I have a theory.
My theory is that one of the stumbling blocks in so many marriages where sex is a struggle is that those couples have not heard positive messages about sex from other married couples.
It seems that nurtured marital sex is just not a common conversation topic.
Why is that? And should we be doing something to change it?
As someone who blogs about sex, I recognize that I’m incredibly comfortable talking about sex.
More so than most people, I guess.
I have a friend who contends that I could turn any conversation into one that has something to do with sex.
Not sure if that’s completely true, but I’ll give my friend the benefit of the doubt.
I do like to talk about all that is good about sex, and I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions when I sense someone is hungry for a safe person to offer them insight. I’m appropriate, of course, safeguarding the sacredness of the details of my own intimacy that are not relevant to the discussion.
But, I’m not afraid to bring the topic up.
I know that my husband and I are not the only Christian married couple that absolutely loves sex. Obviously, many of my fellow marriage bloggers also speak favorably of it, which is indeed encouraging.
But what about other Christian married couples who really value sex? You know, the ones who don’t blog or work in marriage ministry or are marriage counselors?
Could they — should they — be more willing to speak more openly about why sex is so beneficial and necessary to a healthy marriage?
Sometimes, when couples are struggling with sex in their marriage, I think they have a tendency to isolate — either because they think sexual struggles are “just what happen in marriage” or they have no one in their sphere of influence who can help them envision nurtured intimacy.
Yes, sex is certainly a more sensitive and private topic than other issues that are inherent to marriage.
But think about the length to which ministries, churches and individual Christians go to share wisdom and encouragement about things like finances, parenting, in-laws and careers?
We talk about such topics with ease, not being afraid to ask close friends personal questions about those areas of their marriage.
Why can’t we have the same forthcoming attitude and approach in talking to them about sex?
Throughout the Bible, we see where elders are setting an example and training up younger generations as they navigate many of the challenges and opportunities of adulthood. And in general we also see Christians encouraging other Christians in similar life stages.
Women, you have the opportunity to encourage other women. Men, you have the opportunity to encourage other men. How powerful it is when someone struggling can discover they have a Christian confidante of the same gender in whom they can trust.
I truly believe that those of us who take to heart the significance of sex in marriage can build tremendous bridges when we are not afraid to ask other married people in our circle of influence how things are going sexually in their marriages.
Yes, we would have to be discerning of the right timing to bring up such questions.
But can you imagine how those conversations could be just what a couple who is struggling needs?
Areas of sexual brokenness, pain and disconnect could likely be infused with messages of hope, support and prayer.
If you are married and you value sex, will you be courageous to talk about that?
Ask the Holy Spirit to help raise your awareness of moments when you can be a light of God’s truth about sex.
I have this theory that if those kind of conversations were happening on a more regular basis across the Body of Christ, we would take back so much of the ground the enemy has claimed in this area of sexual devastation in marriage.
And more and more married couples could embrace the possibility and reality of amazing sex in their marriage bed.
A worthy hope indeed.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
14 thoughts on “Should Married Christians Be Better Advocates for Sex?”
Excellent post! We _must_ get over our fear of the truth–especially in regards to sex. And I would add that appropriate discussion about biblical sexuality is absolutely critical for young, unmarried people as well. They desperately need to hear the truth, because the world is telling them everything BUT 24/7; the deadly fallout of which we see all around us. Until the church steps to the plate and addresses it, we will continue to lose entire generations to sexual immorality. And it will only get exponentially worse. If I sound desperate, it’s because we are in a desperate situation.
I appreciate the way you pointed out that it’s not at all about prurient discussion or personal details–it’s about core biblical truth. May God give us the wisdom and grace to speak the truth in love–and in a positive way–wherever we are!
Been going to church, been a christian for 30+ years. Been in an essentially sexless marriage for 20. I recently heard someone preaching on 1st Cor 7:5 for the first time in all that time. Of course it was just for about 7 minutes as part of a 40 minute sermon. He got the points right. It was just short, to the point, and had no depth. Of course my refusing wife managed to not be there during that sermon.
