Category: sexual intimacy

Hot Holy Humorous Sex Book
July 10th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

Hot Holy Humorous Sex Book

Funny story about J. Parker, author of Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God's Design.

When she first emailed me as a fellow sex blogger years ago, she was still writing her blog anonymously at that point.

She was even writing her email to me anonymously.

Or so she thought.

We live hundreds of miles apart, but when I read her email, I knew we were kindred spirits.

You know, just two Christian wives who have an unabashed appreciation for profound sexual intimacy in marriage, indescribable orgasmic pleasure, and good wine.

J. Parker and I love sex and are on a mission to get other Christian wives to love sex.

If God lays stuff on your heart, you'd be wise to heed the call.  God dealt J. Parker and I the "Be a Champion for Sex" card, and we agreed to play that card.

Can you imagine if she and I lived in the same city? Oh the conversations people would overhear us having in coffee shops and wine bars and farmers markets. Good Lord, if people could hear our phone conversations now. Seriously.

Anyway.

I was super glad she emailed me. Obviously because there aren't too many of us Christian wives who are writing specifically about all things sex.

I happily emailed her back, adding to the end of my reply (with a mischievous twinkle in my eye) something along the lines of...

"By the way, just so you know, you have an auto signature on your email. I now know your full name. So much for being anonymous, eh?"

Here we are five or so years later, and we've forged a really good friendship, complete with shared inside jokes about sex, tough conversations about blog topics, and unbridled support for each other when some readers beat us up.  And honestly, we just click really well.

But that friendship isn't why I'm telling you about her book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage By God's Design.

I'm telling you about her book because I know without a doubt it can make marriages better.  I know it.

And the more people (particularly wives) who read this book, the more marriages that can be healed, strengthened and wowed by God's gift of sexual oneness.

So consider this book your opportunity -- your invitation -- to set things right in your marriage bed.  Better yet, consider it your invitation to set things on fire in your bedroom.

Not only is it possible to like sex, it also is possible to savor it, pursue it, value it, protect it and pour into it.

When a husband and wife have this sort of attitude about sex, the impact on their marriage reaches far beyond the sheets, far beyond the intense pleasure of orgasm, far beyond the revelation that God was really on to something when He came up with this idea of sex.

All I'm saying is that this book is a worthy investment in your marriage.  Much to gain. Nothing to lose.

It's $12, people. Check it out:

Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage By God's Design

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, orgasm, sex education, sexual intimacy, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

July 7th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

I'm going to start with a disclaimer.

It's the quickest way I can clarify my audience for this post.  (You may be my audience. You may not. But I figure you'd like to know that within the first few paragraphs.  I mean seriously, we're all limited with time).

This post is not for you if you don't like sex because your husband is basically a jerk.  In a variety of ways, he makes sex less than appealing at best and downright intolerable at worse.

If you are a husband who is not a jerk, don't worry -- I'm not stereotyping. Stay with me.

It's just that this is not my first rodeo and I know there are guys out there who have created the sexual problems in their marriages. They see nothing wrong with looking at porn or having affairs or belittling their wives or rarely taking a shower or being abusive. So on and so forth.

Maybe the wife has even pleaded with him to get help, but to no avail.

Needless to say, if as a wife this describes your situation, I understand why you have a difficult time cuddling up next to all that. You don't like sex and you have totally figured out why. And while I do have other posts that speak into this, this particular post today is not for you.

If, however, you are a wife who actually enjoys a fairly decent marriage, this post IS for you.

Your guy isn't a jerk.

In fact, you might say the opposite if asked by your gal friends or your neighbors or the random grocery store clerk. You'd willingly admit your man is the real deal.  Good man.  Good provider.  Good dad. Romantic. Attentive.

And yet. Here you are.

Still not overly interested in sex with him.

Do you not like sex? Have you figured out why?

It is a freakishly important question. Seriously, it is.

Because if you are willing to look closely at that question, unpack it in the most vulnerable of ways, get at the heart of your indifference and resistance, then there is much hope that you and your husband can build amazing intimacy together.

And amazing sexual intimacy is worth it.

Because here's the deal -- great sex in a marriage is never just about great sex.  Every married person who enjoys phenomenal sexual connection in their marriage will tell you this.

Nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage is particularly generous. Pay attention to it often and it will graciously open doors for you to an overall sense of "We are on the same team! Yeah us!"

If you do not like sex, you and your husband would benefit much if you can figure out why (and then do something about it, of course, but let's first focus on the figuring out why).

Now I know that you may not like sex for serious reasons from your past (past abuse, a skewed message of sex doled out by adults who raised you, your own struggles with promiscuity or pornography use, etc.)

OR maybe you don't like sex because you're not experiencing much pleasure (possibly no pleasure), and you have been timid in clueing your husband in on this.  Whenever you have sex, you're bored out of your mind (and have a mess to clean up afterwards, with not an ounce of orgasmic "wow" to show for it all).

OR maybe there's something wacky with your hormones or other physical issues and you don't like sex because you have no drive or sex is painful. Sure, some physical challenges are more involved than others, but many physical issues impacting sex can be resolved or at least improved with the right professional care.

Anyway, I don't know your reasons for not liking sex.  BUT I would bet my last dollar that you have an inkling of what may be going on.

You have an idea, right, of why you don't like sex?

My heart cry to you, one wife to another, is to figure that out.  Get real and humble with your man -- you know, that guy you love and do life with -- and say, "This is really hard for me to talk about.  But I think I know why sex is a struggle for me."

Then ask him to join you on the journey toward better sexual connection.

It's not going to happen over night.  But offer your heart and intention to it enough, and it will happen.

You'll wake up on the other side of this sexual frustration and drought and you'll both realize that you do have it in you to nurture amazing sexual intimacy in your marriage.

And you'll be glad you figured out the why.

Like super glad.  More glad than you are about all those Pinterest ideas and recipes on Tasty and TipHero.

Yes, more glad than all that.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in marriage problems, orgasm, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

April 22nd, 2016 by Julie Sibert

Our youngest cub screamed "MOM!!" at the top of his lungs. (And I was a mere 20 feet away, mind you).

Obviously, I was going to walk into the living room and find a severed limb (which has never happened in my house) or a broken big screen TV (which has happened in my house. But that's a story for another time).

Takes a lot to rattle me, but I got up from my chair at my desk and nonchalantly responded to what must be a life-or-death situation.

Nope.

It was dog puke.

There's much truth in that saying that once a woman becomes a mother, her tolerance for gross stuff goes way up.

Out of necessity.  Out of frequency of said scenarios.

Out of reality that as her tolerance is rising, the tolerance of every other capable person in the house seems to systematically plummet.

So I pulled the carpet cleaning machine from the closet to clean up dog puke from carpet that I think was installed in the early 80s. (That's no lie.)

Always the optimist, I rationalized it was a good time to clean the carpet anyway, because there were already muddy prints on it.  (Thanks to the pup. And the rain.)

What could all this possibly have to do with sex?

Well, nothing directly per se.  I mean, after all, cleaning up dog puke hardly could be considered foreplay, even with the loosest definitions of foreplay.

BUT, life is messy, right?

And it's more often messy than it is crisp and clean.  Messy hearts. Messy emotions.  Messy calendars. Messy floors. Messy jobs. So on and so forth.  You know what I'm talking about.

And I have found that sexual intimacy with my husband helps me keep sane amidst all that mess.

Sex builds our resilience to weather the ups and downs of life, the annoying inconveniences (dog puke), the debilitating tragedies (grief, loss, confusion), and the crazy-making that just comes with being human.

And with being married.

This is why I have sex.  Much more than the biblical command behind it, but rather because sexually connecting with the man I love gives me perspective.

Keeps me grounded.

Reassures my heart.

Helps me not be derailed by life's messiness.

I think God just knew -- He knew that when a husband and wife mutually and respectfully and intentionally treasure each other intimately, they would find solace there.  They would be rejuvenated by their sexual oneness in unexpected ways.

So I cleaned up the dog puke. Marveled at my now somewhat-clean 1980s carpet.

And felt grateful my husband and I had made love last night.  God must have known I needed it.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

intimacy-in-marriage
April 21st, 2016 by Julie Sibert

 

intimacy-in-marriageIt was raining as we crawled beneath the sheets, the sound of water running down the gutter outside our window.

The song "Who'll Stop the Rain" weaved its way into our conversation in the dark, as we laughed and cuddled and lay naked next to each other.

