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Although I do admit I would have little apprehension to ask if you gave me an opening.
Oh, not about the specifics, the details, the exact sexual techniques and positions. I mean, I wouldn’t start there.
But definitely I would dive into trying to understand the general gauge of whether sexual intimacy is a healthy place in your marriage — or a place of disconnect, disinterest or destruction. I am more than willing to ask about those things just about any time someone gives me an inkling to ask.
I don’t know why God called me to speak about sexual intimacy in marriage. I believe much of the motivation traces right back to my first marriage and the ongoing and never-really-explored deep struggles we had with sex.
I wish I’d known then what I know now, but I don’t regret that then got me to now. It’s that dichotomy of being sad about what was lost and simultaneously grateful for where you arrived because of it.
I know a lot more about sex now — the mechanics of it, sure, but the subtleties of it, too. And I have a heart to encourage people, women in particular, in their marriages.
Often, it seems, it does not, even among Christians. I’ve heard from countless people, casually and more directly, who at best think I’m wasting my time encouraging healthy intimacy, and at worst think I have stepped way over a line to speak and write so boldly and publicly about sexual things that for much of history have been taboo topics for the church.
I have come to see that God speaks of sex with the same general overarching theme with which He speaks of money and time and talents — each can be used for good or for evil; each can be celebrated and cherished in the right context, or exploited and tarnished in the wrong context.
Everything we read about sex in God’s word would lead us to believe that it is rooted not in sin, but in holiness, and it was His idea, His handiwork. And not just for the procreation of children. Even common sense would tell us that nearly all the sex happening in marriage (or that is available to happen) has nothing to do with making a baby. Nothing.
Certainly 1 Corinthians 7 — those words telling married couples to not deprive each other sexually — conveys so many realities. But the risk of depriving the world of more babies is not one of them.
1 Corinthians 7 is about something only God could have designed — the physical and spiritual mingling that happens when a husband and wife make love, and the benefits of such mingling.
Profound stuff there, yes? Written eons ago, but still as relevant today in our modern marriage beds with color-coordinated sheets and comforters and matching bedroom furniture.
And hear me out when I say I know it’s not all a bed of roses. I. Know. That.
I know it in the most intimate way, not only because of my struggles in my first marriage, but also because I am married now.
While my husband and I do share an incredible sexual connection, we are not immune to the marital and health and stress hurdles that are inherent with… well… with life! Our sexual intimacy does not escape the toll those life realities take. It just doesn’t.
And this is important.
We are still trying.
I am still hungry to know God’s truth about sex, and when my husband and I hit the mark on that (you can take that phrase however you want), we get a glimpse of His heart. I have no doubt.
So I ask you, as you stare at these words upon your computer screen or tablet or smart phone — what is really going on in your bed?
Have you sought God’s vision and provision? He is in the mix, you know.
When sex is skewed, He is longing for it to be restored to the gift He created it to be. And when sex is savored and sexual pleasure and oneness pursued often in a marriage, He is there as well, rejoicing.
And in the in-between — He is there, too. When you and your husband aren’t on the same page sexually. When there seems to be more long-suffering in the sexual struggles than conquering them. Maybe it’s not trainwreckish, but it is certainly stalled or derailed just a bit.
He is there.
God and sex and your marriage bed. What is really happening there?
Copyright 2017, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.