1. Wait. wait. wait. And everything will instantly be great, great, great.
There are young people who hold up their end of the biblical bargain by maintaining their purity, only to discover on the wedding night that they kind have been duped.
Not by God.
But by other Christians.
I know, the lie wasn’t malicious. But nothing good comes from painting a sweeping generalization that from the wedding night forward, sex will instantly be amazing.
Yet, that is what we tend to do.
We scream purity from the rooftops, but are conspicuously vague about sex in marriage. We offer up these polished promises that sex as a married couple will be a flawless blend of ease, tenderness, romance and pleasure.
It will look like every romantic chick flick they have ever seen. Then — in what must feel like a shocking turn of events — many freshly-married couples close the door of the wedding night suite, only to find everything but sexual bliss.
Instead, they find themselves trying to soldier on through sexual awkwardness, confusion and disillusionment (and maybe even pain).
“THIS looks nothing like the movie,” they silently ponder to themselves.
As a body of believers, we simply have to stop lying to these young couples. We have to help them understand that building phenomenal and mutually-valued sexual intimacy in their marriage takes effort.
And patience. And communication. And a willingness to pursue and learn how to bring each other indescribable pleasure.
I’m all for purity for singles (it is, after all, God’s clear plan).
But for Christ’s sake, can we please give some equal air time to how to enjoy great sex once they are married!?
Seriously, when I say for Christ’s sake, I literally mean it.
Because I think He would really appreciate it if we didn’t set these couples up for major disappointment at the very time when they have full privilege and permission to unabashedly learn how to enjoy each other beneath the sheets.
Things can be great, great, great after the wait, wait, wait. But not if we don’t teach them how to make sex great.
2. Your past sexual encounters will destroy sex in your marriage.
Okay, I know that
some most Christians come to the altar without their purity pledge perfectly upheld.
Why is it, though, that sexual sin gets relegated into its own category, where forgiveness seems more like quasi-forgiveness? This is a big stumbling block, particularly for women. They think that their past sexual promiscuity is something beyond the reach of Christ’s blood. That God will “sorta” forgive them. But not really.
So they head into marriage suspecting that their “punishment” will be mediocre or difficult sex going forward. When sexual struggle do arise, they only take that as confirmation — rather than motivation to set in place healthy patterns.
Or they think that everything they did sexually before marriage is now off limits. But just because something is sin in one context does not inherently make it sin in another context. (Oral sex, for example. Sin before marriage. Completely acceptable after marriage, in my opinion).
We need to let go of shaming people for their sexual past. And we need to proactively show people why they should stop shaming themselves.
3. Sex is just for the husband.
I don’t even know how this lie got started, seeing how God Himself came up with the clitoris. The clitoris serves no other purpose but sexual pleasure in a woman. No other purpose, people.
So it should be obvious that sex is for the wife too, right? I mean, I know sex isn’t just about the pleasure, but seriously — we can’t really talk ourselves around how God is fanatically generous in His design of sexual pleasure for both a husband and a wife.
And if we unpack one of the most direct scriptures about sex (1 Corinthians 7), we see crystal clear encouragement that neither a husband nor a wife are to withhold their body from the other.
Can you picture it? Paul is writing to the folks in Corinth.
And he’s basically saying, “Hey you — yeah, you Joe. If your wife wants to get naked with you, you gotta do it man. Enjoy it. Enthusiastically say yes to her as often as possible! In fact, you should only go without sex if you two have decided to go deep in prayer. But even then, don’t let praying keep you from each other for very long. That would put a huge damper on things. Not good Joe. Not good for you or the Mrs. or your family or this whole town.”
Okay, I might be paraphrasing a bit.
But suffice to say, sex is not just for the husband. It’s for the wife too.
4. We can’t talk about sex. That’s private.
Yes, sex is an exclusive act between a husband and a wife. I’m not lobbying for ripping off the proverbial filters and everyone start talking about the details of their sexual encounters. We need discernment.
BUT, what I am advocating is that we stop skirting around genuine dialogue.
We have got to get more comfortable as a body of believers talking about enjoying sex in marriage, facing and overcoming struggles, and heralding God’s truth about sex.
And I don’t mean only talking about it for 20 minutes in pre-marriage counseling. And then staying eerily silent until a marriage is about to fall apart.