And we were trying to remember who sang that song originally.

(We also were trying to remember the first name of a kid who our oldest son played baseball with several years ago, which really had nothing to do with the rain song. But it helps paint a picture for you of the randomness of our conversation).

Anyway, in our attempt to remember the song, I racked my brain for other lyrics in it, but came up blank.

I rolled over and grabbed my phone and did a search.  (For the love of God, what did we do before the internet?! Seriously.)

It's Creedence Clearwater Revival, by the way. Released in 1970, the year I was born.

So we played the small portion of the song, and I tried to join in right before the clip ended, which my husband, laughing, unabashedly said, "You added nothing to it."

So true.  And we laughed about that.

What's my point in sharing all this with you?

There's something to be said for connecting with your husband before you drift off to sleep, regardless of whether you have sex.

(Although, I might add, we did make love after all this, if you can believe it.  Maybe having finally identified CCR as the artist, not to mention my stellar vocal contribution, lent well to putting us in a playful mood.  Midway through foreplay, I remembered the name of the kid our son played ball with and I mentioned it to my husband. Which, not gonna lie, seems kind of weird to think about now as I tell you.)

Anyway.

My beloved and I have had some of our most endearing conversations and connection in those moments between awake and asleep -- the moments that are intensely personal, private and full of the kind of knowing that is harder to find in the busyness of daily life.

It's sweet, sweet connection, and it's one of the reasons we try on a regular basis to crawl into bed together.

I wrote a similar post about this awhile back, where I pleaded, "Keep me in the dark please."

Do you and your husband try to go to bed together at the same time?  I know it's not always possible.

But strive toward it every now and then, okay?  God offers you a profound opportunity in those moments between awake and asleep.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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March 24th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

It sounds like you'll get a medal or raise a trophy with a plaque that says "Sex Champion!"

Well, not exactly.

Although, if they were handing out something like that, I'd want to be first in line!

So maybe you don't get to stand on a podium, per se, but certainly the Lord is well pleased any time He sees His followers speaking up about what's important to Him.

That's my eloquent way of saying, "Will you be a champion for sex in marriage?"

I was thinking about all this as I was coming down from the emotional high after a few friends and I put on a Pursuit of Passion Event on March 5 for engaged and newly-married Christian women.

It was all about helping them get their marriages off to a great start sexually!

We planned and poured our hearts into it and PRAYED that God would show up.  And boy did He!

Thirty women attended. And they were grateful to have other Christian wives speaking so boldly and specifically and biblically about sexual intimacy in marriage.  One gal said to me afterward, "If I had known it was going to be this good, I would have told more women to come!"

My friends and I aren't just trying to be champions for sex, we are also trying to create a few sex champions along the way.

Our vision is to build generational patterns of nurtured sexual intimacy.  Passionate, frequent and mutually-valued sex in a marriage -- that's our heart.

Sadly, as someone who blogs about sex, I hear too many stories of Christian wives who have heard nothing positive about sex from other Christian women. Nada. Or what they did hear was minimized to only a barrage of don't-do-its when they were teenagers or "it's gross, but your obligation" when they got married.

Tragic.

Compound that with too many Christian couples not knowing where to turn to help them build authentic sexual intimacy, and it's no wonder we don't have more sex champions.

If anyone should be the loudest sex champions, it should be married Christian couples.

(Okay I admit, that last sentence could be taken a few ways. Possibly I know too much about loud sex. But I digress.)

If you don't know how to be a sex champion, it's your lucky day!  I have IDEAS!

First, if you have children, be sure to have ongoing age-appropriate conversations with them about godly sexuality.

Don't just focus on the risks of sex outside of marriage, but give equal air time to the passion, oneness and infinite richness of sex within marriage.

Let those kiddos see you and your spouse being affectionate and playful with each other.  No, they don't need to see or know the details of your intimacy.   But there's nothing wrong with particularly the teenagers knowing you have sex.

And regardless of their age, all of your children will benefit from seeing your appropriate physical affection with each other.  They learn a lot about marriage from watching the two of you. Be a sex champion.

Second, speak favorably about sex in your circles of influence.

Don't be the wife at the Bunco party or office or moms' group who casts sex in a bad light. Don't lament about "it's all he ever wants" and then roll your eyes in disgust.

