, you have to do something differently.
There's no better time than now to figure that out. Because it's good to be all in with sex in your marriage -- vulnerably, transparently and tenderly, without reserve and without shame, full of eager anticipation.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.