Sexual intimacy is an aspect of marriage where couples often need the most guidance and biblical truth, yet the church is clumsily vague at best and painfully silent at worst. And by church, I don’t just mean the preachers, because we all are the church.
Take up the cause. Buy a t-shirt. Wave a banner. Start talking about sex.
Churches across the country should be having annual or semi-annual multi-week sessions about nurturing sexual intimacy. Kind of like Dave Ramsey classes. Only for sex. (Better yet, offer both! Talk about money one week and sex the next. That would make for interesting pillow conversation).
5. Raw uninhibited sexual pleasure is wrong, even in a marriage.
I hate this lie. Probably because I like sex so much.
I think this lie is the worst one, perpetuated by too many Christians who are robbing themselves and their spouses of fully enjoying all God has to offer them sexually. And before you think I’m talking only about physical pleasure during sex, I’m also referring to a nakedness that is fuel for uninhibited passion — the baring of our souls, you might say.
Within the exclusivity of marriage, a husband and wife have tremendous freedom to seek and share the most intimate of experiences — their feelings, desires, vulnerabilities, and sexual expression.
The covenant of marriage isn’t just well suited for raw uninhibited sexual pleasure, it’s perfectly designed for it.
Hmmm. I wonder Whose idea that was.
Often, these lies make me want to
freak out speak truth.
Truth will ultimately win in the end. I know. But can we aim for sooner than that?
For an insightful and much-needed post that digs deep, check out 4 Devastating Assumptions About Sex in Marriage. So many great links in that post that could springboard into authentic conversation in your marriage or church.
Also take a look at Why God is So Thrilled When You and Your Husband Make Love.
Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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27 thoughts on “5 Lies Christians Spread about Sex (The Last One is the Worst)”
I find myself the victim of the first 4 which has prevented the 5th topic from ever coming up. I waited for marriage and was left disappointed by the meager rations I get instead of the endless buffet promised. My wife did not wait for marriage and that has led to my mother being very disrespectful to her which causes more strain. My wife thinks sex is just for men to enjoy so she won’t fully engage with me. And finally, she refuses to talk openly about sex with me, her husband, because she finds the whole topic awkward and uncomfortable. Raw, uninhibited pleasure is a dream.
This article is right on. AMEN Sister!!!
I would concur with every evangelical Christian lie that is on this list and I’d like to offer one more:
#6 — Men are primarily visual and women are primarily emotional
Have you heard that one before? This notion has being been making more and more headway into contemporary Christian thought over the years and it has culminated into a new book by Shaunti Feldhahn called “Through A Man’s Eyes”. I don’t entirely disagree with Shaunti on every point that she makes about gender differences but her underlying premise is flawed.
Men are not primarily visual and women are not primarily emotional. Here’s what is true: men and women are both primarily ‘relational’.
My wife is 11 years older than me and she tells me that one of the predominant reasons why she married me was my youthful appearance and “younger man energy”. She wanted to marry a man who was not balding and did not look like her father (I won’t go into that now). Women are strongly visual too and it is doing a disservice to women everywhere to say that they are not visual just as it is to say that men are not strongly emotional (are you kidding — men not emotional?).
Enough of the church turning men and women into one dimensional freaks. We are all holistically visual, emotional and spiritual. When we starkly separate men and women by these supposed gender differences, we take away some of the wonderful mystery that we experience with the opposite sex and stereotype men and women into cookie cutter molds.
For an excellent discussion on the topic of male and female sex drives, check out the link to this video blog:
As usual Julie you are spot on!! Especially the parts where no one wants to talk about it! Teach on Sister!
I still kind of agree with #2. It’s not an absolute rule — but you have a lotlotlotlot more issues to deal with if you have a past than if you don’t. Promiscuity (and the relationship patterns with it) really does impact your ability to be vulnerable and intimate and it skews how you see sex.
In my case, it’s the opposite. My husband was promiscuous and I was a virgin. He told me he doesn’t even associate sex with me because sex is dirty and I’m such an angel … so we rarely have sex and I have zero input. I quite literally don’t and will never have a sex “life” because of all of the baggage my husband is carrying. It’s easy to shrug and say that a sexual history shouldn’t affect your married sex life because of forgiveness and I totally agree with that — but putting it on paper and living it in practice are two very different things.
@sunny-dee … I hear what you are saying to a degree, but from what you shared, it sounds like it is your husband who is allowing his past sexual encounters to skew sex in the marriage.