While your friends don't need to be privy to the details of your sexual intimacy, there's just something refreshingly attractive about a wife who speaks positively about sex with her husband. Don't be timid to say that it's something you both enjoy and both look forward to.  Be a sex champion.

Third, mentor younger couples about the importance and richness of sex.

As a wife, do you know a younger wife you could encourage?  Could you speak into her life about sex and marriage?   As a married couple, could you and your spouse together speak into a younger couple?

Yes, it takes courage, but you'll be saving them from a world of hurt later in their marriage if you help them establish a good sexual foundation now.  Be a sex champion.

Fourth, consider bringing an intimacy speaker into your church or small group.

There are a handful of us out there who are willing to stand in front of anyone, whether we know them or not, and talk openly about why nurtured sexual intimacy is so vital to a marriage.

I love talking about sex.  Love it.

(A good friend of mine says I'm the only person she knows who can so casually ask her about sex in her marriage with as much confidence as I would ask her what she's making for dinner or how her job is going).

Make sexual intimacy the main focus of a conference or make it a break-out session.  At any rate, get the conversation going.  Be a sex champion.

Fifth, keep investing sexually in your marriage.

Want to try a new position?  Want to find new ways to be sexually playful?  Want to better understand what turns your spouse on?

The more you nurture sex in your own marriage, the more enthusiastic you are about sex in general.  Be a sex champion.

The reality is we need more champions.  Instead of being paralyzed in fear or disgust over the ways society has skewed God's gift of sex, start to tune your heart toward what you can do in your own home and community and church to raise the bar.

What can you do today to be a sex champion?

You may not get a medal.

But I guarantee sweet Jesus will be smiling.  Your spouse will be smiling too.

Everyone will be smiling.

Because everyone loves a champion.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in authentic, passion, sex education, sexual intimacy, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

February 21st, 2016 by Julie Sibert

Occasionally, I have readers lament that I ignore women who are the higher-drive spouse in a marriage.

It's never my heart to marginalize anyone, so I wanted to take the opportunity to share that I do have a page on my site with about 20 blog posts specifically on the topic of wives who want more sex.

Some of the posts I wrote, but there are also several posts from other writers I respect.

This page is a GREAT resource.  Seriously, it is.

On the page you will find so many ideas and insights and encouragements for those wives who hunger for and desire more intimacy with their husbands, and often find themselves feeling terribly alone in the process.

Check out the page and be sure to share it as well.  You never know the marriage you could be helping!

Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren't Getting It

Never want to miss one of my posts?  Subscribe via email on this page.  And be sure to join my more than 7,000 followers on my Facebook page and 9,000 followers on Twitter.

Pursuit of Passion ResizeIf you know of engaged or newly-married women, please help them get their marriages off to the right start sexually by telling them about the March 5, 2016, Pursuit of Passion Event in Omaha!

 

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in intimacy, marriage problems, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

February 16th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

I received an email from a young husband who was struggling with his thought life that was wandering to a woman who was not his wife.

It all started with a dream he had (obviously dreams are beyond our control), but then he found himself while he was awake occasionally drifting back to the images in the dream.

He felt horrible.  Didn't know what to do.

Admittedly, he loves his wife tremendously, so he wondered why his thought life was such a struggle.

Before we tag this sort of problem as just being a male tendency, let's be honest.

We all are prone to our hearts and thoughts wandering, even if we wouldn't act upon such thoughts.  Wandering thoughts are a human issue, not just a guy issue.

Have you ever thought sexy thoughts about someone other than your spouse?  I don't think it's uncommon, whether it be someone we actually know or someone in the media and entertainment.

That being said, I don't think thoughts are automatically cause for alarm. We have to be wise to hold them up to God's truths and promises.

And that means we have to be disciplined to actually seek God's truths and promises -- always, but especially when we feel confused or overwhelmed.

The Lord will not disappoint.  He is faithful to reveal to us, teach us and grow us beyond thoughts that are less than honorable.

Here are 3 things to remember:

1. Don't stay stuck.

If you find yourself thinking romantic or elicit thoughts about someone other than your spouse, don't dwell on those thoughts. Easier said than done? Well sure, but not as hard as you think if you look for strength in the right place.

Immediately, find a scripture verse that holds God's promise AND ask God for help and wisdom.

