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A husband and wife rarely have sex alone. That's a weird way to say it. Let me try again.
When a husband and wife make love, they bring others with them. Hmmm. Still not right. Let me try again.
When you and your husband have sex, who and what influences your thoughts about that experience?
Now we're getting closer.
Whether positive, negative, indifferent or a combination thereof, those notions likely played a ginormous role in where your marriage headed sexually.
I'm guessing if you take a moment and devote some serious attention to that last sentence, you may have a few "aha" revelations going off in your head. You may or may not like those revelations, but they are there nonetheless, right?
Maybe it was the complaints of your married girlfriends annoyed by their husbands' countless attempts to initiate sex. Or it was stuff you saw strewn across society's landscape -- the whispers and shouts of pop culture, magazine covers, and mainstream erotica that didn't leave too many Gray areas.
Possibly there also were influences gleaming with healthy truths. Wisdom from a Christian friend who raved about how much she enjoyed sex. Blogs, websites, books and marriage conference speakers that echoed God's design of nurtured sexual intimacy.
I knew a woman once whose mother never spoke positively about sex. NE-VER. Mom even told this woman that sex was gross, nothing more than mere duty, a requirement of marriage for the man's sake.
No big surprise that it didn't take long in the woman's marriage for sex to look eerily similar to what mom had described.
I also know a woman who as she was approaching her wedding day, was fortunate enough to have Christian sisters-in-law who gave her good and godly insights on the incredible benefits of nurtured sexual intimacy. She (and her husband) benefitted from these intentional positive voices.
Every husband and wife arrives at the marriage bed with
some many preconceived notions about sex. Even people who have been incredibly sheltered arrive with at least enough understanding of the basic mechanics of sex to have had their honest curiosity stirred.
If you headed into marriage with a positive perception of sex and a mature and eager desire to nurture it and appreciate what it meant to the health of your marriage, THEN you and your beloved are likely reaping the benefits of that.
Brutal and terrifying and exhausting to undo that messy web, isn't it?
BUT necessary at the same time. I've long said that whatever direction we walk in long enough becomes our normal. If you cling to unhealthy and damaging perceptions about sex and if you refuse to heal from past sexual hurts, they will consistently taint your sexual experience. They will fuel sexual struggles in your marriage bed.
They may even convince you that healthy and enjoyable sexual intimacy is impossible for you.
Who and what is in bed with you and your husband? Not literally, of course, but by this point you get what I'm getting at, right?
If whatever is in bed with you -- all those perceptions and input from the past -- is helping you experience incredible oneness and sexual intimacy as God designed it, that is reason to celebrate. Maybe people in your life spoke positively of sex or maybe you on your own did the hard work to right the wrong messages that settled in, but the reality is that you savor sex with the person you married.
If that describes you, then I implore you to be a positive voice in someone else's life. As a woman, come along side a young sister in Christ who is on the brink of marriage and plant some seeds of truth. Tell her that it is worth it to nurture sex, study God's Word on it, and not lose sight of how pleasurable it can be.
They aren't making things better for you and your spouse. Debunking them means you will indeed have to debunk them. You'll have to figure out what is untrue about them so that you can replace them with God's healthy sexual truths.
Far be it from me to imply that's going to be easy, especially if those negative perceptions have lived beneath your covers for a long time. Nope. Not easy. But so worth it.
Maybe start with a heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse about what has influenced each of you sexually -- why do you each think the way you do about sex? A vulnerable conversation that starts there can be the jumping off point for healing and restoring and redeeming sexual brokenness.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.