It is deeply saddening that he won’t choose to align his thinking with how God sees sexual intimacy in its right context. I am so sorry for what you are going through, because really your husband is robbing both of you of something that could be quite extraordinary.
I’m so sorry if my point sounded light and easy with regard to a sexual history. That wasn’t my heart at all. I’m sad with you that your husband doesn’t value your opinion (you said you have zero input) and that he doesn’t want to enjoy sexual intimacy with you, his wife. That’s heartbreaking.
I think all of these lies apply. We were both virgins when married, (so no. 2 doesn’t really apply) but the “great” part, was NOT great. (No. 1)
Then, coupled with the “sex is for the man” part, along with the “sex is private–don’t talk about it” part, we had a rough time.
I think the last part–“raw, uninhibited sexual pleasure is wrong”–goes right along with the others.
So you wait, and don’t know anything prior to marriage, but then also don’t talk, because it’s wrong to talk about something so private, and then believe it’s more of a “man’s pleasure”, and then finally add to it that “raw, uninhibited sexual pleasure is wrong”, you have a woman who has never felt permission to let herself go in sex. (And I know there are many guys in the same boat. Just a disclaimer.)
How much better marriage would be if both partners read a book and really talked about possibilities. This would be BEFORE marriage. Questions like:
1. What is “making love”? What does intercourse involve?
2. What is orgasm? How does each person achieve this? Have either of you ever had one? Is masturbation a common practice of either one of you? How many times a week?
3. If the answer to any of the last part above is “yes”, do you expect your spouse to offset that with intercourse or mutual masturbation?
4. Where do you like to be touched? How? What time of day?
5. What about sexual fulfillment during a woman’s menstrual cycle?
I’m sure there are many more questions spouses would like to have known the answers to, premaritally, but then, remember, you aren’t supposed to talk about it.
The “workbook seminars” typically don’t work, because no one is going to admit they have a problem. Maybe that’s why people have the cheap substitute of porn?
There are many of us honored and pleased by your commitment on this subject.
And many of us take up the baton and push this forward.
If each person who reads this board would just say, “At my church, I WILL confront this,” then how much would that help?
I completely agree with all of these! Wow! Amen sister is right, especially the last one, as you said. For instance, I love to be taken – pounded, really — and it seems like it’s almost immoral to say that, even when married.
Bless you, bless you, bless you for having the courage and grace to dispel these myths. I believed Myth 1 and was bitterly disappointed when I got married. I know I am not alone in my experience but it’s NEVER talked about. It is taken as the gospel truth that if you wait sex will be mind-blowing except when it isn’t because of inexperience, awkwardness and yes, even physical pain. But as a new bride, who do you go to talk to?
Myth 2 is especially pernicious and evil in that it can give the impression that a woman’s value and worth is dependent upon her being “pure.” If she isn’t “pure” then she is seen as damaged goods. I bought into this and I allowed my value and worth to be linked to the fact that I was a virgin when I married. I allowed myself to think I was better than those girls who didn’t wait. I deeply regret acting/thinking that way. I was no more spiritual than the next girl. In addition, what does this attitude say to a woman who didn’t have choice in her sexual “activity” and was abused, molested or raped? God help us.
We need to talk about these things!! Thank you again for your courage and leadership in this area.
I think Ed has a point about the visual nature of women. I recall once reading a study (I don’t recall where so I can’t cite a reference), in which women were hooked up with sensors that would measure bodily reactions, and then given erotic images to view. The sensors indicated that the women’s bodies were becoming aroused by what they saw. However, most of the women reported that they weren’t being aroused. It seems as if the body’s feelings of arousal weren’t making their way to the brain. Was this the result of women too embarrassed to admit what their body was feeling, or were their brains conditioned by decades of lies so they were unable to even acknowledge their own arousal. And, I fully agree with Ed that we men are much much more emotional than anyone wants to admit, especially when it comes to sex.
I really think #5 could require some thought, perhaps just with the wording. One’s raw uninhibited pleasure could mean one partner enjoys anal sex, or threesomes, could it not?…… and obviously this goes against God’s design and would not be a healthy sexual relationship at all…Though important to maybe talk about these things….. sometimes we are to have restraint, and that’s not a bad thing either. Just a thought.
@Alicia… thank you for your comment. You’ll notice I did write “within the exclusivity of marriage,” so that means no third parties (depicted or real). I have extensively on my blog explored what is “okay” in bed — meaning no one is getting hurt, no third parties, no one forcing their spouse to do something, nothing that is expressly forbidden in God’s Word.