Some verses that are extremely helpful and clear:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

See what I'm talking about? God is for you. Satan is against you. Make sure you are aligning yourself with the One who is for you.

Another wise decision is to put some accountability in place. At the minimum, find a mature Christian who you trust to keep things in confidence and tell them about your struggle with your thought life.

Ask this person to hold you accountable, both in direct questions to you, as well as you having the freedom to call them when you are struggling.

Men should have male accountability partners and women should have female accountability partners. (This should be obvious, but sadly too many people don't follow this wisdom and just end up worse off than they were with their original struggle, if you know what I mean).

Should you share your struggle with your spouse?

Well, I think this is ideal, but you will have to discern if and when this is appropriate.  As scary as it may seem to admit to your spouse your area of struggle, I think many couples, if they are mature and have a heart for God, will find the battle easier to fight if they are fighting it together.

God works in the light; Satan works in the dark.

When you and your spouse get to a point where you can share vulnerably about your deepest struggles, you're better able to pray for each other and strengthen your marriage against temptation.

2. Don't put yourself in a position where temptation is more likely to progress to sin.

Temptation is not a sin.  Even Jesus was tempted.

But simply knowing we won't act on thoughts is sometimes not enough to guard our hearts.

We need to be proactive to not put ourselves in situations where it is more likely we could sin or even stir up more thoughts about the person who is not our spouse.

So you might have to make some tough choices.

If the person you have had sexy thoughts about is someone you see regularly (such at work, at church or in your circle of friends), strive to limit those times you will see them and/or make sure there are plenty of other people around.

I recognize that we can't always cut off all contact with the person.  Sometimes this is reasonable, but life often is messier than that.

For example, if you work with the person, it probably isn't realistic that you quit your job or ask your boss to make accommodations and put you on a different project, etc.  (Although, I have heard of situations where indeed someone did find a different job rather than face what felt like unbearable temptation, so for some people, quitting is the best choice).

Regardless of the circumstances, I do think we can at least limit our time with the person. Be a grown up and figure out what you need to do.

3. Be intentional about nurturing your marriage.

A good defense is a strong offense.  Be proactive about nurturing your marriage.  Spend the time and sometimes the money to enjoy each other.

Go on those walks you say you're going to take, but never do.

Schedule the weekend getaway.

Find a mutual hobby.

Talk.

Pray together specifically for your relationship.

Make love more often and with greater passion.

Read a marriage book together.

Get involved in a small group with other married couples.

Find an older, more mature Christian couple, who can mentor you and your spouse.

Send each other sexy love notes and texts.

Exercise together. Join a gym.

Address the hard issues that have taken a toll on your marriage. Learn how to heal and grow.

Back each other up.

Hold hands more.

Touch each other more affectionately, particularly in public (while shopping, at church, etc.)

Make a list of reasons you fell in love with each other.

Do something spontaneous with each other.

Make your marriage a priority over the kids.

Believe in your vows enough to live them.

When it comes right down to it, the more we pour our hearts, thoughts, and actions into loving the person we married, the less room we have in our hearts, thoughts, and actions for someone else.

Have you struggled thinking sexy thoughts about someone else? Then do more that will give you reason to think sexy thoughts about your spouse.

Baby steps count. Take them. Today.

Never want to miss one of my posts?  Subscribe via email on this page.  And be sure to join my more than 7,000 followers on my Facebook page and 9,000 followers on Twitter.

Pursuit of Passion ResizeIf you know of engaged or newly-married women, please help them get their marriages off to the right start sexually by telling them about the March 5, 2016, Pursuit of Passion Event in Omaha!

 

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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clean sheets
February 8th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

clean sheetsEvery now and then, I receive comments or emails from husbands that read like a laundry list of the worst excuses their wife has ever given for not wanting to have sex.

Sometimes I laugh.

Most often, though, I'm sad.

Yes, I know, I'm hearing only one side of the story when these husbands reach out.

But even if I were to hear both sides of the story, we would still arrive at the same picture -- marriages struggling sexually.

Until a comment I received recently, it had been awhile since I had heard the "clean sheets" excuse, meaning, "I just changed the bed and the last thing I want to do is mess up these clean sheets with sex."

Some of you have said it.

Some of you have heard it.

Ultimately, though, God longs for us to ask what our marriage means to us.