This is the same church that once announced a specific class for 8 weeks (Wed service) in the fall on marriage and for married folks – I went to it. the 1st week was just on spiritual aspects of marriage/growing spiritually together. Rest of the 7 weeks? Raising kids. Not one mention of sex.
I once wrote a letter to the preacher, knowing that he would be preaching on Eph 5 to at least mention the importance of sex and what the bible teaches about it. Guess what? He preceeded to blast men for being “brutes” about desiring sex, to instead prove ourselves “worthy” or our wives. It was the first time i ever considered leaving a service.
Unless the LEADERS of the church, the pastors, the elders, the board, the deacons, whatever, make talking/instructing about sex a priority, it will never, ever happen.
I accidentally stumbled across your FB page the other day and I must say how very much I LOVE your blog! How refreshing to hear the Truth about sex in a Christian marriage.
Mine is a long, ugly story, but with a beautiful ending! My first marriage lasted 20 years and was abusive, and the sex, well, pretty much non-existent. When there was any at all it certainly was not pleasurable, at least not for me. He did not care about pleasing me AT ALL. Orgasm? Well, that did not happen for me until maybe a year or two into the marriage and only because I really wanted one and read and read until I finally figured out how to pleasure myself. I never, ever had an orgasm with him and honestly, he didn’t care nor ever tried that I remember to give me one.
The beautiful ending came when the Lord freed me from that marriage almost four years ago and brought a wonderful, caring, sexy Christian man into my life, who has been my husband for almost one year. When we first married, I could not believe how different sex could be with someone who loves you unconditionally and whom you can trust completely. I was so hungry for sex for I am one of those women who sex drive matches her husband’s! LOL But I still had some reservations about sex only because of past memories. Certain positions or things like oral sex, giving or receiving (my ex NEVER gave me oral, but insisted on me giving it every time) were very difficult for me at first, but soon I realized that my husband really wants to give me pleasure and cares more about pleasing me than himself, that I can completely surrender myself, willingly, to his eagerness to pleasure me orally and try new positions. And I find great pleasure in pleasing him orally too, something I had come to dread in years before. And it’s all because I completely trust him and know that
Sex in a Christian marriage should be so satisfying for both spouses and I know too many women that despise having sex, who wish their husbands would leave them along and who see sex as their duty. What a shame. My husband and I try to have sex as often as his odd work schedule allows, and when we do, it takes our relationship to a whole new level.
I wish more churches would speak of how wonderful sex can be in marriage, instead of just preaching to our young people how sinful it is outside of marriage. Yes, let’s help our children abstain while single, but let’s also educate them of the beauty of sex within a marriage. And engaged couples should be taught in their pre-marital counseling sessions about sex and how to care for your spouse to make it special for both of you. Not just give the message to the woman that it is her duty so she is to do it whether she wants to or not. Oh how tired I am of that message. 🙁
But as you said, most people are not comfortable with this topic and therefore, it gets swept under the rug too often or misinformation is given to the newly wed couple.
So, after all that rambling, I would just like to say how appreciative I am of the message you are willing to openly and non-ashamedly talk about. God gave us a great gift in marriage, what a shame that too many Christian people do not accept that gift.
I know that it would help if my wife heard other ladies that she looks up to about how much they love sex with their husbands instead of the message she gets from her family that it’s normal to have little to no sex.
Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting…
So encouraging to know that my blog is reaching far and wide…
I’m saddened by the situations where sex has been so neglected; and I’m encouraged by the marriages that embrace all it can be.
I recently gave a talk about sex in marriage at my church. I basically stated that statistics showed that it was one of the leading causes of divorce among couples in my particular church and for that reason, I found it necessary to tackle the subject. I brought up the fact that there is no scripture in Holy Writ that states that should be limited entirely to procreation. I urged parents to show their kids that they love each other (hug in front of them, etc.). I brought up that we often times focus so much on the “No’s” of chastity that our youth enter marriage unprepared. I ended by saying that couples can reap all the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional benefits of lovemaking if they share a full life with their spouse.