I possibly could have expanded the wording a bit for this post. I hear what you’re saying.
Thank you for this article. The lie I would add (and it falls in line with a previous comment) is “A man always wants sex. His sex drive will be higher than a woman’s.” This is such a lie we allow to run rampant through our society as a whole. It also goes along with the other lie that sex is for men.
I want sex. I crave sex. I need sex. I like sex. I miss sex. I’ve been married for 5-1/2 years and have barely had sex in our marriage. In fact, my husband hasn’t even tried touching me in a year and a half. We’ve probably had sex a total of 20 times. Staying in this marriage and staying faithful are two of the absolute hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m devastated inside. I try to keep my identity firmly planted in Christ, but I’ve struggled so much. Especially this past year or so. And what sucks more is that we are still able to be friends somewhat and also knowing I am so far past the point of desiring him or even wanting to desire or be attracted to him. And what sucks also is that no one seems to be able to help or know what to say. There may be help out there for men whose wives are not enjoying this supposed privilege of marriage but no one wants to deal with the women being ignored. There seems to be no hope for that. And it’s hard to hear “Hang in there. It’ll get better.” What about the honoring of his vows? I’m by no means a perfect wife, but this is not something I deserve in the least. And I’m dead tired of it.
I wish people would stop spreading those lies.
Oh and a man wanting his wife all the live long day is not a dog. He’s just a man who wants to enjoy the wife he has to their fullest and not look outside their marriage to other women. And a woman who has a healthy sex drive and lengthy, diverse desire for sex is not a slut. She’s just a woman who desires to be one with her husband and trust him completely with their shared intimacy and wants to be able to be open as possible.
Please, people stop treating your spouse like they’re hurting you by wanting you. I’d give my left arm to be desired and pursued like that by the man I married.
What MC said!!
Guess I’m the only one to disagree….
My past is just that, my past.
Had a great first husband, sex was awesome.
My hubby and I talk about whatever we need to.
I did not, nor do I now, buy into the lies of any man, but follow Christ.
Am I perfect….absolutely not! Forgiven
I am curious to know if you have ever heard about the Theology of the Body??? John Paul II wrote reflections on how people should treat each other… especially within the context of a sexual relationship. It is a total game changing teaching.
I would be willing to send you a FREE talk on the subject!
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Thanks so much,Julie, for bringing the truth about these lies out in the open. They really, really complicate couples’ efforts to enjoy a great sex life.
As a single virgin in my later 40s, I honestly don’t know what to believe about sex and intimacy anymore. By that I mean, I believe in the theory being good, but the more reality and testimonies and opinions I hear/read, the more frightening it gets, and it makes me thankful I’m still single.
As an example, I was just in a mini-bachelor’s party with a bunch of Christian men for a coworker who’s getting married soon, and almost all of it was men basically expressing how frustrating marriage was because of how women are different (you’ll never understand her, etc.). I sat there and honestly just felt sick to my stomach. It’s no wonder the world stomps all over marriage and sexual intimacy.
We must reject harmful, destructive extremes. The sexual revolution with its amorality and immorality is wrong and harmful. But, the other extreme, that of having a negative or condescending view of sexual love and sexual pleasure within marriage is also harmful and ought to be discarded by Christians. We need a sexual morality that does justice to the dignity of married persons. The larger society and marriages are best served when sex is kept in marriage and the spouses experience sexual fulfillment in their marriage.
Point number 5 is on target and needs to be said. Thanks Julie for this article.
Excellent post Julie. I wish this info had been available 36 years ago. It might have made it possible for my wife and me to have spent most of our married life as a real couple instead as housemates (yeah we haven’t even shared a common bed for more than 3 weeks of the past 35 1/2 years). Keep shouting this from the roof tops.
Iam in the camp of my Husband being a refuser. Married 10 years. I have tried on many accounts to talk with him,and many others. Have ordered Couple DVDs etc.
My Husband will even watch them with me.
But,nothing ever changes!!! I like the other lady who posted would love for my husband to pursue me!!!! Iam dying inside of no sexual union in this marriage:O( I pray all the time and Iam so thankful I have JESUS!!! Please continue to shout this message for others who plan to or are married:) God Bless!!
What habits would you recommend singles develop in order to prepare for their sexual relationships once married?
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