By what should a marriage be recognized?

I sure hope it's not clean linen.  Sweet baby Jesus, help us if it's clean linen, because that would be sad commentary.

"Well, their marriage was nothing special.  But did you see the sheets?  Phenomenal. 1,200-thread count Egyptian cotton, and I swear it looked like they'd never been used, if you know what I mean."

Joking aside, this is one of those "ya gotta count the costs" sorta things in a relationship.

What if the "clean sheets" excuse really isn't the reason.  What's the story behind the story, so to speak?

Is it possible that "clean sheets" is just code for some deeper struggle in your sexual relationship with your spouse (especially if it's one of many excuses on the laundry list. No pun intended)?

Whenever I speak to women's groups, I always try to at some point to bring the conversation to a "count the costs" focal point.  I'm annoying that way, but some of them actually tell me afterward they appreciate this kind of candid transparency.

If there is something you and your spouse could do to heal sexual brokenness and better nurture sexual intimacy, isn't your marriage worth that kind of effort?

I think it is.

Yes, it takes courage and humility and possibly even the trusted resource of a professional Christian counselor to start digging yourself out of sexual disconnect.  But there are many couples who have done it.

And along the way, they've discovered that sex is never just about sex.  it's about a oneness and strengthening to a marriage that can't quite be described.  Intimate and exclusive sexual intimacy is one of the main things that God designed to set marriage apart from any other human relationship.

So, when we ask the question, by what should a marriage be recognized, most Christians who have studied God's heart and word would indeed have "sex" in their answer.

If there is more to your "clean sheets" excuse than "clean sheets," I encourage you to hunger for God's truth and redemption in this tender area of your marriage.

And if there really is nothing more behind your "clean sheets" excuse?  I mean, if your sexual intimacy is actually quite great, except when you've just changed the sheets?

Well, there are these crazy contraptions called towels.  With a little planning, it's amazing the way they can protect clean sheets.

See, I do care.  About your marriage. And your sheets.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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xes cover
January 23rd, 2016 by Julie Sibert

 

xes coverI was digging through my email inbox not long ago, and (embarrassingly) came across an email to which I hadn't responded in more than a year.

Yup. A year. Ugh.

It was from Joy McMillan, author of XES: Why Church Girls Tend to Get It Backwards... and How to Get it Right.

In her email she was complimenting me for a guest blog post I wrote on another site.

I humbly responded to Joy, tripping over myself with apologies for not responding sooner.

Boy am I glad I didn't let my embarrassment stop me from hitting the reply button!

We ended up exchanging posts for each other's sites.  You can see her post at this link, and my post at this link.

Here's the deal.

This woman is a crazy good writer.

Cra. Zy. Good.

Which is why you should have on your nightstand XES: Why Church Girls Tend to Get It Backwards... and How to Get it Right.

At first I couldn't tell if this is a sex book masquerading as a marriage book or a marriage book masquerading as a sex book. But by the time I reached the end, I decided.

It's both a sex book and a marriage book, and a delightfully authentic one at that.

What I like about this book is what always draws me to good writing:  Joy doesn't hold back in being transparent about how hard marriage is (let alone trying to build authentic sexual intimacy in the midst of it).

She is real about her own marriage and what nurtures or destroys sex between a husband and a wife.  I found myself nodding a lot and saying "yes" to her many great insights about passionately pursuing and enjoying sex in the oneness of a marriage covenant.

All of that would be enough, but she goes further and lets us in on the story behind the story, so to speak.  (We really don't see most of this till we near the end of the book, but it's worth the wait).

She courageously bares her soul about what it took for her to shed light on and heal from the devastation in her past, including promiscuity, sexual abuse and criminal activity.

That kind of authenticity is so attractive.

It equips and encourages women to trust in the forgiveness and redemption of the Lord.

And it reminds all of us that through the ups and downs and in-betweens of doing life as a married couple, anything profound is always found on the other side of intentional heart (and hard) work.

Joy loves the Lord and loves her husband, and she shares with humor, heart and humility the reality of a faith refined and rekindled in the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Each chapter includes questions at the end to compel you to dig deeper.

I believe there's no sense reading something if you aren't going to glean from it and apply to your own situation the nuggets of gold that are transformational.

And this book is definitely one from which you can glean.