After the talk, several men in my church congratulated me on the talk, including my bishop and some other leaders. However, none of the women said anything. Some time later, I was talking to a divorced lady in the church about how she felt about talks revolving around marriage and she thought that the topic had been approached really well and that another couple had expressed the same thing to her. Whew! It’s a challenging subject to speak about, but I’m trying to help in the effort.
Yes we should all talk about it since one of leading cause of divorce is sex or dissatisfaction with it.
So keep it up
Julie you are right! We should be talking about sex in our marriages. I have no problems talking about it! I have struggled in the sex area for the past 4 years. I was told by a friend to read your blogs. I began reading them a few months ago and God spoke to me through your words. It was amazing! I am having more passionate sex with my husband and I actually have the desire. It is all in my head and my thoughts. I am changing the way I think about sex and it helps. Thank you so much for taking the time to blog this wonderful information. I appreciate you.
Thank you Martita! You made my day! I’m humbly blessed by your words… and that you took the time to comment…. thank you…
I love your blogs. I started a business/ministry that encourages romance and intimacy in marriage over a year ago. It has been disappointing at times because the married ladies (especially christian women) seem uninterested in enhancing the romance in their marriage. Some act that it is a chore. I feel like giving up at times but then the holy spirit reminds me how much the information is needed in marriages.
Thank you Robin! Don’t give up!
Julie – You know I agree with you on this!
Years ago we watched as the TMB forum became a safe place to talk about sex. Some saw it as a drink of cold clean water after near death in the desert. Over and over someone would say they had lurked for weeks or months, never posting, but learning and growing.
Many people credit the TMB forum with precipitating huge changes in their sex lives and their marriages as a whole. While we have plenty of trained and educated folks (consolers, doctors, pastors) what really makes is powerful is the hundreds and thousands of “ordinary” folks who are willing to talk openly about sex. When we start to do the same in the church, we will see a change in the couples in the church and beyond.
I so agree with you! My husband and I have been talking about this a lot lately – strong marriages need great sex lives. We have to talk about it in the church!
Wow, an outstanding blog you wrote – again – Julie! Thank you so much for your excellent work. The basic problem with abstaining from talking about sex in marriage is that mute Christians make for more vociferous non-Christians. The consequence of this is sending out a skewed message on the so important matter of sex. Because sex is not a hobby in men but an instinctive (and a very powerful) drive. Christians or not, the “monkey” in them inherently pushes for sex, more sex, more and more — mindlessly more.
And astute people (not necessarily Christians) used this basic understanding of the human condition to build a nice lucrative industry. Are we trapped by the financial system?, or by the junk food industry?, or by sentimental deceivers on talk shows? If yes, then we should consider that our men are trapped by the sex industry, by the deception that whatever their fantasies (the less wife-sex they get, the more rampant their fantasy is running) make them imagine, the sex industry can offer “more.” It’s like the triple-burger that will get you sick but you still crave to eat it all, and -as you wolf- your mind starts guessing about ordering yet another one…
Should we blame the industries for all these exaggerations? Or should we blame ourselves? The industries don’t claim to be Christian and to follow the Bible, they act as they claim, to make a profit. They are not churches and they don’t “have to care” much, if at all, beyond their own area of interest. But the churches and the Christians that hide the sex matter under the rug, like ignoring the elephant in the room, are doing a greater disservice to Christian marriages than the industries out there. Because they ignore the testosterone and by this they estrange themselves in a sclerotic and destructive wishful thinking, giving out the sheep to the wolves. As many commentators before me pointed out, one can talk about raising kids and spiritual connection, and healthy eating and maybe good financial advices. But not addressing the testosterone-matter from a Christian open perspective will only deny its right to normality, pushing this BIG elephant into obscurity, creating the perception that sex “must be illicit” because shhh… we can’t talk about it. This attitude is a great help that Christians can do to promiscuity: denying its existence, hiding it under the rug, never believing that it will strike back with an uglier vengeance. Surprised anyone?
Anything has a measure and can be approached within righteousness. If only we have the courage to admit our condition and take it from there: talk like sinners to sinners, because this is how Christ taught us to wash our souls: by talking to each other.