It's not a quick read. And it's not an easy read.  But it's a rich read.

Joy McMillan is a crazy good writer.  Personally, I'm glad she didn't keep it all inside.

I think you will be glad too.

"It's easy to wait until your marriage experiences a crisis to spring into action, but having a thriving marriage means doing the work, consistently, and often behind the scenes, on a daily basis.  It means little by little putting things into place before they're ever needed.

"It's choosing to intentionally stock your marital tool belt with effective tools, carve out time for each other daily, and prioritize your intimacy -- spiritual, emotional and sexual -- when things are going well so that when things aren't, you're prepared."

Joy McMillan in XES: Why Church Girls Tend to Get it Backwards... and How to Get it Right.

Thank you Joy!  The marital landscape is a better place with Christian books like yours.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles Tagged with: , , ,

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January 11th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

 

sexual-intimacy-strugglesI hear many stories about marriages struggling sexually.

The circumstances are as varied and vast as stars in the sky, as cliche as it may sound.

And there is legitimate and heart-wrenching pain within every scenario, where behind closed doors, the true character (or lack thereof) of a marriage is forged and revealed.

Many, many sexual struggles.

But do you know the one reason at the root of almost all of them?

One person in the marriage wants nurtured healthy sexually intimacy.  And the other person does not.

Another (yet less frequent) version of this scenario is the two people do want to heal, but they can't agree on what healing looks like.  So they stay stuck in their corners.

Lack of mutual resolve on doing something -- anything -- about the sexual disconnect sets the foundation for more of the same.  Sexual struggle becomes their normal.

"Oh. My. God. How did we get here?!" you could hear at least one of them (maybe both of them) screaming from the pit of their soul.

Sexual struggle may even become so normal that it seems completely counterintuitive and cumbersome for the couple to climb their way to a better healthier sexual normal.

It's tenacious and tender work to create something better, isn't it?

And you know what?

Without even hearing all the details about such a marriage, if I would arrive on the scene, I would bet my last dollar I would find one person who genuinely and humbly wants to walk in the direction of healthy intimacy.

And one who does not.

RELATED POST: Sexual Intimacy and Marriage: I Didn't Know What I Didn't Know

I was talking to a great friend of mine the other day and we were musing about feeling excited about the new year.

Quite the segue I'm making here, huh?!

Any. Way.

My friend and I were talking about the new year, and she said her word for the year is "intentionality."

"I love that!" I said.

Being intentional about anything takes effort, which is probably why the word doesn't inspire waves of action among the vast majority of people.

Being intentional means having to fight against your natural tendency of taking the path of least resistance.

And it means having to baby step and big step your way out of longstanding unhealthy normals.

Hard. Tiring. Frustrating. Overwhelming.

And yet.

Something better at the other end of all that intentionality, if you stick with it.

There's a lot of psychology behind why we as the masses suck at this whole thing of being intentional and pursuing healthiness as our normal.

But come on. You don't want to hear a psychology lesson right now.

You don't really want to hear why you like the cheese curls and chocolate better than the chicken and cauliflower.

We generally, though, know what's healthy and what isn't.  You'd be hard pressed to find someone who would say "the cheese curls are DEFINITELY healthier than the cauliflower."

And you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would say that sexual disconnect in a marriage is healthier than authentic sexual intimacy in a marriage.

Nearly all of the people who read my blog land here because nurtured sexual intimacy is far from their reality.  Their norm is sexual disconnect, discouragement and, for some, desperation.

If you are reading this, either you are the one in the marriage who wants to work on healthier sexual intimacy.  Or you are the one satisfied with the status quo.

Which one are you?

Regardless of which one you are, I'm wondering if you are willing to do a courageously intentional thing.

Could this blog post open the door to some dialogue with your spouse about sexual intimacy?

Psychology lesson aside, it all circles back to the truth that you gotta do something if you want something to look differently.

I don't know your circumstances, but my hope is that you have not lost hope for healthy sexual intimacy in your marriage.

I can't give you guarantees that if you move in the direction of healthy sexual intimacy that your spouse will want to move in that direction with you.

But it's worth a shot to at least try.

Because I doubt more of the same -- an unhealthy sexual normal -- is the marriage you both envisioned way back in the day.

Right?

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in marriage problems, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,